Professional Development

Houston Considers Ending Master’s “Pay Bump”

By Stephen Sawchuk — February 10, 2010 1 min read

Erika Mellon has quite a good story up in the Houston Chronicle about Houston Superintendent Terry Grier mulling over ending “lane” salary increases for earning advanced degrees. At least one other charter school network is also taking a second look at the policy, she reports.

There is only weak evidence that advanced degrees in education improve teacher effectiveness; most of the research suggests that the degrees must be subject specific, such as in mathematics or science, and only contribute to student learning in certain grades (high school).

Of all the stories I’ve done for Education Week that have proved to be controversial, the one that by far produced the highest volume of angry, even vitriolic comments and personal e-mails was this one on how much these pay bumps cost. Though it’s hardly the last word on this topic, this is clearly a policy area where educators hold strong opinions.

Grier has his work cut out for him.

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