Education From the Web

Teacher Salaries

January 24, 2012 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The following are responses to a Jan. 11, 2012, online-only Commentary by Jason Richwine and Andrew G. Biggs about their study concluding that teachers are overpaid.

If we had a society where thousands of people wanted to become teachers and stay teachers, saying teachers are overpaid would have a scintilla of credibility. However, in the teaching profession, attrition nationwide is through the roof. In New York City, for example, 66,000 teachers have left their jobs since Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office. With these losses, our children lose experienced, high-quality teachers.

The authors believe teacher salaries should be market-based, while we believe teacher salaries should be based on the value our society places on children and their education, and our need to recruit and retain excellent teachers. Indeed, the 2010 report on closing the talent gap by McKinsey & Company found that improving compensation and working conditions could dramatically increase the recruitment and retention of top college students in high-needs schools and school districts.

The debate over whether teachers are overpaid is another example of blaming and demeaning teachers, which doesn’t help move us toward improving teaching and learning for all students.

Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers

... I agree that teachers—and others as well!—should receive no more and no less than fair-market compensation for their skills. So I look forward to Richwine and Biggs’ analysis of Fortune 500 ceo pay, member-of-Congress pay, lobbyist pay, investment banker pay, movie star pay, sports star pay, etc. I’m sure all of their sat and gre scores will be as astronomical as their salaries. ...

HerbEd

The real problem with this study is that it treats people as commodities. It assumes that money is the only coinage by which we can measure a person’s worth ...

BeaverLodge HS

... Few people are as underpaid asthe best teachers, and few people are as overpaid as the worst teachers.

Iain L.

The real message of your study, plain and simple, is that you do not value the teaching profession.

... As far as the top third, an engineer joined my daughter’s middle school this year. He was so excited to teach science at the beginning of the year. He knew he could make a huge difference with his past experience. He didn’t make it to the semester break. The kids were too much for him to handle. My bet is that he wished he had [had] some more “education” classes to help him through.

teachingmom

A version of this article appeared in the January 25, 2012 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Addressing Unfinished Learning in Math: Providing Tutoring at Scale
Most states as well as the federal government have landed on tutoring as a key strategy to address unfinished learning from the pandemic. Take math, for example. Studies have found that students lost more ground
Content provided by Yup Math Tutoring
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education How Schools Are Getting Kids the COVID Shot, and Why Some Aren’t
Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to helping overcome hesitancy.
5 min read
A girl walks outside of a mobile vaccine unit after getting the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine, outside P.S. 277, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Education Biden Administration Urges Schools to Provide COVID-19 Shots, Information for Kids
The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host vaccine clinics for kids and information on benefits of the shots.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Biden is spending the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)