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Are Teachers Really 'Not Paid for the Work [They] Do'? Time Says Yes, Reality Begs To Differ

Actually, the average salary for public-school teachers is close to the median income for U.S. households.

TimeTime

This story has been updated. Scroll to the bottom for more information.

Time magazine has a big new story out that purports to show just how little public-school teachers make. "'I Work 3 Jobs And Donate Blood Plasma to Pay the Bills.' This Is What It's Like to Be a Teacher in America" telegraphs its message in its headline.

The opening anecdote tells the story of a struggling veteran teacher reduced to selling blood plasma to make ends meet.

Hope Brown can make $60 donating plasma from her blood cells twice in one week, and a little more if she sells some of her clothes at a consignment store. It's usually just enough to cover an electric bill or a car payment. This financial juggling is now a part of her everyday life—something she never expected almost two decades ago when she earned a master's degree in secondary education and became a high school history teacher. Brown often works from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. at her school in Versailles, Ky., then goes to a second job manning the metal detectors and wrangling rowdy guests at Lexington's Rupp Arena. With her husband, she also runs a historical tour company for extra money.

"I truly love teaching," says the 52-year-old. "But we are not paid for the work that we do."

The polite term for this sort of journalism is b.s.

It may well be true that Brown's personal situation is as dire as Time makes out (I've reached out to her but haven't heard back), but things are surely more complicated than they are presented. After reading the article, I spoke with Scott Hawkins, the superintendent of the Woodford County public school district, where Brown works. He underscored that he could not talk about her particular situation but noted that a high-school teacher with a master's degree and 20 years experience would make $56,616 in salary. In a graphic and cover image for the story, Time says Brown has "16 years experience."

According to the salary schedule at the Woodford County schools website, that means Brown would make $55,645 in base pay (Hawkins explained that a teacher with a master's would be considered Rank II in the "certified salary schedule"). That doesn't include compensation in the form of health insurance and retirement contributions. Hawkins said he could not guesstimate how much the benefits were worth as percentage of salary, but Lisa Snell, director of education research at Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes this website, tells me that "on average in the United States you could add 23.2 percent to any average salary for all benefits for total compensation."

Time's story is built around the latest entry in a series of reports from the progressive Economic Policy Institute on what Sylvia Allegretto and Lawrence Mishel call "the teacher pay penalty" or "the percent by which public school teachers are paid less than comparable workers." They write,

Providing teachers with a decent middle-class living commensurate with other professionals with similar education is not simply a matter of fairness. Effective teachers are the most important school-based determinant of student educational performance....relative teacher pay—teacher pay compared with the pay of other career opportunities for potential and current teachers—has been eroding for over a half a century.

You can read the study here. Allegretto and Mishel argue that teacher demonstrations and shortages around the country are driven by the fact that educators in K-12 public schools are making less money compared to other college graduates and "professionals" over the past several decades. "The teacher wage penalty was 1.8 percent in 1994, grew to 4.3 percent in 1996, and reached a record 18.7 percent in 2017," they write. According to their analysis, the "penalty" shrinks to 11.1 percent when you add in total compensation.

Their agenda is straightforward: They think teachers should be paid more, both in absolute terms and relative to other workers with college degrees or professional status. They have amassed a number of statistics from credible sources which show that inflation-adjusted teacher wages have in fact been flat for about the past 20 years.

I don't agree with Allegretto and Mishel that average teacher pay should be increased and I don't buy into their framework of a teacher "pay penalty." But that's besides the point that the Time story constitutes something akin to journalistic malpractice by suggesting that teachers such as Brown, who are pulling down salaries in the mid-50s, are being forced to sell bodily fluids to make ends meet. Indeed, according to Time's sister publication, Money, the median household income in Kentucky is $45,215, meaning that Brown is making about $10,000 more than half of all other households in the Bluegrass State.

