Leadership Studies Ed.D. Dissertations


A causal comparative study of performance pay for teachers in Ohio: Does performance pay affect student and teacher performance?

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Paul Johnson (Committee Chair)

Second Advisor

Pavel Anzenbacher (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Rachel Reinhart (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Chris Willis (Committee Member)

Fifth Advisor

Kyle Ramey (Committee Member)


The majority of teacher contracts in the State of Ohio are based on the traditional pay scale, rewarding teachers for educational level attained and years of experience. Performance-based pay is an emerging trend with 11 school districts in Ohio identified as having a performance-pay system in their negotiated agreement. This study utilizes Ohio’s similar district methodology to identify the two most similar districts without performance-pay for each performance-pay district. This causal-comparative study compares these two groups by their student (performance index scores, value-added scores) and teacher (evaluation ratings) performance obtained from their local school report card. Data was analyzed utilizing t-tests of independent samples and t-tests of paired samples, with no significant differences between the two groups. The type of performance pay, as identified by Willis and Ingle (2016), were analyzed with regards to student and teacher performance differences. Performance rates are the type of performance pay that appears to have the most positive effect on student and teacher performance.