Government Spending

To Surly, With Love: Are Teachers Overpaid?

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Public school teachers are at the forefront of protests against state budget cuts and restrictions on collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin, New Jersey, Ohio, and elsewhere.

Teachers have a lot to lose. According to Department of Education statistics, in 2007-2008 (the latest year available), full-time public school teachers across the country made an average of $53,230 in "total school-year and summer earned income." That compares favorably to the $39,690 that private school teachers pulled down.

And when it comes to retirement benefits, public school teachers do better than average too. According to EducationNext, government employer contribute the equivalent of 14.6 percent of salary to retirement benefits for public school teachers. That compares to 10.4 for private-sector professionals.

Those levels of compensation help explain why per-pupil school costs have risen substantially over the past 50 years. In 1960-61, public schools spent $2,769 per student, a figure that now totals over $10,000 in real, inflation-adjusted dollars. Among the things that threefold-plus increase in spending has purchased are more teachers per student. In 1960, the student-teacher ratio in public schools was 25.8; it's now at a historic low of 15.

Among the things all that money hasn't bought? Parental satisfaction, for one. Despite public teachers' much-higher salaries, parents with school-age children in public schools report substantially lower satisfaction rates than parents with children in private schools. In 2007, the percentage of parents with children in assigned public schools who were "very satisfied" with the institution was 52 percent. For parents whose children attended public schools of choice, that figure rose to 62 percent. Parents sending their children to private schools, whether religious or non-sectarian, were "very satisfied" 79 percent of the time.

It's little wonder that parents with little or no choice report the lowest-levels of satisfaction (about 90 percent of K-12 students attend public schools). Despite all the extra resources devoted to public school teachers and students, student achievement has been absolutely flat over the past 40 years. The National Assessment of Educational Progress is "the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas." When it comes to 17-year-old students (effectively, high-school seniors), nothing has changed since reporting began in the early 1970s. In 1971, 17-year-old students averaged 285 points (out of 500) in reading. In 2008, that had risen to 286. For math in 1973, the average score was 304 (out of 500). In 2008, it was 306.

Public school teachers make about $14,000 a year more in straight salary than private school teachers; when you add in benefits, the gap widens even more. They teach fewer students than ever before and taxpayers at all levels spend increasing amounts of money on education. Yet for all that, the best you can say is that we're spending more than three times as much money as we were 40 years ago for exactly the same outcomes.

The National Governors Association says that states are looking at $175 billion in shortfalls over the next two years. Local governments are in the red too. As legislators look for places to cut or reduce spending, there's no question that public school teachers have a lot to lose in terms of compensation.

And there's no question that, even if there were no budget emergencies, the nation's public school system is failing to return much of anything on an ever-growing pile of tax dollars.

"To Surly, With Love" was written and produced by Nick Gillespie and Meredith Bragg. Go to Reason.tv for downloadable versions of all our videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive automatic notification when new material goes live.

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248 responses to “To Surly, With Love: Are Teachers Overpaid?

  1. Teachers deserve twice what they’re making. [David Letterman] told me so.

    1. He sure did. But.. he just .. doesn’t know why, exactly. :O

      1. but, but they’re losing their ‘rights’…

        1. I thought libertarians believed in the right of people to freely associate, and to act in their economic self-interest. I’m pretty sure collective bargaining is exactly that.

          1. Collective bargaining is fine, but that doesn’t mean the people in the collective are correct or fighting for what’s best for kids.

            It also doesn’t mean that the government should give extra rights to one side in the negotiation.

          2. Thoroughly agree.

      2. Not bad. But I’d say “…” and “8-)”.

    2. David Letterman also let this atrocity happen on his show.

  2. Parents sending their children to private schools, whether religious or non-sectarian, were “very satisfied” 79 percent of the time.

    Well, sure, because if they weren’t satisfied, they would probably move their kid to another school. Oh, wait, I think I just figured something out.

    1. The government should fund private schools and make them public?

    2. Private schools need to be shuttered to prevent unfavorable comparisons in the future?

  3. When discussing teacher compensation, the Left has two arguments:

    1 – Teachers are the real heroes of our society and are grossly underpaid.

    2 – Teachers can’t be criticized for low test scores, illiteracy, etc. because a student’s success depends entirely on their parents.

    Anyone else notice a disconnect?

    1. It’s always nice to see teachers arguing for homeschooling without realizing it.

    2. I was edumakated in pubic skools, so I don’t understnad suck comcepts such as logic, reality, and the inverse relationship between teacher pay and student performance.

    3. Anyone else notice a disconnect?

      Yes. Traditionally, tragic heroes have the courtesy of dying at the end of the performance to highlight their valor and their weakness.

      Teachers don’t seem to be doing that.

      1. Yeah…they are more like Billy Zane’s character at the end of Titanic, by grabbing(ransoming?) children who aren’t theirs and claiming they deserve to escape(recieve benefits not comensurate with their skills or success?) the sinking ship(our economy?) because their hold over those children(uh…our children?) makes them special(retarded?).

    4. Now you are just making things up! Give me a legitimate quote from one you think is “the left” that has actually said that “it is all the parent’s fault” Parents ARE part of the problem, teachers; there are great teachers and there are terrible teachers but a teacher has their hands tied when parents don’t cooperate or show up.

  4. How many jobs can you think of that require an advanced degree and pay $40,000 to $50,000 a year? Not many. The best teachers know they can make more money doing almost anything else. The benefits, collective bargaining and job stability are the only thing keeping most teachers from leaving. Take that away and no one but the worst candidates are going to want to teach. Teachers are also hamstrung by a bureaucracy that stifles their creativity in the classroom and many of today’s parents who carry a mentality that nothing is their fault and nothing is their child’s fault. It couldn’t be me, it couldn’t be my angel child – it must be the school and it must be the teachers.

    1. How many jobs can you think of that require an advanced degree and pay $40,000 to $50,000 a year?

      A math post-doc, even at the top schools. Tthose require PhDs and only last for 2-3 years. After that, you’re looking for a new job. Surprisingly, the best candidates typically accept these relatively low paying jobs instead of going into industries like finance and consulting where they stand to make much more. Some people do what they do because they like what they do, and money is not the biggest factor.

      1. Do teachers need advanced degrees now, I thought that a bachelors in education was the starting minimum?

        1. In KY, at least, you get a higher starting salary if you start with one or a hefty raise if you complete one while working.

          1. CO the same

          2. It only takes one sentence for Michael to start arguing dishonestly?

            1. Technically, it takes two. His first sentence was a question.

          3. Yes but it not required. Admin requires a masters I believe. But that said I have a friend that is a principle in LAUSD and I watched her get a correspondence masters and it was a fucking joke.

            1. Requirements for teaching vary by state in New York state to teach in public schools you are required to have a masters degree. Not sure if it has to be in Education.

        2. I don’t know about teachers but in Texas, they decided that Architects needed a Master’s to sit for the licensing exam. Went into effect literally 3 months before I started my undergrad (if I had started classes sooner I could have been grandfathered in). So it wouldn’t surprise me if the teacher’s weren’t as protectionist.

          1. For a starting salary of 25k. Fuck teachers architects get paid shit.

            1. Yeah, and one could make the argument that architects provide a much better product(houses and shit) than teachers (mongoloid zombies unable to do anything) most of the time.

              1. I am in my first year of teaching after working as an architect, HVAC engineer and construction project manager. I have degrees in both engineering and architecture. Teaching (inner city HS) is the most difficult thing I’ve done in my professional life. The only thing that comes close is construction project management. Architecture was a piece of cake by comparison. All of those jobs paid well more than teaching except for architecture which was still higher. The benefits for public school teachers are really good, however. Take those away and I don’t know why anyone would make it a career.

                I’m not pro-union. I hate that I HAVE to be a member of the teachers union if I want to teach in a public school. It should be opt-in. Like any industry there are many people who are overpaid for poor quality work. Teaching isn’t unique in that regard.

                1. I love it. The guy who actually has been on both sides of the fence lays down the truth and the sht talkers have no reply. Rock on SS05.

        3. In FL you only have to do 3 chemistries to teach HS chemistry. I took the 3rd one as an elective to my ChemE degree. We had a bitching double humped distribution curve. The ed majors made the class easier on the eyes, but I nearly ripped them out after the 5000th question on basic statistics. Like, computing standard deviations. Apparently, capital sigmas operate to ed students like crosses to vampires.

          1. I may have that wrong. You might have to complete a minor — finish Organic. Those kids were too dumb to teach high school. Must have been elementary ed teachers. Either way, FL just requires a batchelor’s in anything w/ a minor at best to teach HS.

            1. Oh, so they need Organic II & Analytical Chem as well. Still, what a scam.

              And Education majors probably have a good reason for not wanting to compute standard deviation, if you know what I mean. My cousin, who was one, is about of average intelligence, and even he was disparaging of his peers.

              1. Again with the complaining about teacher quality, while simultaneously advocating ways to make the profession even LESS attractive to talented people. And somehow the irony is lost on you.

          2. 3 Chemistries? Do you mean only three chem courses? As in Basic Chem 1 & 2 – CHM 2045, 2046 and Organic 1 – 2210?

            1. I mean Basic Chem I & II (with 1 hour of lab each), and a course at FSU called Analytical Chemestry, which was basic linear regression and simple statistics/confidence intervals. So you could teach through 8th grade chem/science with that.

              For a minor in FL you could do 6 hours of basic chem (Iⅈ) and 6 hours of organic, plus 5 hours of labs. That would let you teach HS. So probably most HS chem teachers in FL have at least taken and passed Organic Chem.

              1. And then ponder the fact that a chemical engineer or true chemist isn’t allowed to teach high school chemistry.

                1. I’m pretty sure my BS in Chemical Engineering came with a Chemistry and a Math minor, so I could teach those in HS in FL if I got some form of certificate. I’ve always wanted to use common street drug packaging as a way of teaching unit conversion. How many nickel bags in a QP, etc.

                2. In every state you could teach science with these degrees AND while not being “certified” by the state. You work and go to class for certification at night.

                3. “And then ponder the fact that a chemical engineer or true chemist isn’t allowed to teach high school chemistry.”

                  Yes, I’m sure it’s a big problem, those ChemE grads, turning down their $65k starting salaries in industry, to beg to work for less than half that much at best, with no budget, in shitty conditions, dealing with obnoxious teenagers & unsupportive anti-teacher parents. If you know of even one instance of a ChemE who really, reealllly wanted to teach & just couldn’t do it, please let me know.

                  Oh, and you’re not even accurate on the facts – most states would let a ChemE or a BS Chem, to start teaching HS Chem immediately on an “emergency” certification, provided they begin education classes within a year.

                  But I wouldn’t expect someone who makes such a mind-numbingly stupid comment to have had any interest in knowing what the hell they’re talking about.

              2. Since when is analytical chemistry a statistics course. When I took it it was actually two courses. Qualitative and quantitative. and neither one involved statistics. They involved Chemistry

                1. Neither one involved statistics, really? Apparently you didn’t have to write lab reports. What kind of Mickey Mouse diploma mill calls that “Analytical Chem”?

          3. I took a class on brewing/fermentation in undergrad. It was in the Nutrition/Food Science department, but for obvious reasons had a lot of liberal arts majors in it. It had been 5 years since I had taken a chemistry course and 4 since I took a biology course, and I still wanted to strangle those idiots. And then when we got to a tiny sliver of fluid mechanics (head loss, etc in keg systems) I thought they were going to burst into tears. It was the easiest class I ever took.

            1. Math is hard!!

              But I still demand my rights to fat checks and a cushy pension.

              1. There’s more to life & to society in general, than math.

        4. Obviously every state has different requirements, but my wife was thinking of getting a teacher certification here in WV to teach Spanish, and the local university told her she would have to get a master’s degree. She was fine with taking the education classes, but they also said she’d have to take their Spanish classes to be certified to teach Spanish. Nevermind that she is completely fluent and even spent a semester at the University of Madrid. I guess that doesn’t prove that she knows the language well enough. It was really a blessing in disguise, though, since she decided the requirements were bullshit and ended up getting a job with a bank instead.

          1. That’s because teacher requirements are make work programs for other teachers.

            1. But if she doesn’t have a Spanish major how can we ever know if she can speak Spanish?

          2. Same situation with my girlfriend. She did a short stint as a substitute at a high school in Dundalk, Baltimore (Balmer, hon). teaching Spanish.

            She’s fluent in Spanish, was a linguistics major, did a year stint in Salamanca(sp?) Spain. The regular teachers routinely copied the tests she made for her students for themselves, and once the regularly teacher came back from leave, they let her know how great she was and urged her to jump the several years worth of hoops she’d have to hop through for the honor of coming back and starting on the bottom.

        5. Most of the “regular” classroom teachers in my kids’ elementary just have a bachelor’s. However, the special needs/gifted teachers have a master’s (or higher).

        6. In VT a Bachelor’s is sufficient, although as Bland pointed out, you do get a raise (~$5000 in my sister’s case) for having a Master’s.

      2. The fact that academia is abusing naive & idealistic PhD hopefuls by creating a major oversupply, then sucking them into a never-ending string of “post docs” once they get their PhD & are therefore “overqualified” for any other jobs, is also wrong.

        Bad comparison.

    2. Every comment like this makes me think that all teachers must have grown up in Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above-average.

      And the gripes about bureaucracy are priceless coming from a profession that has negotiated some of the most labyrinthine work rules and procedures in this country.

    3. I’m not a supporter of any government workers’ unions, but let’s be fair. Teachers in private schools accept lower salaries in exchange for better working conditions–they are more supported by administrators and parents, and the private schools can pick and choose which pupils they admit. Not so with public schools.

      The other issue I would note is that 40 years ago there was no federal law requiring public schools to provide a “free, appropriate” education to all children including severly disabled ones. PL 94-142 (Education of All Handicapped Children) was passed in the 70’s. Schools were required to start providing education and other services (case management, nursing, various types of therapy etc) to lots of kids with severe physical disabilities and/or major behavior problems. It’s not surprising that in the decades since it has taken more money to achieve the same outcomes.