And in fact, teachers are doing well compared to households on the national level, too. The median household income in the United States is $61,372. According to the largest teachers union, the National Education Association (NEA),

The U.S. average public school teacher salary for 2016–17 was $59,660. State average teacher salaries ranged from those in New York ($81,902), California ($79,128), and Massachusetts ($78,100) at the high end, to Mississippi ($42,925), Oklahoma ($45,292) and West Virginia ($45,555) at the low end.

There are all sorts of issues and reforms of the public K-12 system that are worth talking about (go here for a start). That conversation would best be served by solid reporting of basic facts.

Update (Sunday, September 16): Sometime after its initial publication, Time revised the opening anecdote about Hope Brown that I quote above to indicate her salary. It now explicitly quotes her salary (emhasis added):

...Brown often works from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. at her school in Versailles, Ky., then goes to a second job manning the metal detectors and wrangling rowdy guests at Lexington's Rupp Arena to supplement her $55,000 annual salary. With her husband, she also runs a historical tour company for extra money.

"I truly love teaching," says the 52-year-old. "But we are not paid for the work that we do."

Photo Credit: SOCIAL MEDIA/REUTERS/Newscom

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  • Cathy L||

    The idea that public school teachers are "comparable" to other "professionals" with a similar level of education is a joke. Aside from the fact that much teacher "education" is already lower-quality and easier than what actual professionals experience, it ignores the fact that teachers are often among the least intelligent college graduates. (I mean, have the authors of the study ever met a public school teacher?7

    Well, it would be a joke if children weren't imprisoned with these people for so much of their time.

  • Trainer||

    I worked as a classroom aide in a Montessori school while I was in college. I was poli sci major among a bunch of elementary ed majors Their lack of knowledge was astounding. I remember watching a film strip about insects but it had no script and when we got to the monarch butterfly eggs, I said they were monarch butterfly eggs after the two other aides couldn't figure out what they were. They didn't even think they were insect eggs. The nest photo was a monarch caterpillar and they couldn't figure out who I would know it was a monarch caterpillar. They didn't believe me until we got to the photo of the monarch butterfly.

    When we got to the chrysalis photo and I said it was a chrysalis they had never heard that word. I was simply amazed that these young women who were going to be teaching basic science to kids didn't know what a chrysalis was. I was naive though and didn't realize that their classes consisted of teaching how to margaritas and doing positive reinforcement charts.

  • Longtobefree||

    All they have to know is to tell the kiddies over and over and over that the democrats are the good guys, and everybody else is a mean old bigot.
    How hard can it be?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Public school teachers should not be imparting that message to students, although it largely is accurate.

    Carry on, clingers.

    So far as your betters permit, anyway.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Meh, tell my bro he has to stop letting you make a living off his biography, Rev. You've gone too far off the path.

  • Jack Klompus Magic Ink||

    Buy a gun and shoot yourself in the face.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Now, now. He has a sermon to write for Sunday, and church elders are sniffing around his relationship to his secretary, the IRS is threatening an audit, and his piles hurt. He has enough problems.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Arty, it's cute when someone, such as yourself, that I can easily outhink, or physically snap in half without breaking a sweat, proclaims himself my better.

    Do go on.

  • Cathy L||

    Sounds right to me after attending public schools.

  • pro bonobo||

    My son was in a combined 1st and 2nd grade class for his first year, and it was when Jurassic Park was the rage. When it became available for rental, I watched it first, figuring out the spots where I might have to go parental with the FF button (it was cool... when the two Velociraptors burst into the kitchen I said "It's Burt and Ernie" which dulled the terror enough for him to maintain a modicum of cool)/

    In the movie, the two kids are introduced to meatasaurs and vegisaurs for carnivores and herbivores but we introduced a 3rd category to our boy... omnivores, which is what pan sapiens sapiens are. We eat everything.

    One subsequent day, his teacher was going over herbivores and carnivores and asked the class what people were... our son said "We're omivores, we eat everything!" and the teacher had to look it up in the dictionary.

