WXXI AM News

Teacher Incentive Program Begins This Fall in Rochester

Aug 8, 2012

A new incentive program through the federal government is launching in some Rochester city schools this fall, but the head of the teachers union says it isn’t about “merit pay.”

It’s called the Teacher Incentive Fund, or TIF, and it’s a grant for high needs schools to determine the effect on performance based pay.

Rochester Teacher’s Association President Adam Urbanski says the study will provide additional resources to invest in professional development for teachers.

But he says there could be a major downside. Urbanski says the study may reveal what he says is common sense, "And that is that incentives is not is not the major driving force for a teacher, that most teachers already are doing the best job that they can and dangling a few dollars in front of them isn't going to make them teach better."

The federal and state government will be auditing the grant. Susan Hasenauer-Curtis, Executive Director of School Innovation for the district, says there will be a TIF coordinator in place to provide supports for teachers and administrators.

Thirty schools in the district are participating in the study.