      1. RTFA. There’s a 2 student per teacher difference between private and public school ratios. It’s the bureaucracy, created by the very nature of public union negotiations.

        1. I agree the bureacracy and union protections are a big part of the problem, but you cant deny that private schools’ ability to pick and choose their students, and to expel problem ones without the hassle experienced by public schools, is also part of the difference.

          1. Very true. My wife is a public school teacher, and the changes made to “include” BD, LD, autistic and other fucked-up kids has absolutely kneecapped the classroom today. Eighty percent of her day is spent trying to silence, corral or otherwise stifle the outrageous acts of the one or two “specials” in her room. The rest get to suffer or goof off in that time.

            1. Absolutely correct

      2. Teachers in private schools accept lower salaries in exchange for better working conditions–they are more supported by administrators and parents, and the private schools can pick and choose which pupils they admit.

        Anecdotal, but my aunt was an elementary school teacher at a private school. Those were essentially her reasons for teaching there.

      3. not all unions involve collective bargaining. There are federal workers unions, that usually make sure supervisors are not bullying their employees and make sure they comply with policy and regulation. These unions do not represent us at a bargaining table… in fact, I do not know that we have any bargaining on compensation and benefits

    4. I can think of a LOT of private sector jobs that typically expect you to have a college degree and where the AVERAGE salary is $40,000 – $50,000 a year (administrative assistants, executive assistants, acountants, mathematical technicians, surveyors, civil engineering technicians, enviromental engineering technicians, paralegals, law clerks, title examiners, mental health counselors, clergy, etc., etc.,). What I can’t think of are a lot of jobs that require a college degree and average $40,000 – $50,000 a year for 195 days of work with a schedule that allows you to be home by 4:30 most days. What I can’t think of is another middle-class job where you can start right off the bat at $32,000 and take 60 days of leave your very first year on the job.

      Now, the pay is high becuase it’s hard work, and most people would prefer not to have to do it. But the day-per-day pay is high, comparatively, to other middle-class jobs.

      And public school pay is higher than private school pay IN PART because of the unions, certainly, but also because the work environment is typically worse. The private school teacher is willing to except lower pay in part because s/he has less crap to put up with from adminsitrators and bueraucrats, s/he typically has the backing of the principal and parents, and s/he works in an environment where particularly difficult children can be expelled.

      1. Accept not except. No one would except higher pay.

        1. Wow, you’re brilliant. You know how to spell & make irrelevant criticisms of semantics.

      2. I can think of lots of jobs requiring an ADVANCED degree that pay at that level, including some nursing jobs, masters-level psychology or social work, and public interest law/public defender jobs.

      3. To be fair, Michael said advanced degree (Masters or Ph.D.), not just college degree. That said, yes, he’s still wrong, as Pablo pointed out.

    5. 1. An education degree is NOT an advanced degree. It is useless outside of gov’t employment.
      2. Teachers work no more than 189 days a year and frequently no more than 7 hours per day. Full time employees work at least 235 days per year and often 250 days per year and at least 8 hours per day for less than what a typical gov’t teacher makes.
      3. Many teachers are socialist revolutionaries who are there to facilitate transition to a fully collectivist society and discussion of their compensation is basically a red herring.
      4. The teachers that are not true socialist revolutionaries are often deeply sexually disfunctional and would have a hard time remaining employed in a private business that enforced typical rules on sexual conduct at work.
      5. The comment regarding “creativity in the classroom” strongly suggests you have never set foot in a public school classroom or met a public school teacher. They are by nature and training not creative. They are the vanguard of the socialist revolution. As such they are trained and have trained themselves not to think. They are there to advance the agenda of collectiviism (which is really a form of medievalism) which demands that each person remain in the caste to which they were born. Public school teachers are extraordinarily hostile to independent or ceative thought, particulary if the behavior demonstrated is of the type that would advance the class status of the student upon reaching adulthood.
      6. They predate upon the children from broken homes, the working poor, minorities and now illegal immigrants to ensure that such people never make anything of themselves and reproduce what is essentially a large mass of useful idiots.

      Fundmenatally, every premise in your comment is wrong and you need to spend some time learning what actually occurs in a public school

      1. “Many teachers are socialist revolutionaries who are there to facilitate transition to a fully collectivist society”

        I wish. Those teachers sound a lot more interesting than the paper pushing clock watchers we had in my public school.

        1. “I wish. Those teachers sound a lot more interesting than the paper pushing clock watchers we had in my public school.”

          Yeah that’s what he said: socialist revolutionaries.

      2. Fantastic.

      3. thanks for throwing reasonable argument out the window with this one

      4. “frequently no more than 7 hours per day”

        Obviously you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. They may have no more than 7 hours of instruction time per day, but it’s common for a teacher to start work at 6:30AM, get a 20 minute lunch break, can NOT go to the bathroom when they need to unless it’s between classes & they vacate & lock the room. They frequently push on through until 10 or 11pm every night, due to expectations that they will also lead extracurriculars like coaching athletics, theater, and the like, to say nothing of prepping lessons & grading.

        In essence, you have no credibility whatsoever, and a (deliberately?) distorted, ignorant view of what teachers’ lifestyle is actually like.

        1. My mother has been a teacher for over 30 years. My grandmother was a teacher. My aunt was unfortunately both a teacher and an adminstrator. I am quite familiar with their lifestyles as well as that of their friends. I don’t believe there is a single teacher in this country that “pushes on” until 10 or 11 at night. 4 p.m. is the latest they work. They get the same lunch breaks as the students, which is more like 30 minutes and they get one or two “planning” periods per day, which amount to little more than gossip time and time to sell girl scout cookies, etc.

          1. Then your family didn’t do much credit to their school district. My parents worked liked Dave-Os described. Typically 90 papers to grade each day (multiple subjects for 30 students, or if high school, 6×30 assignments, usually every other day). Lesson planning. Extracurricular activity planning on weekends. Teacher training several weeks during summer session.

    6. Michael|3.3.11 @ 10:28AM|#
      “How many jobs can you think of that require an advanced degree and pay $40,000 to $50,000 a year?”

      Ignorance or guile?
      How many pay what the teachers actually get, not your $40-50K strawman for 9 months work?

      1. That “$40-50k” is optimistic, and based on being way into your career, not starting.

        My wife applied for a teaching job here, then decided that somehow, with 7 years experience, a Master’s degree plus years of required “continuing ed”, $23k/yr just wasn’t worth it. And they (private school) acted like $23k was a big f*&ing; deal. My wife did not – instead, she found it insulting, and turned them down. Go figure. FYI – public schools weren’t starting more than a few thousand higher.

        1. That “$40-50k” is optimistic, and based on being way into your career, not starting.

          “OMG! I DESERVE $100K/YR FOR MY EDUCATION!!!”

          Clearly your wife bought into the lie that getting an advanced degree meant she was automatically qualified for a higher wage.

          Pray tell, what exact timeline is this “way into your career?” Ten years? 20 years? Evidence?

          Or are you capable of doing nothing more than talking out of your ass?

          You know, Milwaukee’s teachers average $100K a year in total compensation–perhaps she can find what she considers to be an appropriate pay level for her skills there.

          My wife did not – instead, she found it insulting, and turned them down.

          And oddly enough, those kids will STILL do better regardless of whether she’s there to shape their young, impressionable minds or not.

          At least now we can see why you’re chimping out so badly about this subject.

          1. Evidence clearly makes no difference to you, you’ve got your ideological blinders on and can’t see properly anymore. Heck, you’re so clueless you think teaching is merely glorified babysitting, so your opinion has no merit anyway.

            1. Evidence clearly makes no difference to you, you’ve got your ideological blinders on and can’t see properly anymore.

              What evidence? Your bullshit anecdotes? You claimed that teachers don’t make $40K a year for a good long while, yet offered no proof of your assertion.

              Heck, you’re so clueless you think teaching is merely glorified babysitting, so your opinion has no merit anyway.

              Repeating your own admission that teachers are pointless without parental investment is evidence of MY cluelessness? Anything else you have offer society beyond your unwarranted sense of self-regard?

              Seriously, your whole failure to justify your career and place in society on this thread is the best argument I’ve ever seen to encourage more homeschooling.

              1. Dave-O is close to the mark. Starting pay for teachers is ~35K. You don’t clear 50K without a masters. After about 35 years, you may be around 60K, if you are a classroom teacher. Principals push around 70K, superintendant in small districts 90-100K.

    7. The benefits, collective bargaining and job stability are the only thing keeping most teachers from leaving. Take that away and no one but the worst candidates are going to want to teach.

      Or maybe, when cuts are required, the older farts with tenure can get the fuck out of the way of the younger teachers who have more passion and energy to handle their glorified babysitting job.

      Teachers are also hamstrung by a bureaucracy that stifles their creativity in the classroom and many of today’s parents who carry a mentality that nothing is their fault and nothing is their child’s fault.

      Well, gee, perhaps progressives shouldn’t have spent the entire 20th century poisoning civilization with the idea that the government should take care of everything and everyone from cradle to grave. Who could have possibly seen the negative results of THAT coming? :/

    8. “””Teachers are also hamstrung by a bureaucracy that stifles their creativity in the classroom “””

      First you talk about the importance of advanced education degrees that teachers have and then you say that the education bureaucracy who often have the highest education degrees are screwing everything up.

    9. Most teaching positions still require just a B.A.

      An M.A. makes you more competitive, but few schools require it.

      The fact that they take the job proves you wrong – if there were plenty of other jobs paying more to English M.A.’s and Education M.A.’s and Math M.A.’s – they’d probably have taken those jobs instead.

    10. Of course, it doesn’t take an advanced degree to teach 4th grade math, and the stagnant test scores relative to rising teacher qualifications proves that. Just another example of the overimportance that’s placed on formal education throughout society.

    11. Teachers make the same as every liberal arts/social work degree makes. And, yes, it’s far less than the average engineering degree.

      Why? Because there’s a whole segment of the population know as leftards, who operate with a 3rd-graders conception of value, that thinks “helping people” is some great spiritual calling, and that “making stuff” is some crude materialism that’s beneath their elitist souls. Problem is the value of your work to other people is established by by what people are willing to pay for your services (amazing!), and the fact that people aren’t willing to pay much for these services proves that the services aren’t particularly valuable.

      1. So rightards think helping people is… bad?

        How about we just calling making *minds*, that better?

        If that’s not gritty enough for you, we can call it pouring mind foundations.

        There, you willing to pay for the honest day’s work now?

        I see why you don’t respect teachers. You had bad ones.

    12. teaching does NOT require an advanced degree. And what can teachers “make more money at”? drug dealing? stripping? union thug?

    13. Total nonsense. Most teachers, if they have an “advanced” degree (past a bachelors) get them not because they are needed, or helpful in becoming better teachers, but because they are paid to do so. I have my teaching certificate, but when I discovered the kind of people, as a teacher, I would spend my life with, I ran like a scalded cat away from the teaching “profession.” Of all the colleges within a university, the College of Education students have the lowest SAT / ACT scores, the lowest GPA’s, and yet the highest self-esteem! My youngest daughter’s teacher sent home a report on her behavior in class one day, telling me that my daughter was acting “all hipper, and not paying attention.” It took me a while to decode that the word “hipper” was actually meant to be “hyper” (itself not a word.) Needless to say, my daughter is now home schooled and doing a lot better.

      1. You should have sent the report back with a single question written on the front in bright red marker:

        “ENGLISH MOTHERFUCKER! DO YOU SPEAK IT?!”

    14. The best teachers know they can make more money doing almost anything else.

      Then why don’t they?

      1. Could we perhaps entertain the possibility that they do it because they like teaching and think it’s important?

        Teachers also have to work at home preparing teaching plans and grading tests and homework, no?

        1. Could we perhaps entertain the possibility that they do it because they like teaching and think it’s important?

          Or perhaps because their limited skillset would be worthless in any other venue?

          1. I’ve had many teachers who were interesting, intelligent and cared about their students. I really don’t see why you hate them so much. Why is it so important for you to deny them any sort of worth?

            1. I’ve had many teachers who were interesting, intelligent and cared about their students.

              That’s great. I’ve had many teachers who went through the motions and were simple dullards, and quite frankly, I had enough self-worth to not give a rip if they “cared” about me or not.

              Why is it so important for you to deny them any sort of worth?

              Perhaps because their apologists on this board have admitted that they are irrelevant to whether a child chooses to learn or not. They’re worth the value that they provide to society, considering that it’s the middle class private sector who pays their salary–and when they openly argue that when their students fail it’s not THEIR fault, it’s the PARENTS fault, well, then quite frankly they’ve demonstrated that they have very little of worth to claim in the realm of shaping young minds.

              They’ve admitted that they’re little more than babysitters, and that’s fine–but don’t go claiming that they deserve to to beatified for it.

              1. ” they are irrelevant to whether a child chooses to learn or not”

                Major logical flaw. The fact that children are humans with their own free will, and therefore cannot be FORCED into learning, does not mean that such refusal to learn by a minority of students is somehow the teachers’ fault.

                An architect can lay out flawless plans & instructions for a skyscraper, but the construction crew can choose to fuck it up. Is the job of “architect” now proven to be “irrelevant”?

                1. Major logical flaw. The fact that children are humans with their own free will, and therefore cannot be FORCED into learning, does not mean that such refusal to learn by a minority of students is somehow the teachers’ fault.

                  Which still doesn’t bolster your claim that teachers are a critical component of our society. You’ve admitted that you are nothing more than glorified babysitters–quite honestly, you’ve made some of the best arguments for homeschooling I’ve ever seen.

                  You flat-out admit in both your posts that its the PARENTS, not the teachers, who are the critical factor in a child’s education. That it’s the PARENTS, not the teachers, that ultimately determine whether or not their children will be provided with the knowledge they need to survive in the world. Given these things which you have blatantly argued throughout this entire thread, there is no reason to think that a society which values strong, supportive families, in communities with a foundation of strong trust bonds, over an overweening government bureaucracy would have any need of your services whatsoever.

                  An architect can lay out flawless plans & instructions for a skyscraper, but the construction crew can choose to fuck it up. Is the job of “architect” now proven to be “irrelevant”?

