ERIC Number: ED335789
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-May
Compensation Systems and School Effectiveness: Merit Pay As an Incentive for School Improvement.
Teacher compensation systems, particularly the merit pay plan, are discussed in this paper. The introduction offers a historical overview of incentive compensation programs and presents the policy issue--whether or not merit pay plans contribute to school effectiveness. The single salary system is described in the next section, followed by a discussion of the merit pay plan. An effective merit plan requires clearly identified goals, identification of working conditions, accurate measurement, and valued rewards. Proponents of the plan argue that it provides powerful incentives, promotes communication and feedback, and is politically attractive. Drawbacks include faulty design, administrative problems, psychometric weaknesses, and legal and philosophical concerns. Alternatives to merit pay are discussed in the third section, which concludes that not all are performance-based. The fourth section presents a modified merit pay plan as a preferred policy option, in which the teacher receives a combined rating based on student achievement scores and teacher ratings based on principal and peer evaluation. The recommendation is made for compensation to be determined in accord with clearly defined teacher evaluation criteria. A conclusion is that problems solved by the merit pay plan outweigh those it creates. The appendix provides an example of a single-salary schedule. (34 references) (LMI)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A