Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Kent Seidel, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Mary Stansbury

Third Advisor

Kimberly Hartnett-Edwards

Fourth Advisor

Susan Korach


Attitudes, Performance based compensation, Performance pay, Principals


The main objective of this study is to determine the attitudes of school principals regarding a performance based compensation system. This study identifies the attitudes towards specific factors that should be considered in the implementation of a system of performance based compensation. The data have been analyzed to determine if a principal's demographic characteristics affect his/her level of agreement with performance based compensation and the factors for implementation. In addition, this study unveils areas of concern that principals have conveyed regarding the implementation of a performance based compensation system.

Data was obtained from 444 public school principals representing 444 schools and 178 districts in the state of Colorado. Measures used in the treatment of the data include descriptive statistics and one-way ANOVA. The major findings of this study were:

1. 82.4% of respondents believe that teachers, principals and administrators should be included in performance based compensation (PBC).

2. The top two indicators that respondents believed should be included in a PBC system are student achievement (88.5%) and teacher evaluations (77.6%)

3. The 3 largest obstacles to PBC that respondents identified are:

a. The capacity to link student achievement to teacher evaluations (82.9%)

b. Teacher Union Resistance (67.1%)

c. Cost (55.9%)

4. Principals in urban, rural and suburban geographic groups disagree about the effects of performance based compensation.

5. The top 5 overall concerns regarding Performance Based Compensation were:

a. Concerns regarding effectively using assessment to measure performance of all teachers/equity between teachers

b. Concerns regarding evaluation (time for principals to learn, consistency from school to school, time for principals to evaluate, quality of evaluation tool).

c. Not in favor of PBC due to philosophical views or concerns about lack of research.

d. Concerns regarding the equity between classrooms and districts across the state due to poverty levels and unequal resources.

e. Concerns that performance based compensation will result in a decline in teacher collaboration and an increase in competition between teachers.

Based upon these findings, the researcher concluded that there is not a strong general acceptance of performance based compensation systems. However, urban principals in Colorado tend to view PBC somewhat more favorably than do principals in suburban or rural areas. Most importantly, systems to link student achievement to teacher evaluation must be collaboratively created to ensure PBC systems are equitable, consistent and fair.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Carolyn A. Stephenson


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

102 p.


Educational Administration, Education