Math and science teachers in Washington state, on average, make less money than those teaching other subjects in the Evergreen State, finds a new study discussed at Teacher Beat, my colleague Stephen Sawchuk’s blog.
The issue isn’t that the state or its school districts value them less, however.
Instead, the study by the Center for Reinventing Public Education faults the structure of the salary schedule for the disparity. It hypothesizes that math and science teachers may be leaving the classroom sooner for other, more highly paid, jobs.
“Washington state, despite its earnest commitment to high school math and science teaching, actually ends up spending less per teacher in the two subject areas it wants to emphasize,” the authors write. “If a salary schedule instead tied wages to some measure of labor market value, ... we might expect to find that math and science teachers routinely ended up with higher pay than their peers.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.