Opinion
Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor

Teacher-Pay Commentary Shows Flawed Thinking

February 25, 2013 1 min read

To the Editor:

As an experienced teacher of more than 17 years, I take umbrage as well as insult from Eric A. Hanushek’s Commentary “Why Educators’ Wages Must Be Revamped” (Feb. 6, 2013). Once again, an academic from outside K-12 education has the answer to America’s fabricated educational crises.

Corporate America sees the roughly $800 billion America spends on education and wants its share of this golden calf. The dismantling of America’s public education system, which Horace Mann called the “great equalizer,” will create a permanent caste system and further the gap of income inequality.

There are many flaws in Mr. Hanushek’s thesis. First, he fails to explain what student achievement is, and how it should be measured. Is he falling back on the repeatedly discredited use of standardized tests? What about the classes that have no standardized exam? Are more exams the answer? Millions of dollars, and far too many hours, are already siphoned for the administration of these crystal balls of achievement.

I am not suggesting students need not be assessed, but the use of authentic assessment shows student growth, creativity, imagination, and problem-solving. These are skills needed to ensure successful adults and communities.

Just like every student-teacher who first walks into a classroom, many think that teaching is easy and that money will make teachers work harder and take their jobs more seriously. This illustrates not only an offense to teachers, but also ignorance about them and their dedication to the students they guide.

There is a reason New York City’s $75 million attempt at merit pay didn’t work. Unlike corporate types, teachers care about students, not bonus checks. This is why teachers have always been in the forefront in fighting and advocating passionately for the child, not the test. Just as a student is more than answers colored in pencil on an answer sheet, a teacher is more than scores created by junk science.

Andrea Floresta

English Teacher

Lindenhurst High School

Lindenhurst, N.Y.

A version of this article appeared in the February 27, 2013 edition of Education Week as Teacher-Pay Commentary Shows Flawed Thinking

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
School & District Management Webinar
How Schools Can Implement Safe In-Person Learning
In order for in-person schooling to resume, it will be necessary to instill a sense of confidence that it is safe to return. BD is hosting a virtual panel discussing the benefits of asymptomatic screening
Content provided by BD
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
Student Well-Being Webinar
How Districts Are Centering Relationships and Systemic SEL for Back to School 21-22
As educators and leaders consider how SEL fits into their reopening and back-to-school plans, it must go beyond an SEL curriculum. SEL is part of who we are as educators and students, as well as
Content provided by Panorama Education
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
Student Achievement Webinar
The Fall K-3 Classroom: What the data imply about composition, challenges and opportunities
The data tracking learning loss among the nation’s schoolchildren confirms that things are bad and getting worse. The data also tells another story — one with serious implications for the hoped for learning recovery initiatives
Content provided by Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

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

Teaching Profession Nearly 9 in 10 Teachers Willing to Work in Schools Once Vaccinated, Survey Finds
Nearly half of educators who belong to the National Education Association have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
4 min read
Nurse Sara Muela, left, administers the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to educator Rebecca Titus at a vaccination site setup for teachers and school staff at the Berks County Intermediate Unit in Reading, Pa., on March 15, 2021.
Nurse Sara Muela, left, administers the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to educator Rebecca Titus at a vaccination site set up for teachers and school staff in Reading, Pa., on March 15.
Matt Rourke/AP
Teaching Profession Q&A Nation's Top Teachers Discuss the Post-Pandemic Future of the Profession
Despite the difficulties this school year brought, the four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year award say they're hopeful.
11 min read
National Teacher of the Year Finalists (clockwise from top left): Alejandro Diasgranados, Juliana Urtubey, John Arthur, Maureen Stover
National Teacher of the Year Finalists (clockwise from top left): Alejandro Diasgranados, Juliana Urtubey, John Arthur, Maureen Stover
Courtesy of CCSSO
Teaching Profession Teachers Are Stressed Out, and It's Causing Some to Quit
Stress, more so than low pay, is the main reason public school teachers quit. And COVID-19 has increased the pressure.
7 min read
Image of exit doors.
pavel_balanenko/iStock/Getty
Teaching Profession Opinion Should Teachers Be Prioritized for the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Not all states are moving teachers to the front of the vaccination line. Researchers discuss the implications for in-person learning.
6 min read
Teacher Lizbeth Osuna from Cooper Elementary receives the Moderna vaccine at a CPS vaccination site at Roberto Clemente High School in Chicago, Ill., Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.
Chicago public school teacher Lizbeth Osuna receives the COVID-19 vaccine at a school vaccination site last week.
Anthony Vazquez/Chicago Sun-Times via AP