                  Are you serious? Drawing up a lesson plan is a hell of a lot less complicated than drawing up a blueprint for a multi-story skyscraper (really, don’t flatter yourself by equating the two). and your analogy doesn’t even apply since it’s the foreman, not the architect, that’s overseeing the execution of the construction plan day after day. And yeah, if the construction crew fucks it up, it is his fault, not the construction crew’s, because he’s responsible for making sure that everything is built according to the instructions laid out in the blueprint.

    15. The best teachers know they can make more money doing almost anything else.

      With summers off?

    16. They can’t hire good people without firing all the shitty people, so until that’s resolved, there’s no reason to dump more money into the system.

      Moreover, accomplishment-oriented people care about money, but also about recognition of their achievements and being on a functional team rather than propping up underperforming morons, so the money still wouldn’t guarantee the best until they got a crap filter installed.

    17. “How many jobs can you think of that require an advanced degree and pay $40,000 to $50,000 a year?”

      Assistant State’s Attorney or Public Defender…

      1. Two wrongs make a right?

      2. http://www.payscale.com/resear…..der/Salary

        Public defender isn’t quite as pessimistic as you claimed. Still crappy though.

    18. Advanced degree? I believe teaching is a BA which advances nothing but self.
      If they improved the requirements for teaching to something that actually requires results – then maybe we could talk about an ‘advanced degree’.

    19. and many of today’s parents who carry a mentality that nothing is their fault and nothing is their child’s fault.

      The only way to address this mentality is to challenge a sacred doctrine of the American ethos–that children are special and do no wrong except in failing to celebrate themselves.

  5. Yet for all that, the best you can say is that we’re spending more than three times as much money as we were 40 years ago for exactly the same outcomes.

    How much of that 3x money actually goes to the teachers? How much of that 3x goes to administrators?

    The educational system being overpaid doesn’t necessarily translate into teachers being overpaid.

    1. The school system has expanded it’s role. It is now a welfare and trasportation agency as well. Buses now go where little legs walked before. Free brekafasts and free lunches galore. And so on.

      1. Right. So, although teachers may well be overpaid, spending on buses and breakfasts and lunches isn’t evidence of that. Now, if teachers make over 3x the inflation-adjusted salary, that’s a different scenario, but I don’t know the answer to that question, so I asked.

    2. Is our teachers earning?

    3. This is true – and that’s something people on both sides of the debate would do well to remember. Here in NJ, Christie reduced funding to schools, and the NJEA is up in arms that he’s screwing over teachers. It never occurred to teachers to ask who decided it would be their salaries to get cut and not the overpaid administrators and other assorted inefficient waste (hint: wasn’t Christie’s decision).

    4. Night Elf:

      Thank you!!!! Public teachers are overpaid/overcompensated, but probably the worst cost increases are at the administrative level. Administration has exploded over the past 30-40 years. And you get layer after layer — much of it duplicative. You have administrators at a local level, district level, county level, and state level. (Oh, and yeah, the ever exploding Federal level….)

      For private schools, you have local and small administrations. And that’s it. And no more than is needed for proper management — they have a business to run.

      1. “small administrations. And that’s it. And no more than is needed for proper management — they have a business to run.”

        Oh, yes, businesses don’t ever have layer after layer of bloated & wildly overcompensated administration. Are you &*^!ing KIDDING me? What planet have you been living on?

        1. Oh, yes, businesses don’t ever have layer after layer of bloated & wildly overcompensated administration.

          “THE PRESENCE OF THOSE THIRD-TIER CLERKS IN THE GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRACY IS ALL THAT STANDS BETWEEN CIVILIZATION AND ANARCHY!!!”

      2. Oh, and if teaching is so easy & overcompensated, why don’t you get in on it yourself?

        1. Oh, and if teaching is so easy & overcompensated, why don’t you get in on it yourself?

          Probably because he values challenges in life that far exceed babysitting other people’s kids.

    5. The article specified ‘teachers salary’ not an ‘average pay for all faculty and the wanna-be despots in admin”.

      1. Red Rocks: There is NO bigger challenge than the education of the young
        Spice: Teacher compensation is almost never segregated in data from “staff salaries” which include counselors, media personnel and administration especially if one wants to make an argument against those salaries

        1. Red Rocks: There is NO bigger challenge than the education of the young

          Horseshit. Our society is filled with much bigger challenges than K-12 education.

  6. When we are out of money, everyone in the public sector has to accept funding cuts. Just a fact of economics 101.

    However, I do not blame teachers exclusively for poor performance. I see a correlation between performance trends and federal involvement in curriculum. Our education system has been getting worse since the federal DOE was formed right through No Child Left Behind.

    Get the federal government out of elementary education.

  7. I’d be fine with the teacher’s pay if:

    A) The pensions are either considered deferred compensation or an unfunded pension. One or the other. Arguing back and forth obscures the real amount teachers are being paid. Hint: An unfunded pension is subject to changing pay-outs at the whim of the voters.

    B) The objectively shitty teachers can be fired in a very easy manner. No rubber rooms, no salary-for-life, no endless appeals on paid vacation.

    SLD

    1. I’d be fine with teacher pay if we had a private education system, and their pay was determined by market forces.

      1. Hence my SLD, dude.

  8. Yet for all that, the best you can say is that we’re spending more than three times as much money as we were 40 years ago for exactly the same outcomes.

    The answer to any complaint about cutting school budgets, whether overhead, capital, administration, or teachers, needs to start with this fact.

    The educational system being overpaid doesn’t necessarily translate into teachers being overpaid.

    Not necessarily, no, but the comparison to private school teachers sure makes it seem so.

    Two things need to happen, I think, in concert. After, of course, we get rid of unions for public school teachers.

    We need to (a) let class sizes increase again, since there is apparently no benefit to educational outcomes from smaller classes, and we can’t afford them, and (b) find the market clearing price for teachers, that is, start cutting salaries until its hard to hire what you want.

    1. c)Thin middle management staffing, i.e. Superintendents’ staffs. Some serious chlorine needs to be dumped in that gene pool.

      1. Amen to that.

    2. find the market clearing price for teachers, that is, start cutting salaries until its hard to hire what you want.

      Just a couple of years ago, before the budget caca hit the fan, there were billboards around here (in Texas) trying to get people with college degrees — any college degree — to start teaching and basically get certified while on the job. I only looked into it superficially, but that seems like at least some evidence that in at least some places it was hard for the school district to hire who they wanted at the then-current salary.

      1. Odd, no, that non-unionized Texas seems to have found the market-clearing price, while apparently the unionized states have not.

        1. Shocking, indeed. I wonder why that could be the case.

      2. I remember seeing those, Night Elf. There are still bus advertisements in Austin with Mack Brown (head coach of UT Longhorns) saying “become a classroom coach”. And yet, AISD (Austin ISD) needs to cut 1,000 jobs, including teachers, and close schools. Makes you think the government can’t keep track of what they actually need: more teachers or less teachers?

      3. Hmm, yes, market clearing price. That will help attract quality people!

    3. My sister works as a high school math teacher. Last year the voters in her town rejected the proposed budget (multiple times), but approved the previous year’s budget. She kept going on and on about how they were going to have to cut all these things. She never managed a satisfactory answer to my “Why don’t you just spend the amount on things as you did last year?”

      1. The terms budget and spending cut have a different meaning for the public sector than they do for the private sector. Since budget = the money we want, budget cut = not getting as much money as we want. There is no concept of scarcity or reality, for that matter. Money just magically appears if you want it bad enough, like love and hope-filled dreams.

  9. If you don’t have enough money, you have to cut from where the money is. In state government this is Education, Prisons, and Health. Period. Medicaid fights are all over the place, nobody has any good ideas that are viable (standard libertarian disclaimer about being in favor of legalizing possesion and use of drug), so the teachers are going to get hit. Everything else that was easy to cut has been cut in the previous 2 recession years.

    1. So why don’t we have money?

      1) Wall Street
      2) Welfare for the rich
      3) Unrealistic systems of doing Medicare & Social Security
      4) Drastic overspending on military gadgets
      5) Unwillingness to raise taxes to match spending

      1. So you don’t want a Wall Street job, you don’t want to be rich (and get welfare), you would like to maybe ‘opt out’ of SS and medicare, you don’t want Obama or any other President to be able to use a drone to kill some terrorist planing to come here and shoot your parents at a mall, and for that you want to pay more taxes????
        I think we have a high-schooler or unemployed wino here.

  10. I’ve been asked why is it that public school teachers make more but the education is typically worse than a private school education. Wouldn’t the good teachers (i.e. the ones at currently teaching at private schools) want to move to public schools where they can earn more doing the same thing?

    1. Maybe the ones working at private schools are smart enough to see the eventual derailment of a poorly constructed, highspeed, gravy-train.

    2. Because the teachers at private schools either love to teach, but don’t want to deal with the bureaucracy that comes with public school, or they are getting a discounted rate for the tuition of their child.

    3. I have heard(anecdotal) that private schools hire people that majored in what they teach, but don’t have education degrees or any special training.

      So you get teachers that are knowledgeable in their field but couldn’t be hired by public schools because they lack certification.

      If anyone knows differently, please chime in as this is just what I have heard.

      1. Private schools can set their own requirements, so many do not require certification and mickey mouse education classes. Rather, they require you to be a maser of the material you are actually teaching, and to perform well. This is true. Some will require state certification, but many will not. That way people who love to teach but hate to sit through those insipid education classes may choose private school.

    4. This assumes the teachers are the reason private schools are better. What’s more likely is that the variety and competition between those schools allows better systems to survive, and the value added by the teacher is not necessarily better than in a public school.

      1. If parents are willing to pay for a private school when they’re already paying for public schools, the parents are demonstrably more interested in their child’s education and most likely their child’s academic performance. If you take your child’s education seriously enough to pay for it twice, you’re going to be involved and making sure you get what you pay for.

        1. I just don’t understand why childless people like me should be paying more and more money for breeders who don’t give a shit about their children’s education.

          1. Well it depends, did you attend private school or not? If you did then you are justified in wondering why you should pay for someone elses education. If you didn’t, well, your parents, fellow breeders I might add, paid, but you didn’t. Think of it as finally paying back the school what you owe them, though I would say you are grossly over paying for what you get. Besides, most people do care about their kids education, they have just been feed the ‘government needs to do it’ koolaid for far too long to do anything but send their kids to public schools.

            1. By that line of reasoning, I suppose I still owe the grocery store a shit load of money for all of the food I didn’t pay for when I was a kid & those diapers that often didn’t do a good job holding all of my pebbles in every time. Point is that my parents paid for my education with their taxes, the same as they paid for my food with their money. By not breeding, I’m saving the state the expense of schooling another little bastard, so I think they owe me one here.

          2. With an attitude like that, it’s a damn good thing you’re childless.

            As to your comment, there’s no point trying to explain it to you, it obviously wouldn’t be something you’re willing to comprehend.

        2. Ska – Exactly!

      2. Also, the kids are more likely to be the children of parents who can afford to send their kids to private schools, ie, people who A) clearly value a good education, and B) personally exhibit some of the traits necessary for material success, which also often translate to good academic performance.

    5. Private school environments are typically superior for the teacher than public school environments, because difficult children are typically kept out of (or adequately controlled and disciplined in) private schools. Parents typically support the discipline efforts of the teachers and work better with the teachers, because they have chosen a school that shares a similar philosophy to them. The principal typically supports her teachers better. Teachers in private school have less bureaucratic red tape to handle; fewer i’s to dot and t’s to cross, so to speak. (Though they may have higher reporting demands from the school itself; they don’t have local, state, and federal governments to contend with.)

      Also, there are fewer hurdles to entry in private school – fewer certifications required – so there is a larger pool from which to hire.

    6. I attended public High School 1 year and Catholic High School 3 years. The lay Catholic school teachers were almost all devout unapologetic Catholics themselves. That certainly shaped their approach to class discipline and teaching.

      The other big difference was school administration. Expectations were very high and tolerance of misbehavior was non-existent. Problem kids (drugs, violence towards teachers, etc?) were immediately expelled ? no questions.

    7. Actually, average, student performance is slightly worse at private schools. Parent satisfaction isn’t the greatest proxy for academic achievement.

    8. A- They are tired of parents who don’t do anything to help/push their kids to learn b-they are repulsed by the concept of teaching ‘what to think’ instead of ‘how to think’ c-the politics at both types of schools are tedious – that is part of humankind, but they are treated better at private schools

  11. I can’t quite make out the question which that guy asked at .12 – .14. Anyone able to translate from d-bag to English?

    1. Sorry, I went to public schools and am woefully mono-linguistic.

    2. Whatever it was, it was classy.

    3. “You a Tea Party guy?”

    4. “Are you a Tea Party guy?”

      1. “Yes, I am, you commie shithead” snarled the cameraman.

        “Well, my friend, I don’t particularly care for your viewpoint, but isn’t it great that here in the Land of the Free we can disagree in a polite, civil manner? There’s no need for you to shoot those puppies, sir. You can put that icky gun thingy down, please. Say, will you pull on my finger? It is a bit cramped”

  12. Education Degrees are jokes.Advanced education degrees are even more of a joke.

  13. The benefits, collective bargaining and job stability are the only thing keeping most teachers from leaving.

    Fuck stability; I don’t owe those lazy bastards employment for life. This is exactly why the job attracts the worst and laziest possible candidates. Young eager beavers who enter the system and discover they are drowning at the bottom of a sea of mediocre deadwood teachers just waiting for retirement will get the fuck out.

    Shitcan the union and their seniority-based work rules and promotions, abolish tenure, and institute merit pay.

    And then start working on productivity enhancements.

    1. “The benefits, collective bargaining and job stability are the only thing keeping most teachers from leaving.”

      The pilot who landed in the Hudson was testifying before congress concerning the ‘low pay’ pilots were getting.
      He actually said, with a straight face, ‘It’s getting to the point where pilots are flying because the like the job, rather than the pay’. And nobody laughed.
      As a passenger, *that’s* who I want up there.

    2. “institute merit pay.”

      To guarantee teachers avoid like the plague the kids who really need help & attention?

