Merit Pay for Teachers: Annotated Bibliography

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The controversy surrounding merit or performance-based pay in the education sector attracts significant attention presently. Different states and republics worldwide demand that their learners get the best from the teachers. The push for results further introduces behaviorism’s concept of motivating educators to put extra effort into their teaching process. Giving payment or incentives to outstanding teachers thus informs the merit payment analogy. The following work provides an annotated bibliography and a literature review for different sources covering the subject.

Search Process

Conducting a secondary search of relevant published articles available online involves a substantially intensive process. For example, at least seven phrases formed the basis of the literature search to identify relevant scholarly articles for the present work. Such expressions include “merit pay”, “merit reimbursement”, “merit pay in education”, “merit pay for teacher”, “performance-based remuneration”, performance-based payment in education”, and “performance-based remuneration for teachers”.

B2. Additional search phrases for the work

Additional search phrases for the work included: “merit pay methods in education” and “effects of performance-based remuneration for teachers”.

Why specific phrases return more relevant sources

Using different phrases to search the online databases returned different results. For instance, the expression “merit pay” provided over five hundred articles published between 1940 and 2022. The articles applied to various professional settings instead of the targeted teaching fraternity. A similar situation resulted under the search phrases “merit reimbursement” and “performance-based remuneration”. Nonetheless, exploration statements containing merit or performance-based payment or reimbursement in education or teachers returned highly relevant results. Adjusting the search dates and other credentials further fine-tuned the results to be as precise as they are. However, all the fifteen sources utilized in the present work never come from the same academic database. Such implies the intensive work applied in locating the various databases to acquire the vast number of appropriate sources for the assignment.

Annotated Bibliography

Pham, L. D., Nguyen, T. D., & Springer, M. G. (2021). Teacher merit pay: A meta-analysis. American Educational Research Journal, 58(3), 527-566. Web.

Pham et al. (2021) is a primary article that applies the meta-analysis quantitative approach to investigate the connection between student test scores and teacher pay incentives. The article’s purpose is to shed light and offer reliable ground for the ongoing debate regarding the utilization of merit pay in the education sector. Pham et al. (2021) utilize thirty-seven primary research articles covering the same topic. The findings indicate a positive correlation between merit pay and learners’ scores. One of the source’s significant strengths concerns the information that merit pay work in some contexts. However, excluding a thorough description of the various contextual settings leading to results’ variations makes the article significantly weak.

Checchi, D., & Mattei, P. (2021). Merit pay for schoolteachers in Italy, 2015–2016: A new regime of education accountability? Comparative Education Review, 65(3), 445-466. Web.

Checchi and Mattei (2021) investigate a practical application of merit pay in Italian schools. The work uses a quantitative research method to compare teachers’ merit pay’s impact on students’ scores and the educators’ morale. The scholars follow the policy’s implementation across different schools, where various committees apply varied tactics to award the distinction rewards. For example, each school in the nation uses a unique definition of “merit”, significantly affecting the policy’s standardization. Checchi and Mattei (2021) report that merit pay’s impact is uncorrelated to students’ performance. However, the researchers fault the absence of a standard implementation approach for the identified lack of correlation. However, investigating the policy’s impact for only a year makes the findings and conclusion substantially weak.

Willis, C., & Ingle, W. K. (2018). Profiles of merit pay provisions in Ohio school districts. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 17(1), 78-114. Web.

Willis and Ingle’s (2018) research investigates the effectiveness of the merit pay model adopted by some school districts in the State of Ohio. The work adopts the qualitative research methodology to examine the similarities and variations in policy implementation among the various adopters of the accountability strategy. The findings show that the districts adopting the merit pay plan utilize different schemes that make outcomes’ comparison and standardization hard. The inability to set a standard definition of what excellence is exists as a chief challenge for the institutions implementing performance pay, according to Willis and Ingle (2018). The researchers develop a model typology for the schools to adopt to standardize the program, making the work expressively reliable. Nonetheless, basing the scholarly investigation on Ohio’s situation limits the suggested solution’s application to the state alone.

Berlinski, S., & Ramos, A. (2020). Teacher mobility and merit pay: Evidence from a voluntary public award program. Journal of Public Economics, 186, 104186. Web.

Berlinski and Ramos (2020) use a quasi-experimental method to study merit-pay policy’s effect on educators’ mobility in Chile. The researchers undertake the investigations on real teachers, making the study primary. Findings show that educators who meet the nationwide merit system’s requirements earn about a six percent salary increment each year for ten years (Berlinski and Ramos, 2020). Receiving the national merit program’s badge also increases individual teachers’ vertical mobility in the teaching career. However, the badge and the financial reward from the merit remuneration system never inhibit teachers’ desire to quit the teaching profession. The article acquires significant strength from its findings that come from a practical setting. However, failing to investigate and report the standards applied by Chile for the other states to emulate makes the work substantially wanting.