  • pro bonobo||

    My son was in a combined 1st and 2nd grade class for his first year, and it was when Jurassic Park was the rage. When it became available for rental, I watched it first, figuring out the spots where I might have to go parental with the FF button (it was cool... when the two Velociraptors burst into the kitchen I said "It's Burt and Ernie" which dulled the terror enough for him to maintain a modicum of cool)/

    In the movie, the two kids are introduced to meatasaurs and vegisaurs for carnivores and herbivores but we introduced a 3rd category to our boy... omnivores, which is what pan sapiens sapiens are. We eat everything.

    One subsequent day, his teacher was going over herbivores and carnivores and asked the class what people were... our son said "We're omivores, we eat everything!" and the teacher had to look it up in the dictionary.

  • Sevo||

    OK, perfectly timed!
    You got the biggest laugh of the morning.

  • operagost||

    Bert and Ernie... that is pretty sharp.

  • Chasman1965||

    This was at a private school. Montessori schools are not public schools. It's a crackpot model of education, IMHO.

  • Trainer||

    They were classroom aides getting their degrees in elementary ed so they could get jobs in the public schools. They had no intention of being Montessori teachers which would require that you learn more than just teach other adults how to made margaritas to get a grade.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The thing is, it's all very well to say (as many politicians have) that we should have out 'Best and Brightest' teaching our children, but the Best and Brightest frequently have other things they want to do. Things that DON'T involve being trapped in a room with a couple of dozen half-civilized house-apes.

  • David Nolan||

    it ignores the fact that teachers are often among the least intelligent college graduates.

    BINGO! You also have college students switching to Education majors, because they can't handle their original major.

    Back when I was a schools activist, tax revolt, school board slate, etc. one of my best friends taught Algebra. He always STRESSED that he was a Math major, not an Education major, which I figured was snobbery, until I got on school board and mingled with a few dozen teachers, An Education degree is ridiculed, even among teachers (without one)

    A few decades back, my employer sent rme to work in Manitoba. The province's requirements for a certificate to teach in high school were ... having earned a B or better in the course you want to teach, and 2 years ENTIRELY on TEACHING skills, "child" psychology, etc, . Yout bring the subject matter, we'll show you how to teach it and how to deal with kids, Their schools were a hair above the Canadian average.

  • Chasman1965||

    And the people who can't handle education classes become communications or journalism majors.

  • OGREtheTroll||

    And of course those of us who would like to teach but who pursued actual degrees and graduate degrees are not permitted to teach because we don't have the all important education degree.

  • David Nolan||

    I've been away from it for a while, but I believe that varies by state. My Algebra friend was the opposite. I assume you'd like to teach in your major. I just checked two states and they both say "alternative education" which I assume means SOME courses on teaching. Like the difference between a Major and a Minor. And this can be another case where teacher unions wield invisible power.

  • Zeb||

    You don't need an education degree to teach. You usually do need some kind of certification.

    The best teachers I had in HS had other careers before they taught and were definitely not education majors.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I have no formal training in education, but have a high degree of altitude and proficiency in mathematics. I often tutor friend's school age children in math. Typically I can adequately explain a concept in 5-10 minutes that their teacher could not in an entire hour.

    It is amazing to me that so many math teachers can't teach math for shit. And all I really do is explain the core concept and why the particular operations work the way they do. Most kids do fine with that.

  • Chasman1965||

    Not in Florida. Anybody with a bachelor's degree who can pass a test on general knowledge and subject knowledge can teach in FL schools with a temporary certificate. They will have to take classes over the next three years to get a permanent certificate. It's not a surprise, but most of them don't last in the classroom for three years. The hardest part of teaching isn't the subject matter, but in keeping students interested and learning.

  • PoxOnBothYourHouses||

    Let's let the horror stories flow. I'll start.

    In my university, an education major working as a student assistant in our non-education department had a homework assignment to color in a coloring book (she said she had to stay within the lines).

    A masters-in-education student I knew got course credit for learning how to work basic audio visual equipment (this was before everything was done via PowerPoint and digital videos.

