Skip to comments.Teacher Salaries: More Attention Needed to Specifics ( The Millionaire Next Door)
Posted on 06/17/2006 5:15:15 AM PDT by wintertime
One of the ongoing controversies in the public schools is the issue of teacher salaries. Teachers largely claim they are too low while taxpayers are equally vehement that they are more than adequate.
Then there are the actual salary levels. Statistics in 2005 showed the average teacher salary in the nation was $46,762, ranging from a low of $33,236 in South Dakota to $57,337 in Connecticut. Even this ignores the additional compensation teachers receive as fringe benefits, which may add an additional 33% or more to the costs, primarily for very good retirement and health coverage plans. Further, averages include starting teacher salaries, which may begin at $30,000 or less, which teachers gladly mention, but ignore the high salaries of career teachers at or near the maximum on their salary schedule, important because retirement pensions are often based on the best three or so years.
Last year, the New York State Department of Education issued a study that reported maximum teacher salaries in that state of $100,000 or more and median salaries as high as $98,000 per year. That is, there were districts, in Westchester County for example, where half of the teachers earned more than $98,000 a year.
A novel approach a few years ago by Michael Antonucci, director of the Education Intelligence Agency in California, compared teachers average salaries to average salaries all workers state by state. First prize went to Pennsylvania where the teachers received 62.5% more than the average employee. That difference is even greater when it is further considered that teachers average a 185 day work year while most workers put in 235.
(snip) Women who had been educators were 7.4% of the total deceased that year but 20.6% of them, nearly three times the statistical expectation were among the affluent few. Former male educators didn't do quite as well but even they were represented among the wealthy decedents by a ratio nearly 1.5 times the anticipated numerical ratio.
You are using yourself as an example in a discussion about all teachers. With your clarification that you are speaking only of yourself, then keep up the good work.
As for wanting to go up against me in court, I am still licensed to practice law, come find you a case in OK and get special permission to practice here and we will try the case, that is if you are attorney. If you are not an attorney, then you have no clue what your talking about and should simply quit talking out of your a*s.
The case that we will try is whether teachers work 15-18 hours a day. That was the case you presented and you have just conceded the case. No need to see you in court.
By the way, I am not an attorney but I have tried cases in court. I won both times. One was a private civil case and the other was a civil case against a water company. Many people represent themseles without, as you say, farting.
You see all teachers go to school, or just the teachers at one particular school? You watch them every single day?
None of the teachers get there more than 30 minutes before the students? All of the teachers leave right after the final bell? Is this a bell for students or for teachers? At our school, the last bell rings 35 minutes after the students leave, to tell the teachers they may leave then if they wish. Some do, many don't.
Do you notice whether or not the teachers are carrying anything when they leave, such as papers to be graded at home? Do you know what the teachers do after they leave school?
Especially when my children were small, I left school when teachers were dismissed to be with my children, but after my children were in bed I frequently worked until midnight or later grading papers or planning.
Do you think all teachers are like the teachers in this particular school? Do you have any evidence to back up any of your contentions, or should we just take your word that you have nothing to do most days but watch the teacher parking lot at some school?
I think vouchers are a good idea. They would help bring down the cost of education. But I am not surprised that more people responded to your second idea, "The oil companies are not an example of the free market at work." People like to criticize the large salaries of CEO's and business executives. After all, creating class envy is easier than coming up with a cogent defense of the argument that teachers are underpaid.
Do you really think vouchers are the answer? Just my own thoughts, but it seems to me that private schools are known to be high achieving schools because of their exclusiveness-consistent small class size, well rounded similar backgrounds, and let's face it-big bucks! If you start throwing vouchers at people, what's that going to do to these private institutions? I wonder--would the private schools be able to maintain their high achievement scores/bragging rights? Wouldn't it make private education--well--public??
I disagree - the two markets are NOT similar. Teachers (generally) negotiate their salaries as a union, meaning that the benefits negotiated by the whole are applied to each member, regardless of their indicidual merit. The CEO must negotiate for himself, individually. If there were individual teachers negotiating high compensation based on superior performance, I would see the two as similar. That, in general, is not the case.
Just my $.02.
BTW - I agree that most CEOs are overpaid, but that is based on my estimate of their value to the company. I do not own their company, so therefore I get no vote on their salary. It's just the way it is.
Oh my goodness! I can't top that one!!!
