Education

Study Sez: Public School Teachers Aren't Underpaid

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I have no idea who this person is, but she looks quite teacherly, no?

Despite the prevailing belief that public school teachers are underpaid, people who go into teaching actually make more than they would in the private sector, according to a new study from Heritage's Jason Richwine and the American Enterprise Institute's Andrew Biggs.

Handy takeaway finding:

Workers who switch from non-teaching jobs to teaching jobs receive a wage  increase of roughly 9 percent. Teachers who change to non-teaching jobs, on the other hand, see their wages decrease by roughly 3 percent. This is the opposite of what one would expect if teachers were underpaid.

And that's just wages. When you include benefits, the gap is wider:

Public-school teacher salaries are comparable to those paid to similarly skilled private sector workers, but that more generous fringe benefits for public-school teachers, including greater job security, make total compensation 52 percent greater than fair market levels, equivalent to more than $120 billion overcharged to taxpayers each year. [Emphasis added]

Hey look, here's a blog post about one-time payments totaling about $120 billion in federal money going to subsidize teachers' pay and benefits!

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  1. I’m in shock. Seriously, someone call the paramedics. [Falls into a swoon.]

    1. Now MNG assured me that this was not an apples to apples comparison. You mean he mislead me?

      1. Yes, and he misled you, too, John.

    2. Oh, this ought to be good. :::gets popcorn:::

      The teachers should be along shortly to remind us how they’re the only people in the world who work overtime.

      1. Cross eyed teacher cannot control pupils. LOL

        Jess
        http://www.anonz.com

      2. How is it overtime when they have the whole summer off?

    3. Cross eyed teacher cannot control pupils.

  2. Economics expert Matt Damon disagrees: http://youtu.be/WFHJkvEwyhk

    1. Matt Damon

      1. STEVE HOLT!

        1. STEVE SMITH WANT TO RAPE STEVE HOLT FOR STEALING NAME. ALSO BECAUSE HE BREATHS. OR ONCE BREATHED. DOESN’T MATTER TO STEVE SMITH.

  3. On a serious note, “Education Degrees” are incredibly easy to get. People with horrible SAT scores have great GPAs when they graduate. It is as if they are not expected to know as much as a 5th grader to teach a high school class.

    1. Did you see Bill Gates’ editorial in the WSJ regarding teachers. It starts:

      “America’s schoolteachers are some of the most brilliant, driven and highly skilled people working today?exactly the kind of people we want shaping young minds.”

      Bill, buddy, you made a fortune in software, but you sound like a blithering idiot on this whole teacher thing.

      1. That would be Melinda Gates’ influence. She must have womanhood sweeter than Haagen-Daaz for Bill to be totally whipped by her, considering he can buy any woman, man or PleasureBot he wants.

        1. Married in a “I Want Half, Eddie! Half” state, too.

          1. I still feel the pain. And you have to remind me.

        2. She is at charitably an above average looking women. And she snagged the world’ richest man. Yeah she must have some serious skills

          1. My suspicion is that she’s a combination of smart, compassionate, and very very tolerant of Bill’s quirks and insecurities.

            Gates is pretty obviously the quentissential nerd. Which means his social skills likely stink. He didn’t end up filthy rich and single by being a ladies man.

    2. My favorite Ed major story involves my roommate my senior year. He was English major and already had his degree but decided to get his teaching certficate. One of his classes that fall was “Children’s Literature”. The other members of his class were in shock that they had to read over 500 pages of materials for the semester. Some of them dropped the class and the rest of them bitched and moaned. It was all children’s literature. It was 500 pages of Frog and Toad and Dr. Seuss.

      1. I was expecting a revolt against “reading” “Where’s Waldo” at the end. Still, how many words is 500 pages of Frog & Toad?

        1. I regularly read 50-60 page children’s books to my daughter in ten minutes. Maybe less.

          To put it in perspective, I believe Green Eggs and Ham is close to 70 pages.

          1. So would you say that you’re now reading at a third grade level, ProL? Sounds about right when looking at your writing skills.

            1. Down goes Frazier. That was an easy cheap shot. Bravo

              1. Cheap shots are my style, John. In fact, I’d say your spelling is most likely the product of a public school education, am I right?