    The real point is that Education colleges are typically the weakest unit in a university and their students are the weakest by objective standards such as SAT and ACT scores. I got access to breakdowns of grades, by class, and was not terribly amazed that in most Ed classes the majority of grades were A's and anything below a B was rare.Our Ed school had so many students that they adopted an objective test to screen out the very weakest ones, following which a lot of those students had had to find other majors, and many with previous 3.5 GPA's had to struggle with ordinary liberal arts classes.

    Their salaries, by no fault of theirs, are for 9 or 10-month jobs. I taught in universities. We knew we wouldn't get the salaries of other professionals, but we got June, July, and August, plus the occasional sabbatical, and it was worth it.

    And yes, my kids would come home from school to tell us things their teachers had gotten wrong or didn't know. I'm sure a lot of your kids have done the same things.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Assuming two weeks off per year for most professions, a full time job is roughly 2,000 hours per year, not withstanding sick days. Where I live, a public school teacher works approximately 1,500-1,600 hours per year. A lot of the, bitch that they only make an out $28k per year coming out of school, but that is si liar to many bachelor level jobs that require full time hours.

    We always have a surplus of ed school graduates looking for teaching jobs. So obviously the pay is acceptable, or even excessive for the work offered. Plus they have access t giveaway programs like the housing program for cops , teachers, and firefighters, where they can buy foreclosed homes for way less than market value.

    Honestly, I'm sick of these people and their crybaby whining.

  • JesseAz||

    As per the article... Teachers make on average above their regional HOUSEHOLD income while working on average 25% less yearly hours per self surveys at bls.gov. Teachers also have in average belowe average college entrance gpa and test scores. For this they think they deserve more?!?

  • MoreFreedom||

    Your point of working 25% less hours is an important point Gillespie fails to mention.

    Also not mentioned, and more important IMHO, is the fact that government schools have a monopoly on a "free cost" and funding via taxation (typically via property taxes). If we had free markets in education (i.e., we separated school and state like we separate church and state), then compensation would be far more market based - on results rather than government rules. As would the costs, which would be far less as is always the case when services are supplied via free markets.

    You can always count on politically set compensation, to be set politically rather than based on free markets. That's an uncivil situation, when civil solutions (based on voluntary actions and associations) would do far better.

  • BillyG||

    While I agree with most of what's in the article, I disagree with your claim on the hours. Teachers may be in school for 9 months out of the year, but grading papers is done outside of school hours. Same with creating lesson plans and other things. This adds up in hours. Total spent? Not sure, but 25% less isn't correct.

  • BadLib||

    Most salaried people I know work substantially more than 8 hours a day - sometimes at the office for long hours, sometimes working after/before work from outside the office. As well, "lesson plans" are time consuming when a teacher starts teaching in a subject/grade level but after a couple of years they tend to reuse them a lot (albeit, introduction of new curriculum and approaches such as "common core" can require substantial revisions from time to time).

  • JesseAz||

    Common core now comes with state developed lesson plans. Plus there is an entire industry selling new teachers lesson plans.

  • JesseAz||

    Billy..... I gave you the source. Bls.gov does what are called self surveys. These are hourly time journals used by randomly sampled workers at different jobs. This is a survey of teachers recording their own time. They work less time on average per week according to these surveys. You are free to go to bls.gov. They papers are free to read.

    As someone who worked at a bar near a college campus and 3 high schools... The only people there from 3-7 were teachers for the most part. They lie about their hours. Rely on the hourly journals, not their pariah like yels.

  • RevengencerAlf||

    As a kid teachers always told me how much time they spent after the class day grading papers and whatnot. When I was old enough to do the math, tt turned a week full of 6 hour class days into about a 40 hour week... for about 180 days out of the year. Color me surprised when I found out that's what most grown-ass adults put in every week.

