To the Editor:
The title of your article “Halt Urged to Paying Teachers for Earning Master’s Degrees” (Aug. 12, 2009) is misleading. A more accurate title would be “Halt Urged to Paying Teachers for Earning Master’s Degrees in Education.”
Certainly not all educators with master’s degrees are effective teachers, but many outstanding teachers hold advanced degrees in fields other than education. Good teachers intuitively appreciate the connection between teacher knowledge and student understanding, and so embark on rigorous degree programs in history, literature, or other academic fields. In fact, deeply buried in the article is a passing acknowledgement that in certain content areas, there is indeed a positive correlation between an advanced degree and student achievement.
I look forward to reading future detailed articles about the impact that teachers’ holding master’s degrees in content areas has on student learning.
Claire McCaffery Griffin
Vice President for Education Programs
Bill of Rights Institute
A version of this article appeared in the August 26, 2009 edition of Education Week as Master’s Degrees? Some Are Worth More Than Others