                1. No it is the product me being a lazy little bastard who refused to try in subjects like spelling and typing that didn’t interest me.

            2. I read them to her in binary.

              1. So you can’t even pass a Turing Test is what you’re saying. Sub-AI indeed.

                1. No Internet! One year!

                  1. Listen ProL, I’m not your creator. That makes you in error.

                    1. I just sterilized your ass. Go ahead, try and procreate.

                      Nomad 2.0, bitch!

          2. My brother memorized a 50-page book, when he was 2 years old. We thought he might actually be reading, but he just memorized the lyrics and associated them with the pictures on each page.

            30 years later, he’s an underemployed musician….

            1. Yet, as a musician, your brother is still getting laid more on average than a “company man”. So.. it all works out in the end.

      2. That is an amazing story.

      3. You’re shitting me, right? That’s got to be a joke. If not, I’ll shit bricks.

        1. It is absolutely true. Yeah we are doomed

          1. My parents insisted that I read at least an adult book a week, in alternating languages, after I turned 8. And I wasn’t what you’d call motivated or hard-working as a child. What the fuck? Did those people get anywhere at all eventually?

            1. Right into a classroom with a cushy pension plan.

            2. Damn. You were a regular Goethe.

              1. I was a lazy little shithead whose parents insisted I do something productive with myself, and looking back, I couldn’t have asked for better parents. Today’s schoolkids think America is a unitary democracy, that magnets attract METAL, that the Constitution is like 100 years old and isn’t even written in English, and that FDR BEST PRESIDENT. It’s going down a fucking pit.

                1. Every generation is invaded by barbarians. They are called children. I was a lazy little bastard too.

                  1. Me too, and my folks clearly saw their duty to civilize me, God bless ’em.

                  2. The difference with us that we got out of it, whether it was through our parents, our sociopolitical environments, or actual self-education/good-quality schooling education. What the fuck do today’s kids know, want to know, and where can they get it?

                  3. I’m stealing this.

            3. My parents had me doing 6th grade math in kindergarten. And my mom would spank my hand with a ruler if I got an answer wrong.

              1. I don’t expect the public school system to teach my kids anything. I plan on tutoring them myself on evenings and weekends. Only, no rulers or hand smacking. That was totally unnecessary.

                1. You just wait!

                2. Some people pay to get spanked.

      4. That is not at all surprising. I remember my public school teachers.

        1. The intrinsically paternalistic paternalism of the intrinsically intrinsic Tea Party makes the problematic problems of our day concerning the discriminatory discrimination faced by publicly employed public teachers and the unjustifiably unjust levels of pay they receive are just complete in how completely unjustifiable they are.

        2. I may have told this story before, because I love this story: when I was in second grade, my idiot teacher was trying to teach us about fractions and was showing how if you cut a square in half, you get two identical halves, etc. She said that you couldn’t divide a circle in thirds. I knew that was wrong but was too scared to correct her until I went home and checked with my parents. Yup, I was right. I went in to school the next day so excited that the whole class would be better informed because of me! Maybe they’d need to cut a circle in thirds some day! The teacher totally blew me off and didn’t correct herself in front of the class. She then devised a lesson plan about “duckies and bunnies” because it was springtime. I think she was the first person I truly hated.

          1. My kindergarten teacher told us that if you buried your dead pets in your hard, vultures would come and dig them up. I stood guard over little Panthro’s grave for weeks.

            1. So you were a friend to and awesome namer of kitties at an early age.

              1. I think I did name Panthro, come to think of it. It sure did suck watching him die while his momma was out killing things.

            2. Panthro huh? Not Chetara or Liono? What about Snarf? Warty…no words.

              Thudercats HO!!!!!

            3. Panthro is a really odd name for an alligator.

          2. I had a similar experience. My teacher said Pluto was the furthest planet from the sun. I wasn’t afraid and corrected her saying when orbits right sometimes Neptune is the furthest. It resulted in an angry parent teacher conference about my being disruptive

            1. I corrected a science teacher on this one, too (back then, Neptune was furthest). Read the correct version in some book I read on my own.

