Numerous counties and district schools have implemented merit pay based on student attainment test scores. The pay increment is based on goals and achievements set by the school administrator or the principal. Debates on the implementation of performance pay have resulted to heated debates by authors, scholars and even political leaders. Various individuals have supported it citing advantages while others have fought against its adoption citing its disadvantages.
Brimley and Garfield (2008) assert that employment of merit pay in an institution or region results to improved student and teacher performance. Arguably, researchers and authors note that rewarding teachers and tutors according to their efficacy would be coherent to management maxims from the private segment and would result to better student and teacher performance. Research indicates that merit pay contributes to student pay. Evidence has it that, in the implemented counties and states, more than 50 percent of the schools who have implemented merit pay perform better than the schools who have not implemented merit pay. From this, Brimley and Garfield (2008) note that the incentives acts as motivational factors that prompt teachers to work hard and perform better. Implementation of merit pay in Tennessee would lead to improved student and teacher performance.
On the other hand, merit pay assists in recruitment and retention of teachers within the schools and the county. In reference to Brimley and Garfield (2008), schools that adopt merit pay approach attract competent and highly trained teachers than those who have not implemented the approach. Lower socioeconomic schools in Tennessee can use this approach to attract qualified teachers and tutors. Research has it that low socio-economic schools attract highly skilled teachers after adoption of merit pay. Debatably, merit pay programs can also lessen the challenge of teacher retention. Brimley and Garfield (2008) argue that performance