Category Archives: Teacher Compensation

More on the Importance of the Teacher Supply

Last week the Brookings Institution’s Chalkboard blog published a piece of mine on the importance of the teacher supply to education reform. It’s really an elaboration of a point I’ve made at various times in the past, with California as an illustrative example: [M]any teacher evaluation reform efforts may be focused too heavily on the demand […]

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How Much Do Reformers Think Job Security Is Worth To Teachers?

A couple of weeks back at This Week in Education I tried to explain why the Vergara decision in California doesn’t have easily-predictable major consequences, even if you hand-wave away all of the inevitable legal wrangling and assume tenure and seniority rules  for teachers do end up changing significantly. Partisans really don’t like thinking – or […]

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For Reformers: An Important Paper on Worker Compensation and Incentives

I’ve written before that education reformers often have an unfortunate lack of perspective about the way the world works outside of education. This means that reformers often unjustifiably assume – implicitly or explicitly – that their proposed changes would make education more like other sectors. This assumption, in turn, makes reformers’ proposals seem more intuitive […]

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Teacher Autonomy by State (and Salary)

As I mentioned before, the Center for American Progress just put out a report finding that teachers today still seem to feel very autonomous even in this era of accountability and reform. Exactly how autonomous they feel varies depending on which aspect of the job you’re asking them about. So, for example, about 58% of teachers […]

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Teacher Salaries and Earnings for College Graduates

On Monday I posted this chart comparing average (mean) teacher salaries with median household income in each state. I think that’s an interesting chart because it provides some sense for how a teacher’s salary looks in the context of a state’s overall level of wealth. But that comparison doesn’t tell us everything we might want […]

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Teacher Salaries and Household Income By State

Via Valerie Strauss, here’s an interactive map of average teacher salaries by state. It’s sort of fun to play with, but the problem is that “average teacher salary by state” is actually not all that meaningful when states can be very different from each other. Virginia and Arizona, for example, have almost identical (average) teacher […]

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TWIE: Paying Teachers For Master’s Degrees is (Still) A Bad Idea

As I said at This Week in Ed, I seriously doubt paying teachers for MAs is a good use of money: The most common and intuitive defense of the master’s degree is probably that we should pay for it because we should value the professional qualifications of our teachers. Why shouldn’t we reward teachers who have invested […]

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TWIE: There Is No Teacher Pension (or Ed Reform) Free Lunch

Back in September I put a piece up at This Week in Ed about teacher pension reform: In other words McGee and Winters are proposing sacrificing educators’ retirement security to achieve a system that is in some respects more fair and – perhaps – educationally more efficient. So there is no “free lunch” here; the […]

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Teachers Definitely Get Summers Off. And That’s OK.

As my long, leisurely summer vacation was coming to an end, I came home to a bunch of claims that teachers do not really get long, leisurely summer vacations. For example, here’s high school teacher Brittany Clark: Every educator has listened to a non-teaching friend lament the fact that they don’t get the summers off; […]

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How Unlimited Paid Vacation Is Like Teacher Tenure

Here’s Matt Yglesias on the trendy practice of companies offering employees “unlimited paid vacation”: [An employee’s] job is to do a good job, and giving them discretion about how much time to take off is a way of looking generous while knowing perfectly well that people won’t actually take much time off. To put that […]

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