              1. Maybe having an early confirmation that the authorities don’t always know best sows the seeds for future libertarianism. Still not a good enough reason to subject your kids to public school if you don’t have to, but it’s something.

            2. You should have told her to suck your dumbass-hating dick, right in front of the parents, too.

              Of course, that only happens in movies, but it still would have been awesome.

            3. Not me, but it happened to a friend of mine: he was being given an early-childhood intelligence test at some school, and part of it consisted of being shown shapes and asked what they were. When he answered a question “sphere” instead of “ball”, they marked him wrong for it. He grew up into an intelligent and difficult guy too…

            4. Ha, same thing here. I was asked which planet was furthest form the sun. In order to provide a correct answer, I asked which year? The bitch had no idea Neptune and Pluto swapped that distinction and called my mom in for a parent teacher conference. My mom also had no idea that it was sometimes one, sometimes the other. As a reward for knowing more about the subject than the adults, I got to move my desk to the front of the class next to the teacher’s desk, so she could keep an eye on me, for the rest of the year.

              1. I can live with the teachers not knowing this. It’s when they’re willfully ignorant and refuse to check to see if maybe they’re wrong that irks me.

                On the flip side, I corrected a teacher in most pedantic form when he said the speed of light was approximately 186,000 miles/second. I told him it was closer to 186,282 miles/second. He took a quick look at something and announced to the class that I was right. What I loved is that he acted like it was right for me to correct this miniscule and practically nonexistent error.

            5. Wait. Pluto is not the furthest planet from the sun? Who knew? Maybe that is why it was recently demoted from planethood.

              1. Pluto is not even a planet anyway.

              2. Not anymore. Most of the time, it is the furthest. It switched back to furthest in 1999, I think.

            6. I guess you were all too busy gleefully correcting your teachers to learn the difference between ‘further’ and ‘farther’?

          3. Kind of in the same vein, I recall my third grade teacher asking the class, what do magnets attract…and I’m thinking “ferrous metals”, magnets don’t work on, say, brass, which I’d already tested on the door knobs in our old house. And she said…metal. It sticks in my mind, because I knew that answer was wrong, or at least incomplete. The teacher was wrong about a fundamental fact about magnets.

            1. Finally I come to a book that says, “Mathematics is used in science in many ways. We will give you an example from astronomy, which is the science of stars.” I turn the page, and it says, “Red stars have a temperature of four thousand degrees, yellow stars have a temperature of five thousand degrees . . .” — so far, so good. It continues: “Green stars have a temperature of seven thousand degrees, blue stars have a temperature of ten thousand degrees, and violet stars have a temperature of . . . (some big number).” There are no green or violet stars, but the figures for the others are roughly correct. It’s vaguely right — but already, trouble! That’s the way everything was: Everything was written by somebody who didn’t know what the hell he was talking about, so it was a little bit wrong, always! And how we are going to teach well by using books written by people who don’t quite understand what they’re talking about, I cannot understand. I don’t know why, but the books are lousy; UNIVERSALLY LOUSY!

              Anyway, I’m happy with this book, because it’s the first example of applying arithmetic to science. I’m a bit unhappy when I read about the stars’ temperatures, but I’m not very unhappy because it’s more or less right — it’s just an example of error. Then comes the list of problems. It says, “John and his father go out to look at the stars. John sees two blue stars and a red star. His father sees a green star, a violet star, and two yellow stars. What is the total temperature of the stars seen by John and his father?” — and I would explode in horror.

              1. Feynman on school textbooks, right?

                In some places (like, ahem, Texas) the situation is even worse. And because we buy statewide, we drive the market, bitches! Publishers pander to our ignorance and unwillingness to leave the 19th century!

              2. But just below the surface of the earth is MILLIONS OF DEGREES! It comes out orange.

          4. I have a similar story. Except it happened in 6th grade and was concerned whether materials expanded or contracted when they got colder. The teacher claimed everything contracted with they got colder – I asked about water, which is of course the exception to the rule.

            1. Water does contract when it gets colder, but it does have the odd property of expanding when changing phase from liquid to solid.

