The influence of the elimination of performance pay on teachers’ perceptions on retention and student performance at high-needs campuses
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There is a need to identify how the elimination of a performance pay system influences effective teachers’ retention decisions at high-needs schools. Careful consideration should be given when implementing and eliminating performance-based pay programs because teacher behaviors change under monetary incentive-based programs. With student achievement as the primary goal of performance pay, an equally important issue that is not yet understood is how teachers perceive the influence of performance pay on student achievement. A qualitative phenomenology methodology was used to determine how teachers make sense of performance pay through their experiences with the elimination of an established performance-based pay system and how these experiences influence retention decisions and perceptions of student achievement in urban middle schools with high-poverty and high-minority student populations. As effective teachers within their schools, the participants were uniquely positioned to provide valuable insight on their perceptions of the elimination of a performance pay system. This study determined that teachers perceive the elimination of an established performance pay system to increase teacher attrition at high-needs schools and will result in a decline in student achievement at these same high-needs schools. This research study expands the literature on teacher perceptions of performance pay and encourages district leaders to work collaboratively with school leaders and teachers to develop incentive plans for retention and student achievement at high-needs schools.
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