Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Fenwick W. English
Merit pay is the simple notion that teachers should be paid in whole or in part on their performance in the classroom. Although there are records that teachers' salaries were determined in part on their students'examination scores in England in 1710, the first recorded attempt to install a merit pay plan in a school system in the United States was in 1908 in Newton, Massachusetts. Since then, about 183 school systems have tried and abandoned the idea. The latest attempt at merit pay was the Denver, Colorado, performance pay pilot. Early evidence has been that it did not work. The major drawbacks with merit pay are administrative problems, personnel problems, collective bargaining restrictions, financial problems, and adverse publicity. Salary is not one of the reasons persons typically enter teaching. Therefore, persons entering teaching are not primarily motivated by money. Furthermore, the bulk of the teaching force is female. A female-oriented ...