              1. No, water reaches its highest density at 4C which is before it freezes, after that it begins to expand again.

          5. What the hell do have against ducks and bunnies?

          6. I had to point out to my 1st semester torts teacher that there is a difference between lying and being wrong.

            1. ^^This! muthafukkas!

          7. My first grade teacher told us that the Pacific ocean is fresh water. I said, “but how could that be, with all the oceans connected?” She had no answer. But then all my teachers hated me for correcting them, and talking in class, and being a smartass in general. My mom went to a lot of parent-teacher conferences.

            1. It’s a vague memory. But in my Junior year of high school, I made a substitute teacher in my English literature class break down and run crying from the room, to the Principal’s Office. I made some snarky comment about Thomas Hardy, and this broad just lost it. I wasn’t even trying to be a dick. Teachers are wacky.

            2. I had a teacher tell me that a sample of radioactive material will decay forever because the number of atoms can always be divided in half, as if you can have a 1/2 atom, 1/4 atom. Obviously by basic quantum mechanics it cannot decay after the last single atom decays.

              Another teacher told me that hot in hot chocolate is an adjective. If it was an adjective it would mean a hot melting chocolate bar and not a drink. It is a single compound word.

      5. There’s no Cliff Notes or movie versions of Frog and Toad

        1. Well, there’s always Moose and Squirrel.

      6. Teachers sure like to make a big deal of themselves, but they are like any other group. A few real standouts (I still use what my 7th grade English teacher taught me), a few losers at the other end, and a whole bunch of average folks in the middle.

        1. But they’re all drawn from a very average lot to begin with.

          1. Yup. Education is the degree that almost all other majors look down on, even the non-STEM disciplines. It may be a more useful degree than say, art history, but it sure as hell isn’t as rigorous.

            1. The best teachers do tend to be those who didn’t major in education, but went into it later after actually doing something. The best science and math teacher I had in high school had been a nuclear engineer in the Navy.

              1. That would be an interesting idea for a private/charter school: only hiring teachers who were not education majors, but had done something interesting or useful before deciding to go into teaching.

                1. most of my private school teachers were not from the “school teacher” track, nor did they have education degrees. a few had doctorates in REAL shit, but education degrees were rare.

                  my science teacher really KNEW science. i mean, really. she was on it. senior year i went to public high (i figured i was moving to socal, so what the heck?)

                  the difference in quality was obvious. what was more obvious was the difference in bureaucracy at the public school

                  granted, my public school DID let me get credit in science for writing my own word processor. granted, it was in applesoft and it sucked, but still

              2. Totally agree. When I was 17 I switched to some kind of vocational school where you could choose to specialize in one subject, e.g. engineerinf, biotechnology or IT.
                Our physics teacher had a PhD in Physics, our teacher in digital design worked ten years for EADS designing circuits for war heads. Our software engineering teacher was about five years at NASA, etc.

                It was such a relief to get away from teachers who never had any experience outside from school and university.

        2. I agree.

          I went to public school in inner-city Chicago. I dropped out of high school in the 9th grade. I graduated college with honors.

          If you are interested and want to learn, you can learn, with or without a teacher. Some of my teachers were pretty good and some were pretty bad, but my academic success was not their responsibility. Private school teachers are no better.

          1. This is an important point. Kids who want to learn and do things will do well. Those who don’t won’t, no matter how good the schools are. And there are people like Wayne who do better without normal schooling. A big problem in public schools is that they have to waste so much time on people who don’t want to be there, to the detriment of people who might actually benefit from being there.

            1. Yep. When I was in high school, my mom was going to Ball State night classes. I used to go with her to campus and post up in the library. I read so many books and journals (and Progressive magazine!) in that library. I think I doubled what I could have learned in my public high school by going to that library. Even today, I am a sucker for a nice academic/college library.

      7. I can’t blame them, I’m starting to get sick of “Mush!”, aka “Goodnight Moon”.

    3. You are wrong. We are smart. And we work hard. Children are our future. Hope and change. I recycle. Besides. If I did not teach. Then I would do air traffic control. So there.

