Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Dr. David Cowden
Dr. Carol Sheffer
Dr. Louis Romano
The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a relationship between certain personal characteristics, educational background, and educational philosophical opinions of teachers and their level of support of merit pay and related forms of compensation. It was also the purpose of this study to determine if there is a relationship between personal characteristics, educational background, and educational philosophical opinions of teachers and the extent to which they think merit pay has an effect on learning. Teachers in the Chippewa Valley Schools in Macomb County, Michigan, were the subject of this study.
A survey questionnaire was sent to all teachers in the school district. There were four sections to the survey. The first three sections gathered data related to personal characteristics, educational background, and educational philosophical opinions of teachers. The fourth section was dual scaled with teachers responding twice. Various forms of merit pay were described and respondents indicated first their level of support for that type of merit pay and second, the extent they thought this form of merit pay would have on student learning. The basic format for this research uses a correlational design.
It was found that when teachers consider merit pay and related compensation, their opinions are more likely to be related to their educational philosophy than their personal or educational status. Personal characteristics such as age, sex, or marital status or educational background such as level of teaching, type of degree, or frequency of in-service are not significantly related to their level of support of merit pay. Their opinions of what effect merit pay has on learning also closely match their level of support for merit pay.
Performance incentive programs for teachers, except perhaps salary merit, are rather new. More research needs to be done, particularly in school districts that have merit pay programs. This study was done in one community and, of course, is not exhaustive. Similar studies in rural or metropolitan areas should be conducted. Different geographic regions of the country might be studied to determine if there would be differences in attitudes toward merit pay.
Samulski, Michael D., "A Study of Some Characteristics of Chippewa Valley Public School Teachers and Their Attitudes toward Merit Pay" (1987). Dissertations. 2242.