Bridges, C. (2018). Novice teacher retention in relation to merit pay: A phenomenological study (Publication No. 10839310). Web.

Bridges (2018) is a doctorate dissertation researching the effect of merit pay on novice teachers. The work utilizes a qualitative research method and fourteen learner educators to realize its purpose. Bridges’ (2018) findings show that nine out of the fourteen beginner teachers dislike merit pay. That is because the program increases pressure among novice tutors who are also learning on the job. Comparing the beginner teachers’ attainment to skilled colleagues to test their abilities and assess rewards on the merit pay scheme also causes central concerns. Bridges (2018) reiterates the essence of an attractive single salary package instead of the merit pay in cases where the latter lacks appropriate standards to promote equity and fairness. The findings reveal the work’s significant strength while utilizing fewer teachers makes the conclusions less compelling.

Boudreaux, M., & Faulkner, J. (2020). Examining student achievement, teacher effectiveness, and merit pay in a rural Tennessee school district. Voices of Reform, 3(2), 11-39. Web.

Boudreaux and Faulkner (2020) apply a qualitative study approach to determine the effects of teachers’ attainment bonuses on students’ academic achievements. The researchers adopt ANOVA and linear regression tactics to analyze the collected data. The study’s findings show merit rewards promote teachers’ commitment, thus improving students’ achievements. Moreover, the results depict the significant role of educators’ experience, content complexity, and level of education in modulating the merit payment’s effectiveness in the education setting. Using gender as a factor in the study introduces substantial bias, making the article weaker.

Ryu, S., & Jinnai, Y. (2021). Effects of monetary incentives on teacher turnover: A longitudinal analysis. Public Personnel Management, 50(2), 205-231. Web.

Ryu and Jinnai (2021) employ the fixed effects model to investigate the effect of merit pay on teachers’ turnover rates. The study occurs among North Carolina educators and returns a U-shaped correlation between performance-based remuneration and teachers’ turnover. The findings show that merit pay promotes turnover levels among underqualified and overqualified tutors (Ryu & Jinnai, 2021). Consequently, the approach has merits and demerits on teachers, according to the study. The findings prove the source’s unique strength and inform possible changes to strengthen the management approach.

Pellerin, E. (2020). The merit in performance pay: how changing teacher compensation can increase the supply of quality educators. Policy Perspectives, 27. Web.

Pellerin (2020) seeks to identify a better educators’ remuneration method for American teachers. The researcher report that many American public schools lack skilled teachers. The plummeting numbers of young fellows joining teachers’ training courses, coupled with the professional’s high turnover rate, are to blame for the current situation (Pellerin, 2020). Pellerin (2020) investigates the impact of various remuneration strategies in the sector and their possible effect on teachers’ retention and learners’ achievements. Merit pay is one of the strategies cheered by Pellerin (2020) to transform the field. Accordingly, identifying a solution to the teachers’ turnover problem makes the work reliable.

Kozlowski, K. P., & Lauen, D. L. (2019). Understanding teacher pay for performance: Flawed assumptions and disappointing results. Teachers College Record, 121(2), 1-38. Web.

Kozlowski and Lauen (2019) offer significantly divergent outlooks concerning the role of merit or performance-based incentives in the education sector. The researchers use the qualitative research design involving one hundred and fifty teachers and twenty administrators within North Carolina. Kozlowski and Lauen (2019) undertake their study in thirteen low-performing schools. Findings show that improving teachers’ training and access to new instructional strategies work better than giving teachers money. Revealing the teachers feeling that tutors generally work by giving their best while introducing monetary motivation brands the educators’ incorrectly is a crucial strength of this research work.

Hoelzle, J. T. (2018). A causal-comparative study of performance pay for teachers in Ohio: Does performance pay affect student and teacher performance? (Publication No. 1530190387268275). Web.

Hoelzle (2018) cheers the application of performance rates in the education sector as one of the best merit pay strategies with practical results. The researcher advocates the scheme’s application in the U.S. education sector, which currently relies mainly on the traditional remuneration system. Hoelzle (2018) note that educators’ pay in America is invalidly linked to personal academic achievement and the service years. The investigator thus employs the qualitative research approach to compare Ohio’s merit pay policy to other states. Consequently, the scholar determines performance rates as the best performance-based programs to promote learners’ achievements and educators’ motivation. Identifying a specific solution to the research problem makes the study precise and significantly reliable.

Research Problem

Research problem: Implementing merit pay without first setting the appropriate underlying requirements exposes the U.S. education system to more pressure due to the inability to define and measure success.

