Do teachers deserve higher pay?

In the article excerpted below, Roger A. Reid, Ph.D. puts up an eloquent argument to say that they do and I guess we would all like to see that. He omits mention of some relevant things, though.

The biggest is that teacher salaries already take a big slice out of state and local budgets. Even a small increase in salaries would therefore add up to a huge hit on the relevant budgets. Multiplying an increase by the large number of teachers makes a salary increase very difficult.

The other thing he overlooks is that a teaching certificate is no guarantee of anything. One hopes that certificated teachers are better at the job than someone who merely has a relevant degree but it is not always true. The school principal should be free to decide that after observing the candidate teacher in action. I must admit a personal interest here. I taught High School with very good results even though I had a degree only, no specific teacher qualification.

So I think the policies adopted by Governor Doug Ducey are reasonable. Not only are eased qualifications reasonable but even the resort to larger class sizes can be reasonable. The research generally shows little correlation between class size and educational outcomes. Putting a large number of pupils before a good teacher can have better resuts than putting smaller classes under mediocre teachers

So, sorry, Roger. You are being too one-eyed about this

The job teachers do today determines the quality and condition of tomorrow’s world.

It’s a foundational component of predicting how well we’ll get along with others. It also influences how many young people decide to pursue a particular profession. And that’s in addition to imparting a minimum level of proficiency with math, reading, and a general understanding of how the world works.

It’s a big responsibility.

And you’d think someone with the credentials, experience, education, patience, vision, and perspective to perform this job would be at the top of the list of professional compensation — similar to a doctor, lawyer, or the CEO of a major company. Because a teacher’s paycheck is more than compensation. It’s an investment that pays future dividends.

But that’s not the reality.

The reality is a sad mix of budget cuts, low salaries, and unsafe working conditions that essentially say, “Why did you become a teacher? We don’t value you or your contribution.”

Why such a discrepancy between the importance of the job and the compensation?

State legislators say they don’t have the money.

That’s a lie. They don’t have money for teachers. Conversely, they have plenty of money for pet projects, political grandstanding, and funding agenda-based projects that buy votes, seniority, and tenure.

The result? Teachers are leaving — walking away from an honorable, vital, and necessary profession because they can’t financially support themselves and their families.

To put that into perspective, let’s compare the compensation of two professional groups. The median compensation for a public school teacher is just over $51,000. By comparison, a family doctor can expect a median income of $ 197,000.

But wait! Certainly, a doctor’s job is much more important than a teacher’s, right?

If you believe that, ask your family doctor what inspired her to pursue a medical career. Ask her how important her teachers were in motivating her to become a doctor.

If compensation is any indication of how much we value the profession, teachers might as well pack it up and hit the road. Because frankly, it’s pathetic — an embarrassing reminder of how much we take teachers for granted.

Seems like a teacher shortage would be enough to motivate legislators to re-consider their budgets for public education. And it has. But not in the way you might think.

The answer coming out of Arizona isn’t in favor of higher wages. No, instead of paying teachers what they’re worth, the intellectual brain-trust that is the Arizona legislature has decided the answer to the problem is to lower the hiring standards — to be less scrutinous when hiring those who perform the most important job in the country.

In a nutshell, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey recently signed legislation that creates exceptions to laws that previously required traditional public school teachers to have a college degree and/or to have completed some form of supervised, in-classroom training.

And that means the current generation of Arizona parents can now anticipate a less qualified individual taking over the responsibility for the education of their children.


No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments containing Chinese characters will not be published as I do not understand them