Maybe I should say you don't know your sociology. Polticians do what the people with money want they to do. Vouchers have gone nowhere because
the voters with money are not in favor ot it. High schools weere originally designed for the top ten percent of students and those students whose Families are in the top ten percent income level will live in school districts which do a good job of preparing students for college. So longer as their children do not suffer from the quality of schooling, most of these families could give a rat's a---about public schools in general. For those in the district who have no children, they know that appearance is what counts, so that if the system LOOKS good enough to keep property values up and continues to attract up and coming young familes, they also could care less. Much the same thing was true 100 years ago. Some things don't change.
That is exactly how it works. However, I was reading my home town paper and some interesting things are happening with NCLB. Some failing schools in Ohio are now jeopardizing even more tax dollars. Seems the state of Ohio will now have to pay the tuition of students from these failing schools to enter schools of choice. This inspired the children of local private schools to enroll their students for as little as one day in a failing school so they can get their tuition paid for next year! I love loopholes!
I did not watch every teacher at every school. Nor have you. Your contention was that they work 15-18 hours a day. I said not the ones I see. Not the ones I know.
So which is it? Are they underpaid and overworked of overpaid and underworked?
So you admit that you do not see or know "all" teachers.
Please show me where I said teachers work 15-18 hours per day. I don't recall giving specific numbers, but I do contend that (1) all teachers do not work minimum hours, as you say they do, and (2) teachers can do much of their work such as planning and grading papers at home, and many teachers do put in many hours at night and on weekends doing just that. Your informal surveillance of the teachers' parking lot would not reveal that, however.
So which is it? Are they underpaid and overworked of overpaid and underworked?
Probably both. Some teachers work much harder and some are much more effective than others, but teachers are paid by their degrees and experience, not by the quality of their work. Frequently good teachers are paid much less than poor teachers.
Pay scales depend on the state and the district. That depends on the strength of the union and the cost of living in a particular area. The same teacher doing the same job would be paid much more (and I believe work fewer hours) in California than in Arkansas, for instance. On the other hand, the cost of living is much higher in some parts of California.
It's also true that teachers in some fields, such as science and math, could probably make much more in the private sector than they do teaching and than their counterparts teaching history and English could, but while teaching they make the same amount if they have the same amount of experience and the same number of degrees.
The point is, painting ALL teachers with a broad brush based on what you claim to see, especially since you are probably not seeing the entire picture, is not right. In fact, it might even fall into the category of "grossly uninformed or purposely trying to distort the issues."
"...with not one idea on how to value produce to earn it."
Grammar is our friend.
Check out this thread:
guys like you ruin the web posting- who made you the spelling police? to capitalize while writing a simple post - is to waste energy. who cares??? get a life. i bet i've earned more money spelling and writing than you and i still don't care how people write in a forum.
i bet i've earned more money spelling and writing than you and i still don't care how people write in a forum.
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I have you mixed up with someone else in this thread. They said that teachers work 15-18 hours a day. I said, not the ones that I see.
Again, I was responding to another person and the point they raised. The painting of all teachers with a broad brush is out of context. As far as seeing the entire picture, no one sees the entire picture. It is impossible to do so. But, I see much of it.
Teachers have a bureaucratic nightmere to deal with. They don't get support from the administration, an adminstration that is as likely to side with the student as with the teacher.
Also, teachers complain they are not paid enough when in fact they are amoung the highest paid people in society. Some teachers are so out of touch with socio-economic reality they try to justify their salaries by pointing to an oil company exec that was paid $400 million.
The school system has become a cesspool for every social cause, with every group under the sun wanting to preach to the kids on social issues. And then we have testing, that some schools approach as something that the kids must survive rather than something that must be tackled.
In short, I responded, did not first forward the debate. I can understand my coments being taken out of context since I did respond to the wrong person. But, that said, let's not take them out of context.
People have choices of four career types:
1. Jobs that pay a lot of money and are fun to do. Movie stars, professional athletes, rock stars fall into this category, along with a few best-selling novelists. These jobs are very rare and require both talent and luck to get such employment.
2. Jobs which pay a fair amount of money but are hard work. These jobs include carpenters, doctors, small business, nurses, etc.
3. Jobs which don't pay as much but are personally rewarding. These jobs include teachers, clergy, counselors, artists, etc.
4. Jobs which are hard work and pay poorly. Agricultural workers, garbage collectors, chicken cleaners, meat packing, etc.
Most of us make our livings in class two or three. I told my kids the objective was to avoid having to take a job in class 4.