What's the Merit in Merit Pay?

Published: 2021-06-29 07:07:39
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Category: Philosophy

Type of paper: Essay

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What's the Merit in Merit Pay?
Denyale Brown
Lewis University




Abstract

This paper addresses the pros and cons of a merit pay system for teachers. While there a multitude of variables to consider, I have chosen to focus on four areas of concern: : student performance indicators, teachers' unions support or resistance, financial resources and substantial impact on student and teacher performance. Student performance indicators, namely, state standardized tests, are the primary tool in determining student achievement and therefore would be the marker for teacher success or failure. Teachers' unions have been against merit pay systems for a long time, but recently the tide has changed for some states with unions advocating merit pay. Finances will forever likely be a key factor in school successes and hard core data on the actual impact of student achievement and teacher pay is yet to be seen.











According to Alison Doyle, an About.com contributor and an employment expert in human resources and career development, states, "Merit pay is a pay increase based on goals or achievements set by an employer, rather than a pay rate based on a union contract or a defined pay scale for a position. It is also known as pay for performance. Merit pay typically involves the supervisor meeting with the employee to discuss the employee's work and to award an increase or a bonus based on performance ." This method of employee compensation has been in use in the business world for decades and it apparently works in the business world. As the for field of education...that's another story. Although merit pay for teachers has been piloted and experimented with for the past 40 years (Lewis, 2011), the question still remains. What's the merit in merit pay? Is there truly a benefit? And if so, how does one measure it? There are studies that claim merit pay systems are successful and other studies show no correlation between teacher pay and student achievement, and with that being said, one must consider the greatest variables in the debate: student performance indicators, teachers' unions support or resistance, financial resources and substantial impact on student and teacher performance.

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