  • Hell Hound||

    I don't know if the 25% is right either but they do get off most of the summer and all weekends. They also are off for holidays and spring and winter break in most places
    Paper grading should be pretty easy since most teachers have at least one period off during the day. The lessons plans are probably already done/mandated. Shouldn't be much of a problem if you're teaching same subject every day anyway
    I mean government jobs are pretty much the only place where you still work "9-5" and get off weekends.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Billy, teachers generally have six hours of classes per day where I live. They usually have prep and grading time in addition to that. This makes for an approximate 8 hour day. They also get two weeks off at Christmas, plus over two months off during the summer.

    So there you go. Also, when you see them coaching, or participating in other activities outside of the normal school day, they get paid more for that.

  • RevengencerAlf||

    Let's do the math.

    A normal, salaried individual, works 40 hours a week. Take a couple weeks out for vacation and let's say they do this for 50 weeks out of the year. 40*50=2000 hours a year.

    Let's be generous and say a teacher adds 2 hours to every workday grading papers. That brings their roughly 6 hour day up to roughly 8. That's equivalent to the same 40 hour work week, right? School years are generally 180 days long. Let's again be generous and add in another 5 days for conferences, meetings, etc. Hell, let's make it 10. Let's completely bullshit ourselves and say that teachers work 10 extra days beyond classes a year. 190 days. 190*8 = 1520 hours a year. Even with that very generous 10 days and 2 hours per day added to their schedules, that's within 2.5 days of 25% So yes, it's about correct, and if you are more realistic and not as generous as I've been, it's absolutely correct, even with all the work done "outside of school time."

  • Kirk Solo||

    Typical

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    My dad was a public school teacher for 30+ years. Grew up around teachers. (Yeah, don't get me started) For the most part, Mom didn't work.

    Showed up at 0830. Out by 1530. "Free periods" in between. 180 days a year.

    Bitchez pleaz!

  • Agammamon||

    That's what I never understand about these stories.

    Sure, I can see a first year teacher coming in at 5 and leaving at 4 - but the majority of that would be prep and adjusting the course to reality (no plan survives meeting the enemy and all that). By the end of the second year you should pretty much have it down.

    And 90% of school tests are not essays - they're T/F or multiple choice. Its like 10 seconds a paper to grade one of those. I can see it taking longer for an English teacher but no one else should need to spend an extra 4 hours a day on prep and grading.

    At my own local schools, you've got first year teachers making 30 grand (the median household income here is 43k) + benefits, scheduled for 9 months out of the year (so it wouldn't be hard to make up another 5k+ in the summer) and with all the half-days (*every* Wednesday) and holidays they only actually work for 6 months.

    But they're underpaid?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    The first year of teaching is hell, but I hear it is much better than that starting the second year. Preparing a new lesson plan every day is time consuming and unnecessary. It's like asking every new person at a car factory to design a new car his first year. The one major challenge teachers face is the one the education industry refuses to address. Let first year teachers teach core courses from a standard set of lesson plans and save the creativity for elective courses that they can design during the summers once they know the ropes.

  • JesseAz||

    Huge business right now selling teaching okans and many of the courses have plans built for teachers already. They aren't inventing the wheel of teaching plans anymore. They are trained monkeys repeating what they are told.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If they want to complain about anything it should be that the pay isn't merit based. It's all on seniority.

  • Zeb||

    Yup. That's the problem as I see it.

    I wouldn't have a problem paying teachers more (besides basic philosophical and practical objections to public schools at all) if it were used to recruit the best people and if it were easy to get rid of ineffective teachers.

  • Chasman1965||

    In FL, it's a combination. Teachers who have high ratings (combination of professional evaluation and test scores) get bonus pay for it. Yes, there is a step progression based on seniority/highest educational degree as well.

  • flyfishnevada||

    That's my experience. Teachers roll in about 15 minutes before the bell, leave as soon as classes end and work 10 months out of the year, not to mention all the breaks, holidays and "training." My kids spent longer at school and had homework afterwards...that I had to help them with most of the time because they weren't properly taught how to do the work in class. If that weren't enough, they get pretty good health insurance, a pension and any number of other benefits. I'd love to see the finances of that teacher in the article. Just because she can't make end meet doesn't mean she's poor.

