The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB, 2011) has made increasing student achievement and reducing inconsistencies in the dissemination of teacher qualifications a national priority (Guarino, Brown, & Wyse, 2011). Classic fixed salary schedules that consider only a teacher’s education and years of experience have been popular since the 1920’s (Koppich, 2005). This traditional system was developed to counter gender and racial discrimination that was allowed at the time by more unrestricted systems (Dee & Keys, 2004). Claims were made that the prevailing system created salary equity between elementary teachers, most of whom were women, and secondary teachers, most of whom were men (Koppich, 2005). Even though this compensation structure has failed to acknowledge that some teaching jobs are harder than others and require more skills, the straightforward standard salary schedule has prevailed in thousands of schools and districts across the country (Koppich, 2005). There was a burst of merit pay activity in the early 1980s. Twenty-nine states had initiated some sort of merit pay program for teachers by 1986. Since then, however, almost all of them have been diluted or discontinued (Dee & Keys, 2004). While the idea of merit pay for classroom teachers has been around for several decades, lately a resurgence of interest has surfaced in a growing number of districts around the country. This may be attributed to a perceived correlation between student achievement and teacher merit pay, and the recent increased funding level for the federal Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF). The TIF program, which is run through the United States Department of Education (USDOE), pr...
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Koppich, J. E. (2005). All teachers are not the same: A multiple approach to teacher compensation. Education Next, 5(1), 13-15.
Podgursky, M., & Springer, M. G. (2007). Credentials versus performance: Review of the teacher performance pay research. Peabody Journal Of Education, 82(4), 551-573.
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