Skip to comments.Eight Reasons Public School Teachers Are NOT Underpaid
Posted on 12/07/2011 7:00:50 AM PST by SeekAndFind
It's one thing to claim that nameless, faceless government bureaucrats are overpaid. It's quite another to argue, as Jason Richwine of the Heritage Foundation and I recently have, that public school teachers are overpaid by more than 50 percent. This is real money, costing state and local governments over $100 billion annually. Our study generated significant, sometimes hysterical, pushback. But our conclusions still stand, and deliver important lessons regarding education financing and reform.
The claim that teachers are underpaid rests on a single isolated fact: that on average, public school teachers receive salaries about 19 percent less than private sector workers with bachelor's or master's degrees. But it's really not that simple. Here are eight reasons why.
1. All bachelor's degrees aren't the same. No one's surprised when a physics or finance major earns more than the person who studied medieval poetry, even if both graduate from the same college. Likewise, Education is widely held to be a less rigorous course of study, attracting below-average students but awarding the highest average GPAs of any college major. Easy grading both discourages hard work and makes it tough for schools to separate the good prospective teachers from the not-so-good ones. Prospective teachers enter college with SAT scores around the 40th percentile - meaning that about 60 percent of test-takers received higher scores - so it shouldn't be surprising if teachers' salaries after graduation salaries are around the 40th percentile as well.
2. That master's degree may not be worth much either. Many teachers have master's degrees but, as the Center for Educator Compensation Reform summarized the research, "The preponderance of evidence suggests that teachers who have completed graduate degrees are not significantly more effective at increasing student learning than those with no more than a bachelor's degree."
(Excerpt) Read more at realclearmarkets.com ...
This is such a huge story and needs to be shouted from the mountain tops. Thanks for posting.
There is simply no industry in our nation that has so obviously failed and yet remains so incredibly sacred in the minds of so many.
8 months work,no weekends, uncountable number of holidays and tenure...overpaid for sure!
Average salary in our district is about $58K per year. For the Carolinas and Georgia it is about in the mid 30's.
Pennsylvania colleges and universities graduate (surprise!) about a 30% surplus of newly minted education majors. Many of them end up working in (double surprise!) the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and West Virginia.
Our local district hires some of these U-Turners-- they've gone south and obtained some actual experience, so they tend to stand out amoung the 300 or so qualified applicants for every vacancy.
you can see what your local teachers get paid as it is public record and trust me I looked up many of them around here and they get paid damn well.
50 grand is the average for them down here and that is good money down here and especially as they are only working so long in a year etc
The superintendent gets paid a couple hundred thousand a year to basically run the district into the ground. Their idea for improving schools is to have a full time curriculum staff that is constantly changing the coursework. Every time you turn around they are replacing core academics with more multi-cultural, self esteem based "learning."
Until we get these districts to get back to the basics they will continue to fail their students. How does it help a kid's self esteem when he can't make change at McDonald's without having the register tell him what to do?
There is a reason they call them elementary schools.
When I was in school I had a buddy who was not cutting it and he was told by his academic advisor that he had two choices. Flunk out and go home or switch majors and get and Education degree. The school of education was chock full of the academic rejects from the rest of the university.
and should be an
This is a huge subject, impossible to cover in one post, but I would be more than happy to pay the good teachers twice what they’re making.
Teachers are soooo constrained by cultural marxist bean-counter BUREAUCRATS and administrators, it’s a wonder they maintain their sanity.
I get it, I really do about “the industry”...
I’m suggesting conservatives should focus on the ADMINISTRATORS AND FACELESS BUREAUCRATS.
It’s a win win.
- PR value: conservatives avoid the “mean-spirited” meme.
- it strikes against the REAL PROBLEM...those who have used the industry to set themselves up for comfort. They don’t actually do anything, except enforce their stupid “directives” etc. FIRE THE LOT OF THEM!
Teachers do so well “teaching”. I was Christmas shopping yesterday and my bill came to $56 and some change. I gave the young girl $60 and the change and she got so confused she couldn’t figure out what to do. She picked up a bunch of fives from the cash drawer and started counting out the cash to give to me. I stopped her and told her what my change should be even though it was on the registershe was so flustered I felt sorry for her. Yeah teachers do a wonderful jobat sex ed.
Unless she gets her act together JCPenny’s will lose a lot of money this Christmas season in the junior dept-the crooks will be swarming like sharks.
RE: Flunk out and go home or switch majors and get and Education degree.
Just curious, what did your buddy do?
Teachers sign a contract every year for X amount of dollars. They can take that amount over 12 months thereby getting paid when school is closed during the summer, or, they can take it over the 10 months that school is in session having a higher monthly pay but they do not get any money during the summer when school is closed. They do not get paid a years salary for just 8 or 10 months work.
It is a huge subject, but by free market reality principles, teachers are over paid for one simple reason: there are a lot of folks who can do it and a lot who are willing to do it for far less. You could staff a huge percentage of the work force with business people and other professionals who would love to teach part time probably gratus. I know I would and the kids would learn more about business in one lecture of mine than they do now K-12.
And I know plenty of other professionals as well who would.
The problem is we have invented a “profession” where one was not needed.
Teaching is really imparting life experiences, and the adults in our society with the least “real life” experiences are our “teaching professionals.”
We home school our kids. We have made a ton of mistakes and we do it in a couple hours a day, and all our kids are minimum three years ahead of grade level and usually much more.
It ain’t that hard, but we’ve made it hard.
bump for great justice
The entire argument about how long a teacher works each year isn’t very relevant to overall argument of teacher worth, IMHO. I know that it gets trotted out during almost every debate and it just peeves any person that teaches.
One notible area where that is not true is vocational education. In our state a voc ed teacher needs at least three thousand hours in their field to be considered for certification. In my case I also had a BS in electronics engineering and 9 years in the USAF as well as 12 years in aerospace experience.
The highest compliment I could received was "You're not like my other teachers".
The DoD has an excellent program, Warriors to Teachers, that receives little support through the districts that I am familiar with.
Exactly right. Teaching is not a profession. Professions are self-regulating — like doctors (AMA) and Lawyers (Bar Associations). Teachers belong to unions in most places and collectively bargain for wages and benefits. Their behavior is regulated by administrators appointed above them. It’s more akin to a skilled trade.
If pay was ‘results-oriented’; teachers would be paid the rough equivalent of a teen-age babysitter.
That says it all.
I think teaching is a talent that can’t be learned in college. That means teaching effectiveness can’t be improved greatly with degrees, particularly advanced degrees.
Everyone has encountered some PhDers who can’t communicate basic ideas.