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ERIC Number: ED513533
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Public Opinion on Merit Pay: Self Interest vs. Symbolic Politics. Program on Education Policy and Governance Working Papers Series. PEPG 10-05
Howell, William G.; Henderson, Michael
Program on Education Policy and Governance, Harvard University, Paper prepared for the PEPG Conference "Merit Pay: Will It Work? Is It Politically Viable?" (Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA, Jun 3-4, 2010)
Merit pay initiatives transparently alter the teaching profession and goings-on within classrooms, and thereby promise to stoke the self-interests of the two most prominent stakeholders in public education: teachers and parents. This memo summarizes the authors' ongoing efforts to empirically evaluate the extent to which public debates about merit pay pit key stakeholders, rather than well-defined political constituencies, against one another. The authors examine the content of public opinion on these issues; the willingness of different groups to update their views in light of new information; and the ways in which expressed opinions on these policies figure into the larger assembly of education policies. When it comes to public debates about merit pay, they find, cleavages between parents and teachers are not merely evident. They utterly overwhelm those differences observed between either Democrats and Republicans or liberals and conservatives. The authors use the 2009 "Education Next"-Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG) Survey conducted by Knowledge Networks[R]. The survey was fielded to a stratified nationally representative sample of 3,251 adults, including an oversample of 709 teachers. The sample also includes 863 parents with children under the age of 18. Samples were drawn from the probability-based KnowledgePanel[R], and surveys were administered over the internet between February 25 and March 13, 2009. (Contains 13 tables, 2 figures, and 5 footnotes.)
Program on Education Policy and Governance. Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, 79 John F. Kennedy Street, Taubman 304, Cambridge, MA 02138. Tel: 617-495-7976; Fax: 617-496-4428; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Harvard University, Program on Education Policy and Governance
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305A040043