Research Problem and My Field of Interest

The above research problem relates to the educational policies in the U.S. and the desire to promote accountability in the sector. Merit pay proponents believe that many teachers in America do not give their best. Moreover, the advocators assume that money is the nest incentive to push the educators to employ the extract efforts they often withdraw. The notion seems to ignore several concerns about the suggested system of accountability promotion. This problem affects me directly as a person interested in the American education system and policies. Acknowledging the difficulty in defining and measuring success among the many American learners with diverse learning needs makes me concerned with the sector’s emerging matter.

Research Problem Identification

Conducting a literature search and establishing an annotated bibliography enables me to identify a central issue concerning the merit pay dilemma in the American education system. For example, the two activities aid me in appreciating the various American states with implemented merit pay strategies and the difficulties they face. Going through the various scholarly works also allows me to compare the realities in other dominions with similar policies and the U.S. situation. The point thus makes me acknowledge a vital underlying issue that America needs to solve before going the performance-based remuneration route for teachers.

Literature Review

Problem Statement

Problem statement of interest: A standardized merit pay policy is the ultimate solution to the avoidance of the teaching profession by young Americans and the high turnover issues affecting the American education system.

Narrative Literature Review

America is one of the many nations worldwide that venerate education. The country aims to offer quality training to all its populations to promote knowledge and skills for social, economic, and technological development. Nonetheless, the desire to provide equitable education remains a far-distant dream in the nation, courtesy of the various hurdles affecting the sector. Racism, ethnicity, and socioeconomic variations among American citizens exist as some of the stumbling blocks affecting education in the U.S. Unattractive pay among teachers also pose a significant problem to the field’s growth. Some groups in the country perceive merit pay as an effective way of curbing the budding challenge of teachers’ high turnover and young people’s discouragement to join the teaching profession. The following work offers a literature review on the possible impact of performance-based remuneration in the American education segment.

The performance-based payment topic attracts significant debate from different groups involved in the education sector, both within and without the U.S. The subject’s potential to resolve one of the emerging challenges in the American education zone makes it a hot topic in the country’s world of research. García and Weiss (2019) report that America’s turnover rate in the education sector is alarming, with many young people also shunning the profession. The scholars put the pay gap at the center of the emergent problem. García and Weiss (2019) say that the average American teacher earned about 21.4 percent lower pay relative to someone with a similar level of education but in a different profession. The aspect pushes many teachers to engage in moonlighting activities that make up about seven percent of their annual base salary (García & Weiss, 2019). Undertaking multiple jobs to survive is dreary to the American teachers who end up resigning from their teaching profession to commit fully to their other better-paying engagements.

Merit pay strategies promise several benefits to the American educational domain. For example, the approach bears the ability to promote educators’ motivation, according to Pham et al. (2021). Pham and his colleagues further note that a motivated tutor will improve the quality of learning among American students. The scholars’ investigations show that merit pay positively connects learners’ scores and teachers’ motivation. Moreover, Berlinski and Ramos (2020) describe performance-based remuneration’s application in Chile and the strategy’s ability to encourage tutors’ mobility and morale in their field of specialization. As per Berlinski and Ramos (2020), merit pay is a highly promising strategy to make the teaching profession attractive if appropriately implemented. Similarly, Boudreaux and Faulkner (2020) reiterate the need for the global adoption of performance-based pay in the education line. That is because attaching recompense to productivity will motivate teachers to commit more to their teaching profession, promote students’ success rate, and reduce educators’ turnover.

Equity promotion in the education settings is decidedly essential for the merit pay strategy to work. Acknowledging various teaching content’s complexity, individual teacher’s experience, and teaching contexts’ dissimilarities are examples of the necessary considerations to undertake to make the approach a success, according to Quinn and Klein (2019). Furthermore, Kozlowski and Lauen (2019) report the need to acknowledge the abnormal difficulties teachers face in poor schools whose hard work may never deliver similar learners’ scores to students in modest learning institutions.

Kozlowski and Lauen’s (2019) concerns insist that the national education board adopt a fair definition and measurement of success in the various American learning settings for merit pay to deliver actual results. Checchi and Mattei (2021) also cheer the idea of a standardized definition of success in the teaching fraternity for communities to reap benefits from the merit pay strategy. Consequently, Aoki and Rawat (2020) argue that performance-based remuneration only works in societies that view teachers as essential community members. The appreciation allows education policymakers and legislators to involve educators in the merit pay policy’s drafting and implementation for applicability.

