Washoe County School District Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF 4) Grant: External Evaluation

Note: This WestEd project was completed in 2018.


WestEd delivers high-quality technical assistance across a range of areas and issues in post-secondary education, including community colleges, adult education, and workforce development. We support the development and use of data systems to strengthen student transitions to and success in post-secondary education and career; we work with college and community college networks to increase student success in mathematics and literacy; we facilitate strong partnerships between the employers and post-secondary institutions.The Washoe County School District contracted WestEd to serve as the external evaluator for a Teacher Incentive Grant (TIF 4) grant awarded in 2012. TIF 4 grants provide funding for districts to develop and implement performance-based teacher and principal compensation systems in high-need schools.

As external evaluator for the TIF 4 grant, WestEd is systematically examining the implementation status of a number of grant initiatives and the impact of that work on teachers, students, and schools. The comprehensive evaluation plan approved in 2015 calls for biannual reporting on grant activities:

  • Understanding stakeholders’ perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes about grant components
  • Exploring the quality and rigor of Student Learning Objectives across schools, grades, and content areas
  • In-depth study of outcomes of STEM instructional supports and professional development opportunities
  • Understanding the components of the teacher evaluation process and their relationship to student achievement
  • Performance-based compensation and the district’s human capital management system

Findings are used to inform decision-making by district administrators and policymakers seeking to better understand what works best in certain contexts and to identify promising activities on which to focus the district’s sustainability efforts.