In 2007, the Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) (Pennsylvania, U.S.) received funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Incentive Fund program to implement the Pittsburgh Urban Leadership System for Excellence (PULSE), a set of reforms designed to improve the quality of school leadership throughout the district. A major component of PULSE is the Pittsburgh Principal Incentive Program (PPIP), a system of support, performance-based evaluation, and compensation with two major components: 1) an annual opportunity for a permanent salary increase of up to $2,000 based primarily on principals’ performance on a rubric that is administered by assistant superintendents and that measures practices in several areas and 2) an annual bonus of up to $10,000 based primarily on student achievement growth. The district also offered bonuses to principals who took positions in high-need schools. PPIP provided principals with several forms of support. This RAND monograph examines implementation and outcomes from school years 2007–08 through 2010–11, with a focus on understanding how principals and other school staff have responded to the reforms, and on documenting the student achievement outcomes that accompanied program implementation.
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