  • DarrenM||

    I'm sure there are exceptions, but it would be human nature to not work any more than you had to.

  • Grifhunter||

    Yes and no. I work days (and a lot of nights) as a trial attorney. I also teach paralegal studies at a university as an adjunct. I get 1/10th of my hourly lawyer rate as a salary to teach, but I do it for relaxation and the mental stimulation of working with young people.

    Teaching is actually for me a form of escape from the stress and biting competition of a real profession. This is why these self pitying articles on teacher stress and workloads crack me up.

  • arbe59||

    "Just because she can't make end meet doesn't mean she's poor." Boom, you nailed it.

    This happens to people making $150K+/year too. And then there are people making $30K/year with plump emergency savings and retirement squared away. Mike Rowe worked with a lot of them on Discovery Channel a few years back. Living within your means is a dead concept.

  • Chasman1965||

    The above isn't too common. Most teachers either come in early or work late--its rare to have one that comes in just before the bell, and to leave just after the bell. Yes, you will have teachers that do one or the other (come in the last second, or leave asap). My wife gets to work about 45 minutes before required to, and leaves about the same after. Teachers don't get paid holidays. They are paid for the 190 days of work they do a year, which is spread out to pay them for 12 years. A teacher that comes in second semester, for example, only gets half pay for the summer months, because they haven't worked for the extra time. In the local system, I'm glad we have the option for my corporate health insurance. The school plan is both expensive and limited. (this isn't necessarily typical, but is the case for the local county, who "self-insures."). The teachers in FL who have been working less than about 8 years don't have tenure or the ability to get tenure. Teaching is not as attractive as it once was. Due to this, it's becoming hard to recruit math and science teachers.

  • Don't look at me.||

    No mention as to why she has such poor financial skills?
    Also, if you are on par with other professionals, go get one of those jobs.

  • Cathy L||

    This

  • MoreFreedom||

    I agree. I'll bet there's a lot of overspending on this teacher's part. If you can't make ends meet, then the first place to look is in one's spending habits. The second place, is the high level of taxation to support so many government jobs with gold plated benefits, which what government provides could easily be provided via free markets at lower cost and with better results.

  • Sevo||

    "According to the salary schedule at the Woodford County schools website, that means Brown would make $55,645 in base pay"

    X1.25 = $69.556 if she worked 12 months.
    Get a summer job, lady.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Summers are for travel to Europe gtfo

  • Paloma||

    Also, she has a husband. Doesn't HE have a job? If they are both teachers, they'd have a household income of $110,000, and that's with summers off and no extra donating blood.

    Maybe she's paying off his gambling debts? Maybe they got sued for some large amount, maybe they owe the IRS. But please don't pretend this is typical.

  • StackOfCoins||

    It's not typical. It's just part of the narrative.

    I was pursuing an electrician's apprenticeship and took some workshops in conduit bending. i was only there a few days, but one thing that came up during a conversation was how little teachers get paid. There was no critical assessment of "how much DO they get paid," it's just dogma among Americans that teachers are fleeced. I looked it up when I got home and found figures similar to what Nick reported here. When I did the math, I learned that an electrician working 40 hours a week at journeyman rates would barely make that (most electricians work more than 40/hr week).

    I'm just one guy, but I can live comfortably on 24k a year. Hope Brown needs to get her shit together, maybe eat in once in a while.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, there has to be something going on there. That is some bullshit reporting.

  • Grifhunter||

    Nobody's commenting on the typically stellar public paid pensions, often tax free, that comes with these jobs. (Often at an enviable retirement age.)

    Need to add that in to the equation.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    In ny county, there is a website where you can look up to what each individual school district employee makes by name.

  • Steve LaVergne||

    Another factor that skews the data is that teachers aren't paid for 12 months of work. For example in the Time article, she is paid for 188 days of work. There are 260 days in the work year (52x5). Taking out vacations and holidays will leave around 240 days for the average employee. She is making $10,000 above the KY median income despite working only 78% of the time a full-time employee in another field does.