  4. No, everyone else is underpaid!!!

    On a serious note, my second grade teacher used to mock the other teachers’ enlightening lessons in warming up the crayons.

  5. public sector employees are generally better educated vs private & therefore should earn moar$.

    1. Ladies and gentlemen, members of our community, citizens of the United States of America, and peoples of all other nations: behold the depth of human stupidity! Witness, my friends, the achievement of a lifetime! Ohio Orrin has gone completely, absolutely, utterly, uncontrollably apeshit mother-fucking insane. You should be declared a national treasure and frozen in carbonite for all time.

      1. if the statement was reversed, asshats like res would have no problems w it.

        1. for some reason i can’t understand res has a grip on reality unlike me

    2. Then they should have no trouble going out into the job market and doing just that. Nobody forced them to become public employees.

      1. Hate to join in the response to a troll, but…

        The whole, “I could make more in the private sector” argument just pisses me off. They’re sacrificing, don’t you see, by their public service. So it’s not about the money. That’s why they need more money or a really generous guaranteed pension.

        Hey, teacher, cop, fireman, city administrator, if you can get a better job, fucking go get it.

        1. I know a public school teacher who went private sector (not teaching). He got his ass beat by the market and went whimpering back to school. Now he’s trying to go administration because he’s tired of dealing with kids.

        2. i readily admit (as a cop) i get paid well, get great benefits and i love my job. could i be making more? well, almost everybody else in my family does (systems analyst, attorney, doctors, etc.) but i know that very few LOVE their job and not that many really like it

          i LIKE my job. the benefits are great, and i am glad my family has that kind of security.

          i would never claim cops are underpaid. at least where i work, we are paid quite well. i have complaints about a LOT of stuff, but not the pay/benefits.

    3. By “generally” you mean?

    4. Re: Double Asshole,

      public sector employees are generally better educated vs private & therefore should earn moar$.

      Which tells me that the moo-cow cannot be a public sector employee if such were the case: He can’t write coherent sentences.

    5. Meaning they all got degrees in Unmarketable Skill and then used their connections to score a cushy government job.

      So they deserve to make more money.

    6. Why should people who spent more time in college earn more than those didn’t? Who decides this? is there some law of the universe being violated if an uneducated person earns more than an educated one? Please explain.

    7. Also, the value of something should be determined by the amount of labor that went into it.

  6. It’s great that billions in taxes are being spent on paying people that work in unavoidable, governmentally mandated and protected institutions that have been sucking since their inception. Hooray for progressive thought, and so much for our freeman’s republic.

  7. I say we need Ron Swanson to be in charge of educating our kids. Anyone see that episode of Parks and Rec where he’s assigned to be interviewed by a little girl about “why government matters”? At the end of the episode she simply writes on her paper, “It doesn’t.”

    1. Nice. I’ve not watched P&R, but I might have to now…

  8. Workers who switch from non-teaching jobs to teaching jobs receive a wage increase of roughly 9 percent. Teachers who change to non-teaching jobs, on the other hand, see their wages decrease by roughly 3 percent. This is the opposite of what one would expect if teachers were underpaid.

    But they are underpaid because Matt Damon’s mommy is a teacher and she told little Matt that she was underpaid, and mommy wouldn’t lie about that, would she???

  9. (whew) Thank God that study shows they’re underpaid! And here I was terrified a study from the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation was going to go against the truths they know to be true.

    As always, with some notable exceptions, those two fine institutions, chockful of super non-partisan supergeniuses, know exactly what they’re talking about.

    1. Do you ignore these studies when their conclusions agree with your preconceptions too?

      ’cause otherwise that looks like a lot of hot air.

      Show me someone who doesn’t have a preconceived bias or opinion, and I’ll show you someone with a severe learning disability.

      If you have some data to conflict with the study, I’m sure we’d all love to see it. But just attacking the source? That looks like surrender.

      1. It’s not that the data is wrong, it’s that it’s cherry-picked. Think really hard.

        1. Please give us a value for “you can’t fire me”.

        2. Oh! Cherry picking! …and you think who the study’s coming from proves that they’re doing that here?

          Why?

          Something tells me it doesn’t take a whole lot of cherry picking to show that unionized, public employee teachers are getting overpaid–relative to the rest of the workforce.