  14. Surly only looks out for one guy — Surly.

  15. $53k per year isn’t bad for PART TIME work.

    (& before you get all radical about that statement, you should know that my parents were teachers, so I know the truth)

    1. I used to be a teacher, and I can confirm that this is the truth.

      1. Correction: You used to be a shitty, deadwood, clock-watcher, not a good teacher. I’m glad you found a different line of work.

  16. There are some very good reasons why our current system sucks. I don’t believe that “Teachers are overpaid is one of them.” And by the way, what happened to “we hate class warfare” and “Executives should get whatever bonuses they can.” Doesn’t saying eveyone should get paid equally smack of (oh no) Socialism!!!!

    The system for getting rid of crappy tenured teachers sucks. It needs to be gone.

    The pension system is too high and needs to be changed. But it needs to be changed for the people who aren’t just about to retire.

    Illinois put the number of students per class at 37(!) last year so I have no idea where class sizes are going down.

    From what I have seen, read, heard and even what Scott Walker will tell you, it’s not the salary, it’s the pensions (an unsustainable construct from a bygone era) that are killing the states. This is what needs to be fixed.

    Articles like this are just disingenuous and polarizing.

    1. I guess the distinction between public and private sectors isn’t part of the curriculum at whatever public school you went to.

      1. O/T Please tell me you guys are going to get rid of Manchin.

    2. the thread is about not about “equal pay” but merit pay or market driven pay. public school teacher’s pay and benies are much, much higher compared to private school teachers…

  17. I’m sick of the trope that teachers are heroes and they “could be making a lot more money elsewhere” but choose the martyrdom of teaching.

    Bullshit. I work in education (part-time in addition to a real job), and I find that most teachers love the easy life it provides, with no real expectations of work that a real job would demand. They couldn’t make it in the private sector.

    Oh yeah, and working nine months out of the year is not exactly a poor benefit.

    1. My friend who is the principal and my GF were having a discussion the other day. The discussion was about work and their hours was a major topic. My GF generally works a 45 hour work week. The principal exclaimed, “Oh I could never work those hours.” Really? 45 hours is an inconceivable work schedule?

      1. Absolutely. In fact, we demand that count as double-time. Anything after 25 hours automatically should be overtime. These stressful working conditions cannot be tolerated.

      2. My uncle was a principal too (eventually had to retire due to stress-related heart problems). I always knew him to work a lot longer hours than the teachers.

  18. There was a call in “survey” on MSNBC last night (that beefy guy with the shitty attitude is Ed Shultz, right?)..Anyway the questions was, should taxpayer dollars be used to send rich kids to private schools ? I bring this up, because THAT is the level of understanding out there. (I was tempted to pay the 20 cents to text in my vote that YES as a matter of fact, I DO want to pay for rich kids to go to private school.)

  19. Holy Shit. Iowahawk beats Krugman like a rented mule over relative education performance.

    1. Perhaps because a state’s “average ACT/SAT” is, for all intents and purposes, a proxy for the percent of white people who live there.

      Inconvenient truth? This actually implies that teachers do nothing.

    2. Yes, indeed, Mr. Hawk does a fine job of jamming home the point I was trying to make in our discussion of that column a few days ago.

    3. Turns out The Economist‘s claim was bullshit anyway. The big tip-off should be seeing Virginia ranked among the worst in the nation. It has one of the most highly educated populations in the states. Not like anyone would ever accuse them of fact-checking. I ran a quick regression of the scores given by the UMKC prof and the percentage that takes the SAT and got a correlation of 50%. Yeah, you might want to adjust for that.

      Another angle missed is that someone in Maine who takes the SAT (i.e. nearly everyone) is very different than someone in Wisconsin (5-10% by estimates I’ve seen). Comparing everyone in one state versus another’s determinedly college-bound is completely irrelevant. It tells you literally nothing of worth.

      These comparisons are really too stupid.

      1. Uh, move the last sentence of the first paragraph to the end of the second paragraph.

        1. I’m sick of your mind games.

          1. Now read it backwards with a non-rhotic accent.

            1. At what point do we start the Wizard of Oz?

              1. And these statistics *still* mean nothing until you specify the standard deviation values of the measurements for Wisconsin and Texas, because they have wildly different populations.

    4. Way beat me to this one. Just saw it elsewhere. FULL. OF. WIN.

  20. See, I’m totally at odds with both sides of this debate. I would be happy to see teachers make more than they do now if there was a system in place where schools competed for the best teaching talent by offering better pay+benefits. We also need to fire those teachers who have “checked out.”

    1) improving education is critical to our success as a nation

    2) “collective bargaining” is a euphemism for anti-competitive behavior and must be stopped.

    1. You’re not at odds with me, so long as when you say “improving education is critical to our success as a nation” you understand that not every function in society requires a lot of formal education, that education is not a “right”, and that spending money to educate people who don’t require it is a waste of resources that’s damaging to society.

      I want educated doctors, engineers, executives, and other white collar occupations. I couldn’t care less about how educated our janitors and waitresses are.

      1. The unfortunate situation is that we desperately need MORE Doctors, Engineers, and talented executives and FEWER unskilled or mis-skilled workers.

        1. Remove humanities programs at public universities.

  21. I am going to step out of character for a moment and stick up for teachers. A little.

    The commenter above who said that the per-pupil spending isn’t necessarily going to teachers was correct.

    Remember, these figures include ALL districts. And in many areas a VERY large percentage of the new spending goes towards providing employment for members of minority groups in make-work sinecures in administration and maintenance, and not to teachers.

    Because in urban areas the real function of the school districts is to help prop up a minority middle class. That’s the real issue driving the disconnect between total education spending and results in DC, NYC, Detroit, Newark, et al.

    The function of the spending is not education. It’s job creation.

    1. Agreed.
      Seattle is getting “schooled” on this as we speak.
      http://seattletimes.nwsource.c…..rd03m.html

    2. Oh, absolutely. During a C-Span interview with the woman who directed “Lottery,” they were showing clips from the movie. I came away with the same feeling. I don’t know why, but I was actaully shocked about how naked the policy goal of jobs was.

  22. I am going to step out of character for a moment and stick up for teachers. A little.

    The commenter above who said that the per-pupil spending isn’t necessarily going to teachers was correct.

    Remember, these figures include ALL districts. And in many areas a VERY large percentage of the new spending goes towards providing employment for members of minority groups in make-work sinecures in administration and maintenance, and not to teachers.

    Because in urban areas the real function of the school districts is to help prop up a minority middle class. That’s the real issue driving the disconnect between total education spending and results in DC, NYC, Detroit, Newark, et al.

    The function of the spending is not education. It’s job creation.

    Not to mention facility renovation and expansion, security measures and technological upgrades. At the schools in my area, each class has “smartboards”, which undoubtedly costs a pretty penny. Then there are the constant proposals each year for providing laptops to each student.

    Costs are increasing because there are endless avenues for which to rationalize spending.

  23. The whole teacher pay argument is an interesting feedback loop. People are not educated enough to see the fallacies of the arguments made in support of higher teacher pay as a result of never being taught any form of critical thinking or the theories that expose such fallacies.

    This severely retarded email/FB note was passed along last week. Lets see if we can spot the glaring error in economic theory.

    Are you sick of highly paid teachers?

    Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or10 months a year! It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do – babysit!

    We can get that for less than minimum wage.

    That’s right. Let’s give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan– that equals 6 1/2 hours).

    Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day…maybe 30? So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day.

    However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.

    LET’S SEE….

    That’s $585 X 180= $105,300

    per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).

    What about those special

    education teachers and the ones with Master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an

    hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.

    Wait a minute — there’s

    something wrong here! There sure is!

    The average teacher’s salary

    (nation wide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days

    = $277.77/per day/30

    students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student–a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!) WHAT A DEAL!!!!

    Make a teacher smile; repost this to show appreciation for all educators.

    Update: I’m glad that many people have shown their support for teachers by reposting this note, but I am not the original author. I received this as an anonymous chain letter email, and I wanted to share it to support the public workers of Wisconsin.

    If people really think like this and think this carries any intellectual weight, we are all fucked. (I’ve had people who I thought were above drool bib and helmet status defend this or use this as a defense. Maybe I’m a poor judge of retarded.)

    Fuckin’ economies of scale, how do they work?

    1. Any teacher that thinks like this should start a private school and charge $3 per hour per student.

      Problem solved.

    2. I keep seeing this inane comparison too.
      It’s not just the fallacious nature of it, it’s the whole idea that teachers are simply babysitters.

      The entire argument is insulting….to teachers.

  24. Lets take at face value the fact that education hasn’t improved despite increases in funding, but let’s look at the facts on the ground as well.

    Since 1970 there has been a tremendous increase in the number of students who speak a language other than English in the home. Doesn’t that make it harder to teach them? Might teachers need more resources simply to continue to attain the same level of educational outcome? For example, at my school the number of students at or below the poverty line increase by 25% yet we were able to maintain the same test scores.

    Since 1970 the number of female headed households has also dramatically increased, teachers are often asked to be de-facto parents. Even though we now see a majority of our students come from broken homes, educational outcomes have remained stable.

    Since 1970 poverty rates for people under 18 have increased substantially, yet again educational outcomes have remained stable. Might that require more resources to educate the children?

    Regards,

    Joe Dokes

    1. Spot on, Joe!!

    2. Lets take at face value the fact that education hasn’t improved despite increases in funding, but let’s look at the facts on the ground as well.

      How about we bring up the level of knowledge that these kids are receiving? How many high school graduates have to take remedial courses in reading, writing, and math today versus 1970?

      Perhaps the reason achievement levels have remained flat is due to a gradual dumbing-down of the curriculum to push students through regardless of their actual level of knowledge? How would increasing resources in the schools have improved that metric, given that people like Dave-O argue that without the parents, the teachers can’t do their job?

      1. Suppose you have dangerously high cholesterol. The doctor prescribes a change in diet & more exercise, along with a statin.

        You, though, refuse to improve your habits, and don’t take the statin as prescribed either.

        Does that mean the doctor did a bad job & should get fired, or that you’re a bad patient?

        1. Suppose you have dangerously high cholesterol. The doctor prescribes a change in diet & more exercise, along with a statin.

          Suppose you try to construct analogies that are actually relevant to your point.

  25. The average teacher in Alberta, Canada, makes $93,000 a year with an additional $8,000 in benefits. Per student costs are around $7,000. Somebody other than teachers in the U.S. school system is making out like a bandit.

  26. If we accept the argument that public school teachers are compensated above market value for their services, then why is it that so many local school districts have such a hard time recruiting new and qualified candidates? Here in California, a classroom teacher must have a degree in the subject which they teach and have a teaching credential to work in the public schools. They must also have completed a year of “student teaching”, unpaid. Private schools outperform public schools for a myriad of reasons, the main one being that it is almost impossible to expel the behavior and discipline problems. Yet all of this begs the question at the beginning of my comment. It is not necessarily the classroom teacher which is at fault for the pathetic state of our public schools but the administrative costs, which are out of line and simple mishandling of public funds which are spent in a non-cohesive way on hundreds of special “programs”, very few of which bring about real educational improvement.

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      To Surly, With Love: Are Teachers Overpaid?

      Nick Gillespie & Meredith Bragg | March 3, 2011

      Public school teachers are at the forefront of protests against state budget cuts and restrictions on collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin, New Jersey, Ohio, and elsewhere.

      Teachers have a lot to lose. According to Department of Education statistics, in 2007-2008 (the latest year available), full-time public school teachers across the country made an average of $53,230 in “total school-year and summer earned income.” That compares favorably to the $39,690 that private school teachers pulled down.

      And when it comes to retirement benefits, public school teachers do better than average too. According to EducationNext, government employer contribute the equivalent of 14.6 percent of salary to retirement benefits for public school teachers. That compares to 10.4 for private-sector professionals.

      Those levels of compensation help explain why per-pupil school costs have risen substantially over the past 50 years. In 1960-61, public schools spent $2,769 per student, a figure that now totals over $10,000 in real, inflation-adjusted dollars. Among the things that threefold-plus increase in spending has purchased are more teachers per student. In 1960, the student-teacher ratio in public schools was 25.8; it’s now at a historic low of 15.

      Among the things all that money hasn’t bought? Parental satisfaction, for one. Despite public teachers’ much-higher salaries, parents with school-age children in public schools report substantially lower satisfaction rates than parents with children in private schools. In 2007, the percentage of parents with children in assigned public schools who were “very satisfied” with the institution was 52 percent. For parents whose children attended public schools of choice, that figure rose to 62 percent. Parents sending their children to private schools, whether religious or non-sectarian, were “very satisfied” 79 percent of the time.

      It’s little wonder that parents with little or no choice report the lowest-levels of satisfaction (about 90 percent of K-12 students attend public schools). Despite all the extra resources devoted to public school teachers and students, student achievement has been absolutely flat over the past 40 years. The National Assessment of Educational Progress is “the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas.” When it comes to 17-year-old students (effectively, high-school seniors), nothing has changed since reporting began in the early 1970s. In 1971, 17-year-old students averaged 285 points (out of 500) in reading. In 2008, that had risen to 286. For math in 1973, the average score was 304 (out of 500). In 2008, it was 306.

      Public school teachers make about $14,000 a year more in straight salary than private school teachers; when you add in benefits, the gap widens even more. They teach fewer students than ever before and taxpayers at all levels spend increasing amounts of money on education. Yet for all that, the best you can say is that we’re spending more than three times as much money as we were 40 years ago for exactly the same outcomes.

      The National Governors Association says that states are looking at $175 billion in shortfalls over the next two years. Local governments are in the red too. As legislators look for places to cut or reduce spending, there’s no question that public school teachers have a lot to lose in terms of compensation.

      And there’s no question that, even if there were no budget emergencies, the nation’s public school system is failing to return much of anything on an ever-growing pile of tax dollars.

      “To Surly, With Love” was written and produced by Nick Gillespie and Meredith Bragg. Go to Reason.tv for downloadable versions of all our videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive automatic notification when new material goes live.

