August 18, 2005 1 min read

GGW asks a provocative what-if question: Why can’t the best teachers have a say in the size and scope of their classes?

But what if each big high school could tag its Jaime Escalante type of teacher as a "Franchise Player" like they do in the NFL? He/she could earn twice the salary for teaching twice the kids; 50% more to teach 50% more kids; or keep things status quo. Heck, we see college professors with class sizes of 100 and 200 and 300. The point is that a great teacher with 100 kids is better than the typical teacher with 25 or 20 or 15.

While acknowledging the reasons this wouldn’t work (classroom sizes not the least among them), he points out that doctors and lawyers routinely make similar workload-vs-income tradeoffs. Or, if talking about money and motivation in the same sentence rankles the purists, the same thinking could allow a teacher to lecture 100 students at once rather than in groups of 25 four times a day. The unanswered question, though, is whether good teachers would willingly sign on to take on more kids, particularly if they consider forging personal connections with each student the reason why they’re good teachers in the first place.


A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.