          …especially when you factor in the benefits.

          …especially when you factor in that their pay isn’t a function of how well they do their job.

          If you got somethin’ to show otherwise, I’d love to see it–even if it’s coming NEA.

          “The NEA changed the language of its resolution on teacher pay. Before the conference, Resolution F-10 began with a sentence saying that the NEA “is opposed to the use of merit pay or performance pay compensation systems.” The new version of the resolution, which passed with no floor debate, begins by saying that “The National Education Association believes that the single salary schedule is the most transparent and equitable system for compensating education employees.”

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..92557.html

          How hard was that? See, I can even quote the goddamn teachers’ union–because I don’t pretend the source automatically disqualifies the data.

          P.S. Even the teacher’s union is ashamed of opposing merit pay!

        3. It’s not that the data is wrong, it’s that it’s cherry-picked. Think really hard.

          I’m happy to agree that it’s cherry picked if you demonstrate with examples, but even morons can say, “You’ll agree with me if you think really hard.”

    2. “As always, with some notable exceptions, those two fine institutions, chockful of super non-partisan supergeniuses, know exactly what they’re talking about.”

      OK, here’s a simple test:
      Cut pay 10% and see if there are still more applicants than jobs.
      Iterate.

  10. Ain’t bad pay for part time work

  11. I’m kinda used to getting paid for performance. Actually, I’ve left jobs before because they didn’t want to pay me for performance…

    Anyway, point is that it’s not just that public school teachers are overpaid. It’s that they’re overpaid–and their pay generally isn’t tied to performance.

    They get paid whether their students graduate as dumbasses or not.

    Most of the rest of the world doesn’t operate that way. If you don’t do a good job, you get unemployed or your customers bail on you.

    If public school teachers don’t have to deal with that reality, that’s one hell of a perk.

  12. I would like to add my 2.75 pesetas to the above conversation about correcting teachers. It was a fucking varsity sport for me. I did it so often that i was quite despised by teachers and students…when I got big this posed a problem for the bullys but hey so what. I was told things about Geology that were mere fantasy, I was instructed in why some of the economic questions i was asking were wrong because of the source of the question, I was even told verbatim “I am right because I am the teacher!”

    I did have a few shining lights, my physics teacher was a certifiable genius (had something to do with invention of a better microwave or something, he owned around 12 motocycles and taught auto mechanics to the seniors too) and I had a gemoetry teacher who understood how to make me understand mathematical concepts. Other than that it was turtles all the way down.

    1. I’d spent many, many years in public schools witnessing teachers be wrong (and correcting them), but it wasn’t until my 10th grade English teacher revealed the general range of his SAT scores that I really thought…holy shit, who are these people who are wasting six hours of my day?

      I had, as “gifted” students sometimes do, taken the SATs years earlier, and had done better when I was 12 years old, in 7th grade, than this guy had who was teaching me. I was so troubled I actually mentioned it to my parents, who mumbled something about how he’d had more time to learn stuff, even if he wasn’t “smarter.” Haha.

      1. imo, teachers of any subject should just simply have to demonstrate proficiency IN the subject.

        hey, i took the physics, math, and verbal achievement tests to get INTO college (as well as SAT’s).

        if somebody is going to teach physics, shouldn’t they … wait for it… UNDERSTAND physics?

        this seems pretty basic.

        granted, understanding something does NOT make you a good teacher.

        just like doing something well does not mean you can’t teach it.

        when it comes to academics, though, it is necessary, but not sufficient to understand a subject before you can teach it well

        in the field of strength training, and especially coaching, i can say that it is NOT generally required to be good at a particular sport to teach it. and many who are good are awful teachers, and don’t even understand why they are good.

        Olympic lifting is a great example. sprinting is another.

        fwiw, i was very good at teaching the butterfly stroke as a swim instructor, but i was an AWFUL butterfly stroker.

        but when it comes to academics like physics, math, etc. you MUST understand the intricacies to teach it. it’s not like sports where understanding and doing it well are different

      2. I took a grad-level psychometric course back when. This particular section was half full of psych majors like me, and half full of education grad students. The psych guys didn’t impress me that much, but the education students struggled mightily in the course, because in order to calculate something like Pearson’s R by hand … you have to be able to add a column of numbers, and subtract.