    For those who would argue that they are required to attend training on their own time, that is normally built into the contract. The 188 days will be a combination of classroom days and training days.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    The 188 days will be a combination of classroom days and training days.

    Could be. In my Massachusetts town's schools, it's 200 days a year, for the students. Training days for teachers are additional.

  • dew||

    That would be very, very unusual. MA state law is "at least 180 days per year" for students. Most have 180-181 student days. Even MA vocational high schools, which tend to have longer school years due to mixing shop and academics, tend to have 190-195 student days per year.

  • RevengencerAlf||

    What town? I went to school for all of K-12 in MA. Never knew anyone in a district that did more than 180 days. Some put 185 on the beginning of the year calendar to buffer for snow days but they came off if they weren't used and were mostly there for preventing parents from scheduling vacations that would overlap with the end of school if it did snow.

    I absolutely refuse to believe "200 days" of student attendance in any Massachusetts public school without evidence.

  • jkj||

    Let's not forget that they state right in the article that teacher wages have kept up with inflation. So let me ask this: what productivity gains have teachers made that would result in them earning more now that 50 years ago after inflation?

  • Chasman1965||

    Yes, but most of us don't work 260 days a year. First, there are ten federal holidays (which most of us, at least the college educated, get). Second, most jobs have at least ten vacation days a year (again, at least for the college educated). So that's 240, not 260 for most of us. In addition, at least in the three states that I or my family have gotten income from teaching, the teacher school year is 190 days. 180 with the students, and ten days teacher inservice/pre/post planning.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The polite term for this sort of journalism is b.s.

    The classic example of picking a conclusion and then crafting a story to support it, I have no effing doubt. At the risk of incurring Matt Damon's wrath, school teachers by and large make competitive wages. Of course it varies from district to district, based on cost of living in said district and education levels of the teacher, as well as seniority, but for nine months' work they are generally compensated adequately. Can they without going into extreme debt always live in the same type of McMansions where their students might call home? Of course not. But those "pay teachers as much as professional athletes" memes of the 80's or 90's or whenever the eff that was really did a number on people's perspectives and understanding of the reality of the situation.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Weren't you, at one time, always first?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Oh, pshaw.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    The argument of those memes was that we should pay people based on their effort, not their results. By that logic, society is obliged to pay a huge sum to all the people who swims across the English Channel even if we don't care or notice that they swim across the English Channel.

    Perhaps the gap between effort and pay is a signal that we should dissolve the government run school system in favor of home schooling. Parents and kids naturally learn how to put up with each other so that kids can learn from their parents. A group of 20 underage neighbors and an uninformed teacher responsible for preparing them for state standards is a costly endeavor.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    What??!!?? There is information in the dollar values that emerge from free trade?????

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Yeah, that description doesn't pass the smell test, doesn't add up. Any teacher who is working two extra jobs and selling blood plasma doesn't have an earning problem; it's a spending problem.

    Same as Uncle Sam.

    I'd love to see her monthly outgo. How much did she borrow for that Master's degree? Was it worth it for the amount extra she earns? I wouldn't be surprised is the student loan payments are more than the extra income.

    What does hubby earn? Where does his money go? What kinds of hobbies do these two have? Are they putting kids through expensive colleges, or even private high schools?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    And are they in the throes of a gritty smack battle?

  • Eddy||

    "Effective teachers are the most important school-based determinant of student educational performance"

    Nuh-uh!

    Don't Blame Teachers for Failing Schools

    "Yet there are so many factors beyond the control of teachers that account for dismal school outcomes. In almost all cases, these failing schools are populated by students from disadvantaged backgrounds. As a result, they bring huge deficits in socialization, motivation and intellectual development to class through no fault of their own.

    "Teachers are not miracle workers. They want to teach their subject. But too often they are forced to perform triage. If the best teachers from the best schools were assigned to these substandard schools, I doubt they would be able to replicate the success they had at their former schools."