A standardized performance-based remuneration is a way to go if America opts to stabilize its education system. Colson and Satterfield (2018) say that the nation risks importing teachers if the current educators continue being ignored. The absence of attractive pay in the sector and disintegrated quality measurement continuously push young people away from becoming teachers (Colson & Satterfield, 2018). Hoelzle (2018) maintains that the nation’s solution resides in merit pay. On top of a basic earning, the researcher provides performance rates as one of the best approaches to benefit from the merit pay strategy. Furthermore, Ryu and Jinnai (2021) report that expanding performance-based rewards to fit the under-skilled and over-skilled educators in the U.S. will help curb the high turnover rate in the nation’s education fraternity. The idea receives support from Bridges (2018), who insists on accommodating novice teachers’ unique needs in the excellence pay program to encourage their growth. Comparing the greenhorn tutors’ success to the experienced teachers’ performance for the merit reward is discouraging to the young professionals.

Lastly, the existence of different performance-based approaches in different school districts causes a significant implementation problem. Willis and Ingle (2018) report that diverse school districts and states in the U.S. already have operational performance-based remuneration strategies. The schemes operate under significantly dissimilar settings, making it hard to test their effectiveness precisely. Nonetheless, states with effective equity promotion plans record substantial positive results from the merit pay model. Pellerin (2020) reiterates that utilizing the traditional system of educators’ remuneration risks exposing America to further damage.

Accordingly, Finger (2018) defends the continued adoption of performance-based initiatives in the education sector due to its already witnessed results. The intellectuals maintain that the various issues currently affecting the strategy’s implementation are typical. As such, successful implementation of the benefits of merit pay in the American instruction division needs slow, persistent, and dynamic efforts to realize success.

Purpose Statement

“The study’s purpose is to inform educational policy transformation to avert the growing lack of teaching professionals in the U.S. and indorse quality learning worldwide.”

Open-Ended Research Question

  1. How will the use of questionnaire help investigate the impact of a standardized district-wide merit pay policy (that better defines success degrees) on teachers’ retention?
  2. How will the application of interviews help examine the impact of a standardized district-wide merit pay policy (that better defines success levels) on students’ academic success among deprived and advantaged schools in the U.S.?

Major Research Approaches

The two questions attract mixed research approaches because they involve various study elements. Some of the features require qualitative measurement, while others demand quantitative dimensions. For example, testing the policy’s aspects and success level requires qualitative approaches. On the other hand, the quantitative research approach is crucial to compare learners’ academic performance.

References

Aoki, N., & Rawat, S. (2020). Performance-based pay: Investigating its international prevalence in light of national contexts. The American Review of Public Administration, 50(8), 865-879. Web.

Berlinski, S., & Ramos, A. (2020). Teacher mobility and merit pay: Evidence from a voluntary public award program. Journal of Public Economics, 186, 104186. Web.

Boudreaux, M., & Faulkner, J. (2020). Examining student achievement, teacher effectiveness, and merit pay in a rural Tennessee school district. Voices of Reform, 3(2), 11-39. Web.

Bridges, C. (2018). Novice teacher retention in relation to merit pay: A phenomenological study (Publication No. 10839310). Web.

Checchi, D., & Mattei, P. (2021). Merit Pay for Schoolteachers in Italy, 2015–2016: A new regime of education accountability?. Comparative Education Review, 65(3), 445-466. Web.

Colson, T. L., & Satterfield, C. (2018). The effects of strategic compensation on teacher retention. Power and Education, 10(1), 92-104. Web.

Finger, L. K. (2018). Vested interests and the diffusion of education reform across the states. Policy Studies Journal, 46(2), 378-401. Web.

García, E., & Weiss, E. (2019). Low relative pay and high incidence of moonlighting play a role in the teacher shortage, particularly in high-poverty schools. The third report in” the perfect storm in the teacher labor market” series. Economic policy institute. Web.

Hoelzle, J. T. (2018). A causal comparative study of performance pay for teachers in Ohio: Does performance pay affect student and teacher performance? (Publication No. 1530190387268275). Web.

Kozlowski, K. P., & Lauen, D. L. (2019). Understanding teacher pay for performance: Flawed assumptions and disappointing results. Teachers College Record, 121(2), 1-38. Web.

Pellerin, E. (2020). The merit in performance pay: how changing teacher compensation can increase the supply of quality educators. Policy Perspectives, 27. Web.

Pham, L. D., Nguyen, T. D., & Springer, M. G. (2021). Teacher merit pay: A meta-analysis. American Educational Research Journal, 58(3), 527-566. Web.

Quinn, D. J., & Klein, C. S. (2019). Pay-for-performance in three Michigan school districts: lessons for decision makers. Education Leadership Review of Doctoral Research, 7, 22-36. Web.

Ryu, S., & Jinnai, Y. (2021). Effects of monetary incentives on teacher turnover: A longitudinal analysis. Public Personnel Management, 50(2), 205-231. Web.

Willis, C., & Ingle, W. K. (2018). Profiles of merit pay provisions in Ohio school districts. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 17(1), 78-114. Web.

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