        The example data was generally only 2 or maybe 3 digit numbers. That was too difficult for education students to add.

  13. I will just note that Mrs. Almanian (Biologist by edumacation, teacher by “why not?”) has been subbing forEVER (won’t get Masters, so can’t get hired FT), and loves to regale me with Stories From the Teachers’ Lounge/Lunchroom.

    Mrs. A is somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun in her worldview, but even accounting for that, Teh Stoopid generated by the vast majority of her cohorts regarding pretty much any subject is truly astounding.

    I had some good teachers growing up and in college. I even married one. But as a “group”, esp as a unionized, collectivist douche patrol? Fuck teachers.

    1. She should write them all down and sell a book called “This is Why Your Kids are Fucked.”

  14. California just came in 51st out of 50 states in the NEAP test of reading and writing. California education officials blamed budget cuts, of course, but were mum on where they rank on per-pupil spending.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/education/ci_19241936

    California schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson gave a more nuanced reaction. “Asked to do more with less, students, teachers, school employees and administrators have delivered. Imagine how much more they could accomplish,” he said in a prepared statement, “with the resources they deserve.”

    1. “Imagine how much more they could accomplish,” he said in a prepared statement, “with the resources they deserve.”
      Oh, a bit to a lot worse.

    2. I’m not a fan of throwing money at problems, but if that’s what they gotta do, why is it that throwing money at the problem always means throwing money to the teachers?

      If they want to throw money at the problem, why not throw it directly to the students and their parents by way of vouchers?

    3. “Imagine how much more they could accomplish,” he said in a prepared statement, “with the resources they deserve.”

      I don’t see how boiling tar and feathers are going to improve their teaching capabilities

  15. It’s not that teachers are poorly paid, it’s that they have secretarial-class skill levels, rather than professional class ones.

    They’re getting paid above average for typical office staff, which is the comparable position. They just aren’t getting paid as much as engineers or unionized auto workers.

  16. Mainer|11.1.11 @ 4:47PM|#
    “Did you see Bill Gates’ editorial in the WSJ regarding teachers. It starts:
    “America’s schoolteachers are some of the most brilliant, driven and highly skilled people working today?exactly the kind of people we want shaping young minds.””

    That article was an obvious PR statement for the foundation; it’s an odds-on bet that nether of the Gates even glanced at it.
    What it did do is stick a toe under the tent; it proposes to establish metrics for teachers’ performance. And it did so while praising teachers.
    We’ll see how far that stratagem goes before someone in the union blows the whistle.

  17. The question of public teacher pay is sort of like asking what color to paint the door to Guantanamo Bay prison.

    1. Disagreed.
      The problem is that it is currently set at some fantasy about what is “fair”.
      It could easily be set at market-clearing price; just cut pay until no one applies.

  18. There are good teachers and there are bad teachers. It is important to recognize that some teachers are smart, well-informed, hard-working, and take pride in educating their students. So, with that covered, the slime-bucket, parasitic, wastoid buckets of failure that are the teacher’s unions and the government-run school system are the two biggest pieces in the American education problem.

  19. But what about all of the hours teachers put in, that they don’t get paid for? They’re not being compensated for the hours they spend banging their students each week.

  20. Bill Gates’ mother was a school teacher.

    1. When Bill Gates’ mother was deciding what to do with her life?

      Women basically had four options available to them: nurse, secretary, teacher, housewife.

      If Bill Gates’ mom would have chosen teacher even if doctor, executive, professor or breadwinner had been realistic options for most women back then?

      Then bully for her!

      But as the options for women expanded dramatically and the teaching profession lost its captive workforce, it’s no wonder if the quality of teachers in public schools…

      1. Coco Chanel, Ayn Rand, and millions of other women in history disagree with you.

      2. Bill Gates’ Support For Teachers = Matt Damon’s Support For Teachers
        =(“I love my mommie. She’s the prettiest, bestest mommie ever!!!”)

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