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      Johnny [Longtorso]|3.3.11 @ 10:05AM|#

      Teachers deserve twice what they’re making. [David Letterman] told me so.
      reply to this
      Rich|3.3.11 @ 10:30AM|#

      He sure did. But.. he just .. doesn’t know why, exactly. :O
      reply to this
      Bucky|3.3.11 @ 11:27AM|#

      but, but they’re losing their ‘rights’…
      reply to this
      Rich|3.3.11 @ 12:40PM|#

      Not bad. But I’d say “…” and “8-)”.
      reply to this
      stepherz|3.3.11 @ 12:20PM|#

      David Letterman also let this atrocity happen on his show.
      reply to this
      Fist of Etiquette|3.3.11 @ 10:12AM|#

      Parents sending their children to private schools, whether religious or non-sectarian, were “very satisfied” 79 percent of the time.

      Well, sure, because if they weren’t satisfied, they would probably move their kid to another school. Oh, wait, I think I just figured something out.
      reply to this
      Jim|3.3.11 @ 11:05AM|#

      The government should fund private schools and make them public?
      reply to this
      Chupacabra|3.3.11 @ 10:27AM|#

      When discussing teacher compensation, the Left has two arguments:

      1 – Teachers are the real heroes of our society and are grossly underpaid.

      2 – Teachers can’t be criticized for low test scores, illiteracy, etc. because a student’s success depends entirely on their parents.

      Anyone else notice a disconnect?
      reply to this
      Red Rocks Rockin|3.3.11 @ 11:00AM|#

      It’s always nice to see teachers arguing for homeschooling without realizing it.
      reply to this
      fresno dan|3.3.11 @ 12:43PM|#

      I was edumakated in pubic skools, so I don’t understnad suck comcepts such as logic, reality, and the inverse relationship between teacher pay and student performance.
      reply to this
      Anonymous Coward|3.3.11 @ 3:40PM|#

      Anyone else notice a disconnect?

      Yes. Traditionally, tragic heroes have the courtesy of dying at the end of the performance to highlight their valor and their weakness.

      Teachers don’t seem to be doing that.
      reply to this
      Michael|3.3.11 @ 10:28AM|#

      How many jobs can you think of that require an advanced degree and pay $40,000 to $50,000 a year? Not many. The best teachers know they can make more money doing almost anything else. The benefits, collective bargaining and job stability are the only thing keeping most teachers from leaving. Take that away and no one but the worst candidates are going to want to teach. Teachers are also hamstrung by a bureaucracy that stifles their creativity in the classroom and many of today’s parents who carry a mentality that nothing is their fault and nothing is their child’s fault. It couldn’t be me, it couldn’t be my angel child – it must be the school and it must be the teachers.
      reply to this
      Montani Semper Liberi|3.3.11 @ 10:39AM|#

      How many jobs can you think of that require an advanced degree and pay $40,000 to $50,000 a year?

      A math post-doc, even at the top schools. Tthose require PhDs and only last for 2-3 years. After that, you’re looking for a new job. Surprisingly, the best candidates typically accept these relatively low paying jobs instead of going into industries like finance and consulting where they stand to make much more. Some people do what they do because they like what they do, and money is not the biggest factor.
      reply to this
      capitol l|3.3.11 @ 10:44AM|#

      Do teachers need advanced degrees now, I thought that a bachelors in education was the starting minimum?
      reply to this
      SugarFree|3.3.11 @ 10:51AM|#

      In KY, at least, you get a higher starting salary if you start with one or a hefty raise if you complete one while working.
      reply to this
      Troll|3.3.11 @ 10:53AM|#

      CO the same
      reply to this
      capitol l|3.3.11 @ 10:55AM|#

      It only takes one sentence for Michael to start arguing dishonestly?
      reply to this
      Jen|3.3.11 @ 1:11PM|#

      Technically, it takes two. His first sentence was a question.
      reply to this
      skr|3.3.11 @ 11:02AM|#

      Yes but it not required. Admin requires a masters I believe. But that said I have a friend that is a principle in LAUSD and I watched her get a correspondence masters and it was a fucking joke.
      reply to this
      DesigNate|3.3.11 @ 10:54AM|#

      I don’t know about teachers but in Texas, they decided that Architects needed a Master’s to sit for the licensing exam. Went into effect literally 3 months before I started my undergrad (if I had started classes sooner I could have been grandfathered in). So it wouldn’t surprise me if the teacher’s weren’t as protectionist.
      reply to this
      skr|3.3.11 @ 11:03AM|#

      For a starting salary of 25k. Fuck teachers architects get paid shit.
      reply to this
      Brett L|3.3.11 @ 10:55AM|#

      In FL you only have to do 3 chemistries to teach HS chemistry. I took the 3rd one as an elective to my ChemE degree. We had a bitching double humped distribution curve. The ed majors made the class easier on the eyes, but I nearly ripped them out after the 5000th question on basic statistics. Like, computing standard deviations. Apparently, capital sigmas operate to ed students like crosses to vampires.
      reply to this
      Brett L|3.3.11 @ 11:02AM|#

      I may have that wrong. You might have to complete a minor — finish Organic. Those kids were too dumb to teach high school. Must have been elementary ed teachers. Either way, FL just requires a batchelor’s in anything w/ a minor at best to teach HS.
      reply to this
      BakedPenguin|3.3.11 @ 11:12AM|#

      Oh, so they need Organic II & Analytical Chem as well. Still, what a scam.

      And Education majors probably have a good reason for not wanting to compute standard deviation, if you know what I mean. My cousin, who was one, is about of average intelligence, and even he was disparaging of his peers.
      reply to this
      BakedPenguin|3.3.11 @ 11:04AM|#

      3 Chemistries? Do you mean only three chem courses? As in Basic Chem 1 & 2 – CHM 2045, 2046 and Organic 1 – 2210?
      reply to this
      Brett L|3.3.11 @ 11:12AM|#

      I mean Basic Chem I & II (with 1 hour of lab each), and a course at FSU called Analytical Chemestry, which was basic linear regression and simple statistics/confidence intervals. So you could teach through 8th grade chem/science with that.

      For a minor in FL you could do 6 hours of basic chem (I&II;) and 6 hours of organic, plus 5 hours of labs. That would let you teach HS. So probably most HS chem teachers in FL have at least taken and passed Organic Chem.
      reply to this
      Vermont Gun Owner|3.3.11 @ 2:21PM|#

      I took a class on brewing/fermentation in undergrad. It was in the Nutrition/Food Science department, but for obvious reasons had a lot of liberal arts majors in it. It had been 5 years since I had taken a chemistry course and 4 since I took a biology course, and I still wanted to strangle those idiots. And then when we got to a tiny sliver of fluid mechanics (head loss, etc in keg systems) I thought they were going to burst into tears. It was the easiest class I ever took.
      reply to this
      Montani Semper Liberi|3.3.11 @ 10:55AM|#

      Obviously every state has different requirements, but my wife was thinking of getting a teacher certification here in WV to teach Spanish, and the local university told her she would have to get a master’s degree. She was fine with taking the education classes, but they also said she’d have to take their Spanish classes to be certified to teach Spanish. Nevermind that she is completely fluent and even spent a semester at the University of Madrid. I guess that doesn’t prove that she knows the language well enough. It was really a blessing in disguise, though, since she decided the requirements were bullshit and ended up getting a job with a bank instead.
      reply to this
      skr|3.3.11 @ 11:05AM|#

      That’s because teacher requirements are make work programs for other teachers.
      reply to this
      Vermont Gun Owner|3.3.11 @ 2:22PM|#

      But if she doesn’t have a Spanish major how can we ever know if she can speak Spanish?
      reply to this
      Beezard|3.3.11 @ 2:57PM|#

      Same situation with my girlfriend. She did a short stint as a substitute at a high school in Dundalk, Baltimore (Balmer, hon). teaching Spanish.

      She’s fluent in Spanish, was a linguistics major, did a year stint in Salamanca(sp?) Spain. The regular teachers routinely copied the tests she made for her students for themselves, and once the regularly teacher came back from leave, they let her know how great she was and urged her to jump the several years worth of hoops she’d have to hop through for the honor of coming back and starting on the bottom.
      reply to this
      Charlotte Sometimes|3.3.11 @ 10:55AM|#

      Most of the “regular” classroom teachers in my kids’ elementary just have a bachelor’s. However, the special needs/gifted teachers have a master’s (or higher).
      reply to this
      Vermont Gun Owner|3.3.11 @ 2:15PM|#

      In VT a Bachelor’s is sufficient, although as Bland pointed out, you do get a raise (~$5000 in my sister’s case) for having a Master’s.
      reply to this
      Professional Critic|3.3.11 @ 10:41AM|#

      Every comment like this makes me think that all teachers must have grown up in Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above-average.

      And the gripes about bureaucracy are priceless coming from a profession that has negotiated some of the most labyrinthine work rules and procedures in this country.
      reply to this
      Pablo|3.3.11 @ 10:52AM|#

      I’m not a supporter of any government workers’ unions, but let’s be fair. Teachers in private schools accept lower salaries in exchange for better working conditions–they are more supported by administrators and parents, and the private schools can pick and choose which pupils they admit. Not so with public schools.

      The other issue I would note is that 40 years ago there was no federal law requiring public schools to provide a “free, appropriate” education to all children including severly disabled ones. PL 94-142 (Education of All Handicapped Children) was passed in the 70’s. Schools were required to start providing education and other services (case management, nursing, various types of therapy etc) to lots of kids with severe physical disabilities and/or major behavior problems. It’s not surprising that in the decades since it has taken more money to achieve the same outcomes.
      reply to this
      Professional Critic|3.3.11 @ 10:56AM|#

      RTFA. There’s a 2 student per teacher difference between private and public school ratios. It’s the bureaucracy, created by the very nature of public union negotiations.
      reply to this
      Pablo|3.3.11 @ 12:35PM|#

      I agree the bureacracy and union protections are a big part of the problem, but you cant deny that private schools’ ability to pick and choose their students, and to expel problem ones without the hassle experienced by public schools, is also part of the difference.
      reply to this
      Sy|3.3.11 @ 2:06PM|#

      NTTAWWT
      reply to this
      BakedPenguin|3.3.11 @ 11:16AM|#

      Teachers in private schools accept lower salaries in exchange for better working conditions–they are more supported by administrators and parents, and the private schools can pick and choose which pupils they admit.

      Anecdotal, but my aunt was an elementary school teacher at a private school. Those were essentially her reasons for teaching there.
      reply to this
      Matrix|3.3.11 @ 11:33AM|#

      not all unions involve collective bargaining. There are federal workers unions, that usually make sure supervisors are not bullying their employees and make sure they comply with policy and regulation. These unions do not represent us at a bargaining table… in fact, I do not know that we have any bargaining on compensation and benefits
      reply to this
      Obvious|3.3.11 @ 10:54AM|#

      I can think of a LOT of private sector jobs that typically expect you to have a college degree and where the AVERAGE salary is $40,000 – $50,000 a year (administrative assistants, executive assistants, acountants, mathematical technicians, surveyors, civil engineering technicians, enviromental engineering technicians, paralegals, law clerks, title examiners, mental health counselors, clergy, etc., etc.,). What I can’t think of are a lot of jobs that require a college degree and average $40,000 – $50,000 a year for 195 days of work with a schedule that allows you to be home by 4:30 most days. What I can’t think of is another middle-class job where you can start right off the bat at $32,000 and take 60 days of leave your very first year on the job.

      Now, the pay is high becuase it’s hard work, and most people would prefer not to have to do it. But the day-per-day pay is high, comparatively, to other middle-class jobs.

      And public school pay is higher than private school pay IN PART because of the unions, certainly, but also because the work environment is typically worse. The private school teacher is willing to except lower pay in part because s/he has less crap to put up with from adminsitrators and bueraucrats, s/he typically has the backing of the principal and parents, and s/he works in an environment where particularly difficult children can be expelled.
      reply to this
      Obvious|3.3.11 @ 10:55AM|#

      Accept not except. No one would except higher pay.
      reply to this
      Pablo|3.3.11 @ 11:43AM|#

      I can think of lots of jobs requiring an ADVANCED degree that pay at that level, including some nursing jobs, masters-level psychology or social work, and public interest law/public defender jobs.
      reply to this
      Jen|3.3.11 @ 1:19PM|#

      To be fair, Michael said advanced degree (Masters or Ph.D.), not just college degree. That said, yes, he’s still wrong, as Pablo pointed out.
      reply to this
      Francisco |3.3.11 @ 10:55AM|#

      1. An education degree is NOT an advanced degree. It is useless outside of gov’t employment.
      2. Teachers work no more than 189 days a year and frequently no more than 7 hours per day. Full time employees work at least 235 days per year and often 250 days per year and at least 8 hours per day for less than what a typical gov’t teacher makes.
      3. Many teachers are socialist revolutionaries who are there to facilitate transition to a fully collectivist society and discussion of their compensation is basically a red herring.
      4. The teachers that are not true socialist revolutionaries are often deeply sexually disfunctional and would have a hard time remaining employed in a private business that enforced typical rules on sexual conduct at work.
      5. The comment regarding “creativity in the classroom” strongly suggests you have never set foot in a public school classroom or met a public school teacher. They are by nature and training not creative. They are the vanguard of the socialist revolution. As such they are trained and have trained themselves not to think. They are there to advance the agenda of collectiviism (which is really a form of medievalism) which demands that each person remain in the caste to which they were born. Public school teachers are extraordinarily hostile to independent or ceative thought, particulary if the behavior demonstrated is of the type that would advance the class status of the student upon reaching adulthood.
      6. They predate upon the children from broken homes, the working poor, minorities and now illegal immigrants to ensure that such people never make anything of themselves and reproduce what is essentially a large mass of useful idiots.

      Fundmenatally, every premise in your comment is wrong and you need to spend some time learning what actually occurs in a public school
      reply to this
      vanya|3.3.11 @ 2:04PM|#

      “Many teachers are socialist revolutionaries who are there to facilitate transition to a fully collectivist society”

      I wish. Those teachers sound a lot more interesting than the paper pushing clock watchers we had in my public school.
      reply to this
      Sy|3.3.11 @ 2:08PM|#

      “I wish. Those teachers sound a lot more interesting than the paper pushing clock watchers we had in my public school.”

