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ERIC Number: ED537331
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May-28
Pages: 31
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 30
What Teachers Want: Teacher Preferences regarding Nontraditional Pay Approaches. EPI Briefing Paper #266
Trevor, Charlie O.
Economic Policy Institute
One of the lightning rods in the discourse over teacher pay has been the question of "how much" teachers should be paid. What the "how much" debate does not directly address, however, is the question of "how" teachers should be paid. This paper attempts to help lay groundwork for a better understanding of what exactly teachers want in terms of how they should be paid. Nontraditional teacher pay (NTTP), which is considered here to be pay systems that diverge from exclusive reliance on the traditional salary schedule, continues to be a high-profile and controversial issue. Often lost in the debate over NTTP is a thorough assessment of what teachers "actually prefer" in a pay system, which has important implications for teacher recruitment, retention, and motivation. While teachers are sometimes broadly described as resisting NTTP, the truth is much more nuanced. Using data collected in 2005 from over 2,500 unionized teachers in a single state, this paper explores: (1) whether teachers favor or oppose four different bonus-based NTTP systems, and the demographic and attitudinal characteristics associated with these preferences; (2) levels of teacher support for traditional (i.e., education, service) and nontraditional (e.g., standardized test score) criteria for salary increases, as well as teacher characteristics related to this support; and (3) changes over time in NTTP preferences, as additional survey data from six years earlier allow for a unique opportunity to examine possible cohort versus service effects. Some of the main findings are the following: (1) Teachers supported an emphasis on education and service as the basis for salary increases, preferring these criteria to student test scores and performance evaluation; (2) Merit-based bonus plans were the least favored of the four bonus plans presented, as only 28% of teachers favored their adoption; and (3) Evidence indicated that the average teacher becomes less NTTP-friendly over time, growing less likely to favor the adoption of the bonus-based NTTP plans or to support the use of NTTP criteria in salary increases. (Contains 5 figures, 6 tables, and 11 endnotes.)
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Economic Policy Institute