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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Graduate School

First Advisor

Thomas C. Coleman

First Committee Member

Robert R. Hopkins

Second Committee Member

Walter Nyberg

Third Committee Member

Dennis P. Brennan

Fourth Committee Member

Carl Stutzman


Purpose: Within school districts groups may be identified whose function influences their perceptions about what would occur in the schools relative to issues important to merit pay implementation. The purpose of the study was to identify those differences that exist between groups regarding issues relevant to merit pay implementation. Procedures: Parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, and school board members were drawn from elementary, high school, and unified school districts residing in regions designated by the Association of California School Administrators. A survey instrument was developed in order to elicit group responses about issues related to merit pay. Analyses of variance were carried out to test the hypotheses relating to: a) differences between groups and b) differences between dimensions identified for the study. In addition, an analysis of individual items and pertinent supplementary analyses were carried out. Results: Teachers rejected the premise that merit pay would improve educational productivity and benefit school community members. Principals were cognizant of the relationship between motivational principles and merit pay, and expressed confidence that the reinforcement principles related to merit pay would be carried out. All groups were confident that school administrators would maintain an effective merit pay program. However, the groups were uncertain about what evaluation procedures would be employed; the effect merit pay would have on incompetent teachers; and how incompetent teachers' performance would be improved. Conclusions: At this time, the data examined suggest that merit pay implementation should be delayed until those differences identified between groups are reconciled. This does not imply that merit pay implementation should be abandoned, but rather, each issue should be examined and acted upon carefully. Recommendations: Those school districts considering merit pay implementation should give consideration to the development of standards specifying what the school district's outcomes are to be. Within the context of outcomes, the development of evaluation procedures that link merit-pay awards to outcomes is essential. Therefore, in order to establish trust and cooperation within the school district, recognizable links between performance outcomes and the merit-pay awards are to be firmly established.



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