      Yeah that’s what he said: socialist revolutionaries.
      reply to this
      KPres|3.3.11 @ 3:44PM|#

      Fantastic.
      reply to this
      sevo|3.3.11 @ 11:02AM|#

      Michael|3.3.11 @ 10:28AM|#
      “How many jobs can you think of that require an advanced degree and pay $40,000 to $50,000 a year?”

      Ignorance or guile?
      How many pay what the teachers actually get, not your $40-50K strawman for 9 months work?
      reply to this
      Red Rocks Rockin|3.3.11 @ 11:07AM|#

      The benefits, collective bargaining and job stability are the only thing keeping most teachers from leaving. Take that away and no one but the worst candidates are going to want to teach.

      Or maybe, when cuts are required, the older farts with tenure can get the fuck out of the way of the younger teachers who have more passion and energy to handle their glorified babysitting job.

      Teachers are also hamstrung by a bureaucracy that stifles their creativity in the classroom and many of today’s parents who carry a mentality that nothing is their fault and nothing is their child’s fault.

      Well, gee, perhaps progressives shouldn’t have spent the entire 20th century poisoning civilization with the idea that the government should take care of everything and everyone from cradle to grave. Who could have possibly seen the negative results of THAT coming? :/
      reply to this
      DJF|3.3.11 @ 11:08AM|#

      “””Teachers are also hamstrung by a bureaucracy that stifles their creativity in the classroom “””

      First you talk about the importance of advanced education degrees that teachers have and then you say that the education bureaucracy who often have the highest education degrees are screwing everything up.
      reply to this
      Obvious|3.3.11 @ 11:08AM|#

      Most teaching positions still require just a B.A.

      An M.A. makes you more competitive, but few schools require it.

      The fact that they take the job proves you wrong – if there were plenty of other jobs paying more to English M.A.’s and Education M.A.’s and Math M.A.’s – they’d probably have taken those jobs instead.
      reply to this
      KPres|3.3.11 @ 11:52AM|#

      Of course, it doesn’t take an advanced degree to teach 4th grade math, and the stagnant test scores relative to rising teacher qualifications proves that. Just another example of the overimportance that’s placed on formal education throughout society.
      reply to this
      KPres|3.3.11 @ 12:11PM|#

      Teachers make the same as every liberal arts/social work degree makes. And, yes, it’s far less than the average engineering degree.

      Why? Because there’s a whole segment of the population know as leftards, who operate with a 3rd-graders conception of value, that thinks “helping people” is some great spiritual calling, and that “making stuff” is some crude materialism that’s beneath their elitist souls. Problem is the value of your work to other people is established by by what people are willing to pay for your services (amazing!), and the fact that people aren’t willing to pay much for these services proves that the services aren’t particularly valuable.
      reply to this
      Jen|3.3.11 @ 1:24PM|#

      +1
      reply to this
      The Lie|3.3.11 @ 1:04PM|#

      teaching does NOT require an advanced degree. And what can teachers “make more money at”? drug dealing? stripping? union thug?
      reply to this
      Jim|3.3.11 @ 1:22PM|#

      Total nonsense. Most teachers, if they have an “advanced” degree (past a bachelors) get them not because they are needed, or helpful in becoming better teachers, but because they are paid to do so. I have my teaching certificate, but when I discovered the kind of people, as a teacher, I would spend my life with, I ran like a scalded cat away from the teaching “profession.” Of all the colleges within a university, the College of Education students have the lowest SAT / ACT scores, the lowest GPA’s, and yet the highest self-esteem! My youngest daughter’s teacher sent home a report on her behavior in class one day, telling me that my daughter was acting “all hipper, and not paying attention.” It took me a while to decode that the word “hipper” was actually meant to be “hyper” (itself not a word.) Needless to say, my daughter is now home schooled and doing a lot better.
      reply to this
      Anonymous Coward|3.3.11 @ 3:45PM|#

      You should have sent the report back with a single question written on the front in bright red marker:

      “ENGLISH MOTHERFUCKER! DO YOU SPEAK IT?!”
      reply to this
      JoJo Zeke|3.3.11 @ 2:38PM|#

      The best teachers know they can make more money doing almost anything else.

      Then why don’t they?
      reply to this
      Night Elf Mohawk|3.3.11 @ 10:31AM|#

      Yet for all that, the best you can say is that we’re spending more than three times as much money as we were 40 years ago for exactly the same outcomes.

      How much of that 3x money actually goes to the teachers? How much of that 3x goes to administrators?

      The educational system being overpaid doesn’t necessarily translate into teachers being overpaid.
      reply to this
      Lurker|3.3.11 @ 10:55AM|#

      Okay…
      reply to this
      Obvious|3.3.11 @ 10:56AM|#

      The school system has expanded it’s role. It is now a welfare and trasportation agency as well. Buses now go where little legs walked before. Free brekafasts and free lunches galore. And so on.
      reply to this
      Night Elf Mohawk|3.3.11 @ 11:19AM|#

      Right. So, although teachers may well be overpaid, spending on buses and breakfasts and lunches isn’t evidence of that. Now, if teachers make over 3x the inflation-adjusted salary, that’s a different scenario, but I don’t know the answer to that question, so I asked.
      reply to this
      GWB|3.3.11 @ 11:23AM|#

      Is our teachers earning?
      reply to this
      Jen|3.3.11 @ 1:27PM|#

      This is true – and that’s something people on both sides of the debate would do well to remember. Here in NJ, Christie reduced funding to schools, and the NJEA is up in arms that he’s screwing over teachers. It never occurred to teachers to ask who decided it would be their salaries to get cut and not the overpaid administrators and other assorted inefficient waste (hint: wasn’t Christie’s decision).
      reply to this
      Daniel|3.3.11 @ 10:37AM|#

      When we are out of money, everyone in the public sector has to accept funding cuts. Just a fact of economics 101.

      However, I do not blame teachers exclusively for poor performance. I see a correlation between performance trends and federal involvement in curriculum. Our education system has been getting worse since the federal DOE was formed right through No Child Left Behind.

      Get the federal government out of elementary education.
      reply to this
      SugarFree|3.3.11 @ 10:37AM|#

      I’d be fine with the teacher’s pay if:

      A) The pensions are either considered deferred compensation or an unfunded pension. One or the other. Arguing back and forth obscures the real amount teachers are being paid. Hint: An unfunded pension is subject to changing pay-outs at the whim of the voters.

      B) The objectively shitty teachers can be fired in a very easy manner. No rubber rooms, no salary-for-life, no endless appeals on paid vacation.

      SLD
      reply to this
      KPres|3.3.11 @ 12:14PM|#

      I’d be fine with teacher pay if we had a private education system, and their pay was determined by market forces.
      reply to this
      SugarFree|3.3.11 @ 1:21PM|#

      Hence my SLD, dude.
      reply to this
      R C Dean|3.3.11 @ 10:38AM|#

      Yet for all that, the best you can say is that we’re spending more than three times as much money as we were 40 years ago for exactly the same outcomes.

      The answer to any complaint about cutting school budgets, whether overhead, capital, administration, or teachers, needs to start with this fact.

      The educational system being overpaid doesn’t necessarily translate into teachers being overpaid.

      Not necessarily, no, but the comparison to private school teachers sure makes it seem so.

      Two things need to happen, I think, in concert. After, of course, we get rid of unions for public school teachers.

      We need to (a) let class sizes increase again, since there is apparently no benefit to educational outcomes from smaller classes, and we can’t afford them, and (b) find the market clearing price for teachers, that is, start cutting salaries until its hard to hire what you want.
      reply to this
      DNS|3.3.11 @ 10:49AM|#

      c)Thin middle management staffing, i.e. Superintendents’ staffs. Some serious chlorine needs to be dumped in that gene pool.
      reply to this
      DesigNate|3.3.11 @ 10:51AM|#

      Amen to that.
      reply to this
      Night Elf Mohawk|3.3.11 @ 11:01AM|#

      find the market clearing price for teachers, that is, start cutting salaries until its hard to hire what you want.

      Just a couple of years ago, before the budget caca hit the fan, there were billboards around here (in Texas) trying to get people with college degrees — any college degree — to start teaching and basically get certified while on the job. I only looked into it superficially, but that seems like at least some evidence that in at least some places it was hard for the school district to hire who they wanted at the then-current salary.
      reply to this
      R C Dean|3.3.11 @ 11:16AM|#

      Odd, no, that non-unionized Texas seems to have found the market-clearing price, while apparently the unionized states have not.
      reply to this
      Night Elf Mohawk|3.3.11 @ 11:20AM|#

      Shocking, indeed. I wonder why that could be the case.
      reply to this
      Vermont Gun Owner|3.3.11 @ 2:33PM|#

      My sister works as a high school math teacher. Last year the voters in her town rejected the proposed budget (multiple times), but approved the previous year’s budget. She kept going on and on about how they were going to have to cut all these things. She never managed a satisfactory answer to my “Why don’t you just spend the amount on things as you did last year?”
      reply to this
      Lisa|3.3.11 @ 3:08PM|#

      The terms budget and spending cut have a different meaning for the public sector than they do for the private sector. Since budget = the money we want, budget cut = not getting as much money as we want. There is no concept of scarcity or reality, for that matter. Money just magically appears if you want it bad enough, like love and hope-filled dreams.
      reply to this
      Brett L|3.3.11 @ 10:39AM|#

      If you don’t have enough money, you have to cut from where the money is. In state government this is Education, Prisons, and Health. Period. Medicaid fights are all over the place, nobody has any good ideas that are viable (standard libertarian disclaimer about being in favor of legalizing possesion and use of drug), so the teachers are going to get hit. Everything else that was easy to cut has been cut in the previous 2 recession years.
      reply to this
      16th_amendment|3.3.11 @ 10:43AM|#

      I’ve been asked why is it that public school teachers make more but the education is typically worse than a private school education. Wouldn’t the good teachers (i.e. the ones at currently teaching at private schools) want to move to public schools where they can earn more doing the same thing?
      reply to this
      wylie|3.3.11 @ 10:49AM|#

      Maybe the ones working at private schools are smart enough to see the eventual derailment of a poorly constructed, highspeed, gravy-train.
      reply to this
      DesigNate|3.3.11 @ 10:50AM|#

      Because the teachers at private schools either love to teach, but don’t want to deal with the bureaucracy that comes with public school, or they are getting a discounted rate for the tuition of their child.
      reply to this
      capitol l|3.3.11 @ 10:50AM|#

      I have heard(anecdotal) that private schools hire people that majored in what they teach, but don’t have education degrees or any special training.

      So you get teachers that are knowledgeable in their field but couldn’t be hired by public schools because they lack certification.

      If anyone knows differently, please chime in as this is just what I have heard.
      reply to this
      Obvious|3.3.11 @ 10:57AM|#

      Private schools can set their own requirements, so many do not require certification and mickey mouse education classes. Rather, they require you to be a maser of the material you are actually teaching, and to perform well. This is true. Some will require state certification, but many will not. That way people who love to teach but hate to sit through those insipid education classes may choose private school.
      reply to this
      Amakudari|3.3.11 @ 10:52AM|#

      This assumes the teachers are the reason private schools are better. What’s more likely is that the variety and competition between those schools allows better systems to survive, and the value added by the teacher is not necessarily better than in a public school.
      reply to this
      Ska|3.3.11 @ 11:07AM|#

      If parents are willing to pay for a private school when they’re already paying for public schools, the parents are demonstrably more interested in their child’s education and most likely their child’s academic performance. If you take your child’s education seriously enough to pay for it twice, you’re going to be involved and making sure you get what you pay for.
      reply to this
      Obvious|3.3.11 @ 11:04AM|#

      Private school environments are typically superior for the teacher than public school environments, because difficult children are typically kept out of (or adequately controlled and disciplined in) private schools. Parents typically support the discipline efforts of the teachers and work better with the teachers, because they have chosen a school that shares a similar philosophy to them. The principal typically supports her teachers better. Teachers in private school have less bureaucratic red tape to handle; fewer i’s to dot and t’s to cross, so to speak. (Though they may have higher reporting demands from the school itself; they don’t have local, state, and federal governments to contend with.)

      Also, there are fewer hurdles to entry in private school – fewer certifications required – so there is a larger pool from which to hire.
      reply to this
      Old Soldier|3.3.11 @ 11:05AM|#

      I attended public High School 1 year and Catholic High School 3 years. The lay Catholic school teachers were almost all devout unapologetic Catholics themselves. That certainly shaped their approach to class discipline and teaching.

      The other big difference was school administration. Expectations were very high and tolerance of misbehavior was non-existent. Problem kids (drugs, violence towards teachers, etc?) were immediately expelled ? no questions.
      reply to this
      Sean Mack|3.3.11 @ 10:48AM|#

      I can’t quite make out the question which that guy asked at .12 – .14. Anyone able to translate from d-bag to English?
      reply to this
      capitol l|3.3.11 @ 10:52AM|#

      Sorry, I went to public schools and am woefully mono-linguistic.
      reply to this
      Ragin Cajun|3.3.11 @ 11:03AM|#

      Whatever it was, it was classy.
      reply to this
      Amakudari|3.3.11 @ 11:22AM|#

      “You a Tea Party guy?”
      reply to this
      Night Elf Mohawk|3.3.11 @ 11:24AM|#

      “Are you a Tea Party guy?”
      reply to this
      MSNBC Reporting|3.3.11 @ 2:18PM|#

      “Yes, I am, you commie shithead” snarled the cameraman.

      “Well, my friend, I don’t particularly care for your viewpoint, but isn’t it great that here in the Land of the Free we can disagree in a polite, civil manner? There’s no need for you to shoot those puppies, sir. You can put that icky gun thingy down, please. Say, will you pull on my finger? It is a bit cramped”
      reply to this
      gungadin|3.3.11 @ 11:01AM|#

      Education Degrees are jokes.Advanced education degrees are even more of a joke.
      reply to this
      P Brooks|3.3.11 @ 11:01AM|#

      The benefits, collective bargaining and job stability are the only thing keeping most teachers from leaving.

      Fuck stability; I don’t owe those lazy bastards employment for life. This is exactly why the job attracts the worst and laziest possible candidates. Young eager beavers who enter the system and discover they are drowning at the bottom of a sea of mediocre deadwood teachers just waiting for retirement will get the fuck out.

      Shitcan the union and their seniority-based work rules and promotions, abolish tenure, and institute merit pay.

      And then start working on productivity enhancements.
      reply to this
      sevo|3.3.11 @ 11:15AM|#

      “The benefits, collective bargaining and job stability are the only thing keeping most teachers from leaving.”

      The pilot who landed in the Hudson was testifying before congress concerning the ‘low pay’ pilots were getting.
      He actually said, with a straight face, ‘It’s getting to the point where pilots are flying because the like the job, rather than the pay’. And nobody laughed.
      As a passenger, *that’s* who I want up there.
      reply to this
      Surly|3.3.11 @ 11:06AM|#

      Surly only looks out for one guy — Surly.
      reply to this
      Mark E|3.3.11 @ 11:11AM|#

      $53k per year isn’t bad for PART TIME work.

      (& before you get all radical about that statement, you should know that my parents were teachers, so I know the truth)
      reply to this
      WTF|3.3.11 @ 12:52PM|#

      I used to be a teacher, and I can confirm that this is the truth.
      reply to this
      excellentspeeler|3.3.11 @ 11:11AM|#

      There are some very good reasons why our current system sucks. I don’t believe that “Teachers are overpaid is one of them.” And by the way, what happened to “we hate class warfare” and “Executives should get whatever bonuses they can.” Doesn’t saying eveyone should get paid equally smack of (oh no) Socialism!!!!

      The system for getting rid of crappy tenured teachers sucks. It needs to be gone.

      The pension system is too high and needs to be changed. But it needs to be changed for the people who aren’t just about to retire.

      Illinois put the number of students per class at 37(!) last year so I have no idea where class sizes are going down.

      From what I have seen, read, heard and even what Scott Walker will tell you, it’s not the salary, it’s the pensions (an unsustainable construct from a bygone era) that are killing the states. This is what needs to be fixed.

      Articles like this are just disingenuous and polarizing.
      reply to this
      Montani Semper Liberi|3.3.11 @ 11:26AM|#

      I guess the distinction between public and private sectors isn’t part of the curriculum at whatever public school you went to.
      reply to this
      Possum Dearie|3.3.11 @ 12:08PM|#

      O/T Please tell me you guys are going to get rid of Manchin.
      reply to this
      Bucky|3.3.11 @ 12:11PM|#

      the thread is about not about “equal pay” but merit pay or market driven pay. public school teacher’s pay and benies are much, much higher compared to private school teachers…
      reply to this
      Jim|3.3.11 @ 11:15AM|#

      I’m sick of the trope that teachers are heroes and they “could be making a lot more money elsewhere” but choose the martyrdom of teaching.

      Bullshit. I work in education (part-time in addition to a real job), and I find that most teachers love the easy life it provides, with no real expectations of work that a real job would demand. They couldn’t make it in the private sector.

      Oh yeah, and working nine months out of the year is not exactly a poor benefit.
      reply to this
      skr|3.3.11 @ 12:12PM|#

      My friend who is the principal and my GF were having a discussion the other day. The discussion was about work and their hours was a major topic. My GF generally works a 45 hour work week. The principal exclaimed, “Oh I could never work those hours.” Really? 45 hours is an inconceivable work schedule?
      reply to this
      SEIU|3.3.11 @ 2:20PM|#

      Absolutely. In fact, we demand that count as double-time. Anything after 25 hours automatically should be overtime. These stressful working conditions cannot be tolerated.
      reply to this
      Vermont Gun Owner|3.3.11 @ 2:38PM|#

      My uncle was a principal too (eventually had to retire due to stress-related heart problems). I always knew him to work a lot longer hours than the teachers.
      reply to this
      Mainer|3.3.11 @ 11:18AM|#

      There was a call in “survey” on MSNBC last night (that beefy guy with the shitty attitude is Ed Shultz, right?)..Anyway the questions was, should taxpayer dollars be used to send rich kids to private schools ? I bring this up, because THAT is the level of understanding out there. (I was tempted to pay the 20 cents to text in my vote that YES as a matter of fact, I DO want to pay for rich kids to go to private school.)
      reply to this
      Brett L|3.3.11 @ 11:19AM|#

      Holy Shit. Iowahawk beats Krugman like a rented mule over relative education performance.
      reply to this
      Ragin Cajun|3.3.11 @ 11:38AM|#

      Perhaps because a state’s “average ACT/SAT” is, for all intents and purposes, a proxy for the percent of white people who live there.

      Inconvenient truth? This actually implies that teachers do nothing.
      reply to this
      R C Dean|3.3.11 @ 11:44AM|#

      Yes, indeed, Mr. Hawk does a fine job of jamming home the point I was trying to make in our discussion of that column a few days ago.
      reply to this
      Amakudari|3.3.11 @ 11:50AM|#

      Turns out The Economist’s claim was bullshit anyway. The big tip-off should be seeing Virginia ranked among the worst in the nation. It has one of the most highly educated populations in the states. Not like anyone would ever accuse them of fact-checking. I ran a quick regression of the scores given by the UMKC prof and the percentage that takes the SAT and got a correlation of 50%. Yeah, you might want to adjust for that.

      Another angle missed is that someone in Maine who takes the SAT (i.e. nearly everyone) is very different than someone in Wisconsin (5-10% by estimates I’ve seen). Comparing everyone in one state versus another’s determinedly college-bound is completely irrelevant. It tells you literally nothing of worth.

      These comparisons are really too stupid.
      reply to this
      Amakudari|3.3.11 @ 11:51AM|#

      Uh, move the last sentence of the first paragraph to the end of the second paragraph.
      reply to this
      SugarFree|3.3.11 @ 11:56AM|#

      I’m sick of your mind games.
      reply to this
      Amakudari|3.3.11 @ 12:00PM|#

      Now read it backwards with a non-rhotic accent.
      reply to this
      Vermont Gun Owner|3.3.11 @ 2:40PM|#

      At what point do we start the Wizard of Oz?
      reply to this
      Brother Wolf|3.3.11 @ 11:29AM|#

      See, I’m totally at odds with both sides of this debate. I would be happy to see teachers make more than they do now if there was a system in place where schools competed for the best teaching talent by offering better pay+benefits. We also need to fire those teachers who have “checked out.”

      1) improving education is critical to our success as a nation

      2) “collective bargaining” is a euphemism for anti-competitive behavior and must be stopped.
      reply to this
      KPres|3.3.11 @ 12:21PM|#

      You’re not at odds with me, so long as when you say “improving education is critical to our success as a nation” you understand that not every function in society requires a lot of formal education, that education is not a “right”, and that spending money to educate people who don’t require it is a waste of resources that’s damaging to society.

      I want educated doctors, engineers, executives, and other white collar occupations. I couldn’t care less about how educated our janitors and waitresses are.
      reply to this
      Brother Wolf|3.3.11 @ 2:06PM|#

      The unfortunate situation is that we desperately need MORE Doctors, Engineers, and talented executives and FEWER unskilled or mis-skilled workers.
      reply to this
      Fluffy|3.3.11 @ 11:53AM|#

      I am going to step out of character for a moment and stick up for teachers. A little.

      The commenter above who said that the per-pupil spending isn’t necessarily going to teachers was correct.

      Remember, these figures include ALL districts. And in many areas a VERY large percentage of the new spending goes towards providing employment for members of minority groups in make-work sinecures in administration and maintenance, and not to teachers.

      Because in urban areas the real function of the school districts is to help prop up a minority middle class. That’s the real issue driving the disconnect between total education spending and results in DC, NYC, Detroit, Newark, et al.

      The function of the spending is not education. It’s job creation.
      reply to this
      reason readin female|3.3.11 @ 12:58PM|#

      Agreed.
      Seattle is getting “schooled” on this as we speak.
      http://seattletimes.nwsource.c…..rd03m.html
      reply to this
      Ray Pew|3.3.11 @ 12:08PM|#

      I am going to step out of character for a moment and stick up for teachers. A little.

      The commenter above who said that the per-pupil spending isn’t necessarily going to teachers was correct.

      Remember, these figures include ALL districts. And in many areas a VERY large percentage of the new spending goes towards providing employment for members of minority groups in make-work sinecures in administration and maintenance, and not to teachers.

      Because in urban areas the real function of the school districts is to help prop up a minority middle class. That’s the real issue driving the disconnect between total education spending and results in DC, NYC, Detroit, Newark, et al.

      The function of the spending is not education. It’s job creation.

      Not to mention facility renovation and expansion, security measures and technological upgrades. At the schools in my area, each class has “smartboards”, which undoubtedly costs a pretty penny. Then there are the constant proposals each year for providing laptops to each student.

      Costs are increasing because there are endless avenues for which to rationalize spending.
      reply to this
      hmm|3.3.11 @ 12:36PM|#

      The whole teacher pay argument is an interesting feedback loop. People are not educated enough to see the fallacies of the arguments made in support of higher teacher pay as a result of never being taught any form of critical thinking or the theories that expose such fallacies.

      This severely retarded email/FB note was passed along last week. Lets see if we can spot the glaring error in economic theory.

      Are you sick of highly paid teachers?

      Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or10 months a year! It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do – babysit!

      We can get that for less than minimum wage.

      That’s right. Let’s give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan– that equals 6 1/2 hours).

      Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day…maybe 30? So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day.

      However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.

      LET’S SEE….

      That’s $585 X 180= $105,300

      per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).

      What about those special

      education teachers and the ones with Master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an

      hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.

      Wait a minute — there’s

      something wrong here! There sure is!

      The average teacher’s salary

      (nation wide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days

      = $277.77/per day/30

      students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student–a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!) WHAT A DEAL!!!!

      Make a teacher smile; repost this to show appreciation for all educators.

      Update: I’m glad that many people have shown their support for teachers by reposting this note, but I am not the original author. I received this as an anonymous chain letter email, and I wanted to share it to support the public workers of Wisconsin.

      If people really think like this and think this carries any intellectual weight, we are all fucked. (I’ve had people who I thought were above drool bib and helmet status defend this or use this as a defense. Maybe I’m a poor judge of retarded.)

      Fuckin’ economies of scale, how do they work?
      reply to this
      robc|3.3.11 @ 12:50PM|#

      Any teacher that thinks like this should start a private school and charge $3 per hour per student.

      Problem solved.
      reply to this
      reason readin female|3.3.11 @ 1:21PM|#

      I keep seeing this inane comparison too.
      It’s not just the fallacious nature of it, it’s the whole idea that teachers are simply babysitters.

      The entire argument is insulting….to teachers.
      reply to this
      Joe Dokes|3.3.11 @ 12:58PM|#

      Lets take at face value the fact that education hasn’t improved despite increases in funding, but let’s look at the facts on the ground as well.

      Since 1970 there has been a tremendous increase in the number of students who speak a language other than English in the home. Doesn’t that make it harder to teach them? Might teachers need more resources simply to continue to attain the same level of educational outcome? For example, at my school the number of students at or below the poverty line increase by 25% yet we were able to maintain the same test scores.

      Since 1970 the number of female headed households has also dramatically increased, teachers are often asked to be de-facto parents. Even though we now see a majority of our students come from broken homes, educational outcomes have remained stable.

      Since 1970 poverty rates for people under 18 have increased substantially, yet again educational outcomes have remained stable. Might that require more resources to educate the children?

      Regards,

      Joe Dokes
      reply to this
      dstonehouse|3.3.11 @ 1:28PM|#

      The average teacher in Alberta, Canada, makes $93,000 a year with an additional $8,000 in benefits. Per student costs are around $7,000. Somebody other than teachers in the U.S. school system is making out like a bandit.
      reply to this
      Doug Love|3.3.11 @ 1:54PM|#
      “If we accept the argument that public school teachers are compensated above market value for their services, then why is it that so many local school districts have such a hard time recruiting new and qualified candidates?”

      Cite missing.

        1. Submit Preview?

        2. Isn’t this your third strike?

  27. Unionized teachers are overpaid because pay is not merit-based. It would be better to underpay teachers than overpay them.

    Schoolmarms weren’t highly paid, but compare 19th century schoolbooks to today’s and decide which kids were better educated.

    My fuller argument is here.

    1. Bankers are overpaid because pay is not merit-based. It would be better to underpay than overpay them.

      Doctors are overpaid because pay is not merit-based. Better underpay them too.
      Corporate managers & executives are overpaid because pay is not merit-based. Start busting them down.
      Engineers are overpaid because we could outsource all engineering to India to get better service at 1/10 the cost.
      Etc, etc.

  28. Would the effect of lower public teacher salaries increase/decrease/not affect the quality of teacher?

    Compensation is set by an employee’s value, not based on what other people are making. If you raise salaries, more people will compete for a job. If you lower it, fewer people will compete for the job. Personally, I want teaching to be a highly competitive field, which it is not.

    1. Chris|3.3.11 @ 3:36PM|#
      “Would the effect of lower public teacher salaries increase/decrease/not affect the quality of teacher?”
      Private schools attract competent teachers at lower pay levels.

      “Compensation is set by an employee’s value, not based on what other people are making.”
      True. Simple way to find out: Cut pay and benes 25% and see if you fill the positions.

      “Personally, I want teaching to be a highly competitive field, which it is not.”
      Cite please.

      1. Private schools are under no obligation to keep any child in their classrooms if that child has a learning disability, behavioral issue, or cannot pay. Thus, lo and behold, private schools have fewer (or no) students with those issues. That makes the classroom environment *much* easier for the teachers employed there. For many teachers, the working conditions in private schools are worth the additional cost (i.e., the lower compensation they must accept vis a vis their public-school counterparts).

  29. The real question is: Are they as well paid as libertarians who suck Koch?

    1. Results 1 – 10 of about 1,350,000 from huffingtonpost.com for “Koch”.

      Results 1 – 10 of about 15,500 from reason.com for “Koch”.

      Try again, mouth-breather.

    2. LOL!

      Oh, wait. You’ve got it backwards, Koch wouldn’t need to pay, they’d PAY Koch.

  30. Wadley Bawko|3.3.11 @ 3:44PM|#
    “The real question is: Are they as well paid as libertarians who suck Koch?”

    The real question is: How long ago did your brains leak out?

  31. Who can really say what a truly good teacher is worth? The vast majority, however, are probably earning as much or more than they are worth. Most of us have some trouble really talking about this since a lot of children are entrusted to their “care.”

  32. If anyone wants to know why costs have gone up so much and why public schools spend more money per pupil and why student teacher ratios are lower in public schools…the answer is simple. The federal government passed a little law concerning civil rights for people with disabilities…a little thing we call special education. (Now known as IDEA). As a result, a huge portion of staffing and funding in education goes to special education. AND guess what, private schools do not have to provide special education. Simple. As. That.

  33. I want to echo all the people who pointed out that administrators, not teachers, are the biggest financial leaches. How many vice principals did your school have when you went there?
    What is the average now?
    Even though I graduated not too long ago (98), I had only 1. As a teacher, most of the schools I know of have at least 4, some 7.

    And no, these schools did not quadruple or septuple their number of students over the last 13 years.

  34. dave, that is a significant but small part of the increased cost.
    so it is not simple as that.
    nice try though.
    one of my best friends is a special ed teacher. his school has 5 SE teachers, including special ed only counselors. the school has about 60 teachers, and almost 30 administrators/office staff.

    dave, you are like the conservatives that think cutting funding to pbs will balance the budget.

  35. It’s the teachers unions that are overpaid.

  36. Having had experience in both public and private schools, I find your comment to be full of $#!^ Public schools take whatever comes through the front doors. Private gets to pick and choose. Public gets to beg parents to participate in their childrens’ education. Private school parents have invested money and don’t want to see this wasted. For this reason, active participation is present. Since when are classrooms growing smaller? At the point that unions are destroyed, look for class size to top 40 a room. At this point, it just becomes crowd control. No teaching, no learning, just crowd control.

    1. Right on Michelle!

    2. Public gets to beg parents to participate in their childrens’ education.

      Hey, the consequences of expecting the government to wipe our asses every day from birth until death. Don’t like it? Tough shit–that’s world we live in now, toots, and it isn’t changing until the whole system comes crashing down.

      At the point that unions are destroyed, look for class size to top 40 a room. At this point, it just becomes crowd control. No teaching, no learning, just crowd control.

      Considering that teachers have essentially admitted that they are irrelevant to whether a child wants to learn or not, perhaps their role in society is not a critical as they believe it to be.

      Not really giving a shit what your opinion is

  37. It’s funny how everyone who has never taught or known a good teacher bitches about teachers:

    1) they don’t do a good enough job
    2) Let’s attract talent to the profession by:

    a) giving them shitty pay,
    b) refusing to honor the contracts we make with them,
    c) requiring them to take expensive “continuing ed” classes out of their own pocket their whole career,
    d) having them teach 35 kids per class 5-7x per day (meaning 150+ kids is likely, thus easily 450 whiny ass stakeholders, at least 1 of which is likely to complain about something every single day)
    e) not funding their classrooms well enough to provide basic tools of the trade
    f) All of the above, and then some.

    LOL @ People who claim to understand markets, yet wonder why it’s hard to attract & retain really good teachers.

    1. You make perfect sense. Another question: Average of schoolteacher pay? Is that from K thru Professors? or what? I feel for these teachers and cannot believe the distain people have for them. It isn’t like the majority are in it for money, position or any thanks. The only satisifaction they get is inner, considering most kids are thoughtless and mean. Most get into the profession because they care and want to make a difference. Good God, why not blast the Criminals in sports that give nothing back to society and are paid outrageous amounts. Leave the people who want to make a difference for others alone.

      1. You make perfect sense.

        Dave-O doesn’t have the sense god gave a common houserat. Seems to have a pretty huge entitlement complex, though.

        I feel for these teachers and cannot believe the distain people have for them. It isn’t like the majority are in it for money, position or any thanks

        Really? Because Dave-O seems pretty hell-bent on having people thank him and his wife for lowering themselves enough to nobly sacrifice their otherwise god-like job skills to teach the children of an otherwise ungrateful society.

        Most get into the profession because they care and want to make a difference.

        And Dave-O has admitted that they ultimately have no impact on whether a child wishes to learn or not–the difference is the parents, not the teachers. Apparently when it comes to accomplishing what they set out to do, they realized too late that they were doomed to fail. No wonder they have a chip on their shoulder the size of Mt. Vesuvius.

  38. a) giving them shitty pay,

    $40K/yr plus another $25-35K in benefits is not shitty pay. It’s not even close to poverty wages. If you can’t live on that, your problems run a lot deeper than dealing with a hundred screaming children.

    b) refusing to honor the contracts we make with them,

    If the private sector–which pays their salaries–is going through a recession, guess what? The public sector should not be immune. Or do you feel that the public sector is a privileged class whose lifestyle should be maintained regardless of fiscal reality?

    c) requiring them to take expensive “continuing ed” classes out of their own pocket their whole career,

    Sounds like the union should be raising hell with the school districts about rampant credentialism, not the taxpayers for having the audacity to be broke during a recession.

    d) having them teach 35 kids per class 5-7x per day (meaning 150+ kids is likely, thus easily 450 whiny ass stakeholders, at least 1 of which is likely to complain about something every single day)

    Actually, it’s the PARENTS that are the stakeholders, considering that it’s their money paying the teachers salary. Again, don’t promote the idea that the government can provide quality services for everyone, regardless of circumstances, and not have the people footing the bill to hold you to account for it. Sounds to me like you want all the privilege and none of the accountability.

    e) not funding their classrooms well enough to provide basic tools of the trade

    See “the Kansas City Schools experiment” A good educational environment doesn’t require smartboards and WiiFit during PE.

    Chalkboards, chalk, books, and paper are not that expensive. High-tech gadgets are. Oddly enough, students managed to be rigorously educated long before Steve Jobs was donating Macs to public schools.

    1. “refusing to honor the contracts we make with them”

      Pardon me, but I thought honoring the LAW – which includes legal contracts – was the cornerstone of your “philosophy”. Contract is a contract, it makes no damn difference if it’s inconvenient or difficult for one party to uphold its obligations.

      “Actually, it’s the PARENTS that are the stakeholders”

      Dumbass: 150 kids, with 2 parents each. Do the math. 150+(150*2). That’s exactly where the 450 came from.

      “Chalkboards, chalk, books, and paper are not that expensive”

      Parents are the ones demanding fancier stuff. And FYI – I taught in an inner city school before, they didn’t even have reliable supplies of chalk, paper, & pencils.

      1. Pardon me, but I thought honoring the LAW – which includes legal contracts – was the cornerstone of your “philosophy”. Contract is a contract, it makes no damn difference if it’s inconvenient or difficult for one party to uphold its obligations.

        Translation: “It makes no difference if the private sector is going through a recession–FUCK YOU IT’S MINE!”

        Dumbass: 150 kids, with 2 parents each. Do the math. 150+(150*2). That’s exactly where the 450 came from

        Dumbass–the kids aren’t paying the teachers or administrators salaries. Your math is irrelevant to the completely stupid point you were trying to make.

        Parents are the ones demanding fancier stuff.

        Oh, the PARENTS are demanding fancier stuff?

        And FYI – I taught in an inner city school before, they didn’t even have reliable supplies of chalk, paper, & pencils

        Considering these are fairly inexpensive items, perhaps the failure is on the school administrators for not exercising a little basic resourcefulness and maybe stocking up on these things out of their own substantial salaries to support their teachers, to say nothing of setting up basic supply accounts that should be STANDARD for any school. I mean, really, even the most dirt poor inner-city school gets enough money per pupil to be able to afford chalk.

  39. ” they are irrelevant to whether a child chooses to learn or not”

    Major logical flaw. The fact that children are humans with their own free will, and therefore cannot be FORCED into learning, does not mean that such refusal to learn by a minority of students is somehow the teachers’ fault.

    An architect can lay out flawless plans & instructions for a skyscraper, but the construction crew can choose to fuck it up. Is the job of “architect” now proven to be “irrelevant”?

  40. Major logical flaw. The fact that children are humans with their own free will, and therefore cannot be FORCED into learning, does not mean that such refusal to learn by a minority of students is somehow the teachers’ fault.

    Which still doesn’t bolster your claim that teachers are a critical component of our society. You’ve admitted that you are nothing more than glorified babysitters–quite honestly, you’ve made some of the best arguments for homeschooling I’ve ever seen.

    You flat-out admit in both your posts that its the PARENTS, not the teachers, who are the critical factor in a child’s education. That it’s the PARENTS, not the teachers, that ultimately determine whether or not their children will be provided with the knowledge they need to survive in the world. Given these things which you have blatantly argued throughout this entire thread, there is no reason to think that a society which values strong, supportive families, in communities with a foundation of strong trust bonds, over an overweening government bureaucracy would have any need of your services whatsoever.

    An architect can lay out flawless plans & instructions for a skyscraper, but the construction crew can choose to fuck it up. Is the job of “architect” now proven to be “irrelevant”?

    Are you serious? Drawing up a lesson plan is a hell of a lot less complicated than drawing up a blueprint for a multi-story skyscraper (really, don’t flatter yourself by equating the two), and your analogy doesn’t even apply since it’s the foreman, not the architect, that’s overseeing the execution of the construction plan day after day. And yeah, if the construction crew fucks it up, it is his fault, not the construction crew’s, because he’s responsible for making sure that everything is built according to the instructions laid out in the blueprint.

  41. Racial composition of the United States // 1960-// 89% white 13% black 3%other -// 2010// 64.8% white 15.1% Hispanic 4.6% Asian 2.6% other

  42. The private sector got gutted years ago.

    Rather than show some solidarity with the not-quite-gutted public sector, they’d rather have watch them get dragged down too.

    It’s understandable. It’s also sad.

  43. Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or10 months a year! It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do – babysit!

    We can get that for less than minimum wage.

    That’s right. Let’s give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan– that equals 6 1/2 hours).

    Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day…maybe 30? So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day.

    However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.

    LET’S SEE….

    That’s $585 X 180 = $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).

    What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.

    Wait a minute — there’s something wrong here! There sure is!

    The average teacher’s salary (nation wide) is $50,000.

    $50,000/180 days = $277.77/per day/30 students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student–a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!) WHAT A DEAL!!!!

    People who say teachers are sucking up tax dollars need to think about expensive ignorance is and then shut up. Teachers need an enormous raise if we want to be in line with other countries. The U.S. is so backward in our attitude that our pay scale for teachers is below 25 other nations. Do your research. In contrast, doctors are at the top and are able to charge whatever they want for their services (or lack thereof). The lack of good outcomes in public schools come from problems children start with before they even arrive at school – divorced parents, lack of food, sleep, limits or guidance because parents are too busy or too out of it to actually take their responsibilities seriously. This could be from there being to many single parent homes, alcohol or drug abuse, or a host of any other possible scenarios. Teachers inherit all the family problems that follow each child to school. If you figure 30% of the kids have significant problems – behavior disorders, learning disabilities, PTST, emotional problems, etc. – (which is a very conservative estimate) then teachers have an average of 8-10 big problem kids to deal with, and that’s PER CLASS. Multiply that times 5 or 6 in junior high and high school and then you’re getting close to what they have to deal with every day. Would YOU take a job like that with everyone constantly complaining about your work?

  44. Wow. Just wow. Directed at both the article and the slew of comments:

    The reason education is often considered a top priority by many is because from Pre-K to 12th grade, you’re setting the base foundation for all other education. You can’t be a doctor or hope to build a skyscraper if you don’t know how to read or how to do basic math. On top of that, schools have also been burdened with more than primary education – social education. Something teachers have always had to deal with to some level, but now it’s working its way into the curriculum in big ways (how to deal with peers, sex ed, LGBT safe areas – I don’t know how widespread that is, but at a local high school they have a classroom/teacher that specifically works with kids that are unsure or troubled about their sexuality. Which isn’t a bad thing that the kids have an adult to talk to, but its something more added to the school system’s priorities)

    You’re also dealing with children. Some – especially as you move into the latter high school years – are fairly balanced and mature FOR THEIR AGE. Some aren’t. If a teacher is doing their best to aim for the set goals taught to them in those education classes, then they are consciously keeping an eye out for child abuse, for bullying, for substance abuse while also controlling the classroom, teaching the subject matter, making sure the class is actually involved and not falling asleep or texting. They also have lesson planning as a whole and (if they’re doing it right) individual lesson planning because kids mental processes do not always blossom at the rate that the curriculum says the average student should be at. Meetings with parents and general staff meetings also must be fit in, plus the annual CPR and whatnot training.

    If you’ll notice, the teacher isn’t just dealing with their subject matter. They can’t do a good job by just focusing on planning and teaching. They also have to work with the parents and kids on a regular basis, which means developing and constantly using social skills in addition to knowing the subject matter fairly well, planning and organizing skills.

    The teachers I’ve seen and worked with generally do work past the 7 or 8 – 4:30 time slot (papers do have to be graded, calls have to be made to made and extra planning has to be done when the schedule is disrupted). And about the summer vacations – there is certainly some actual vacation time, but don’t forget that they also have to coordinate with the principal and attend meetings over the summer period. Not a giant block of time, but it’s not 100% a vacation. So yeah, many teachers are not overpaid.

  45. I thought your statistics seemed a bit odd, but you did have a link I could follow to see your “data sources.” I followed it and realized your “data sources” were your own article. Not very reliable. Perhaps you may want to find the teacher that taught you how to make citations and ask for a refresher.

  46. Whoa…since when did you guys start doing game commentary?

  47. According to the Wall Street Journal, teachers work about the same number of hours as the average U.S. worker: http://americansocietytoday.bl…..rs-as.html

  48. I have no problem with teacher salaries and benefits but what many of us have a hard time with is the union mentality that protects its members regardless of their skill level or performance level.

    If anyone knows they will not be held accountable for their performance they will not perform up to standards.

  49. Teacher

    Bryce McMinn

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