    This guy has "taught for 28 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District," so he definitely knows what he's talking about!

  • Jerryskids||

    I've never blamed teachers for failing schools, I've always blamed educators. Teaching is not that hard, developing the amount of bullshit necessary to turn teaching into some sort of mystical priesthood takes a lot of work. If the word "pedagogy" appears anywhere in your CV, you're an educator and it's your fault the schools suck.

  • Agammamon||

    Well then, if they're not the linchpins of the education process there's no real reason to increase their pay to attract better teachers. I mean, if the current best aren't able to do any better then the current middle-of-the-road, then why would we be paying more for the middle-of-the-road?

  • Eddy||

    After posting my comment I observed that *Time* used some weasel language:

    "Effective teachers are the most important *school-based determinant* of student educational performance" (emphasis added)

    So, technically, they've reserved the option of saying that *of course* the poor quality of students is not a "school-based determinant."

    But if they said that, it would tend to undermine their case for using teacher pay to improve student performance, for the reasons you mentioned.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Those are not "weasel word," Motre of your dumbfuckery!

    "Effective teachers are the most important *school-based determinant* of student educational performance"

    An important NON school-based determinant of school performance is ... wait for it ...
    PARENTS
    BWAAA HAAA HAAA

    So, technically, they've reserved the option of saying that *of course* the poor quality of students is not a "school-based determinant."

    Clearly, you're too stupid to burp. It means teachers are NOT the ONLY determinant of school performance..

    You actually said .. in public .. that parents have NO EFFECT on their children, again proving your level of dumbfuckery, Because you were raised by a pack of wild turtles,

    Also clearly, your thinking capacity suggests you dropped out after the 3rd grade.
    Claiming hardship.

    (Now the bellowing of yet another hissy fit. As 3rd grader mentalities are wont to do)

  • Eddy||

    I tell you what, say something intelligble, and I'll consider throwing a hissy fit about it. But how am I supposed to react to your random word salad?

  • Sevo||

    Like this:
    Fuck off, Hihn.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Nice

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Eddy, Hihn's sock puppets are to be ignored, or addressed with only the most extreme disrespect. Also, never dignify his arguments, as he is not worthy of respect or consideration of any kind.

  • vek||

    Kids having a stable home life, and their IQ are the 2 biggest factors for educational outcomes. You can't teach a downe syndrome kid calculus, but the same applies to people who aren't retarded, but aren't that bright either. Poor neighborhoods tend to be filled with low IQ people.

    Basically it's unavoidable that most low ability kids will not do well on book learning. Doesn't make them bad people, but expecting to turn them all into rocket scientists is impossible. They'd be better served by vocational classes as that's something that could give them a good income and stable life.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    A fellow teacher in Brooklyn tried to drop a hint that I should lower my standard because landlords in that city often skimp on the heat. We have a system where urban families live in inhuman conditions so that the municipality can squeeze every possible bit of labor from the parents through taxes to support an education system that does triage on kids who are damaged by the inhuman living conditions.

    It's time for most people to leave the cities. There is a reason ethnic flight is bringing non-whites out of the city. Everyone wants a better life. Let them have it in the suburbs.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    It's crackers to slip a rozzer, the dropsy in snide.
    Which makes more sense than you did.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    It's a thing that I find irritating about people who are very anti-suburban. They often present pure racism and elitism as the core quality that drives people to "suburban enclaves."

    That may be a part of it, but I think it's pretty straightforward to account for most urban flight by noting that living in a house, with some land, with low crime for less than it costs to live in the city is a pretty nice life.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Credit for good performance goes to teachers, blame for bad performance goes to anything else. Duh.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I had plenty of bad teachers in school. I found it best to make them suffer.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    OT: For those interested in the Kavanaugh hearings, click that Volokh link at the top. Randy Barnett has 5 posts summarizing what he thought was interesting.

  • Eddy||

    Rape, extra-rapey rape, rapeity-rape, racist rape, plus cocaine-trafficking.

    /sarc

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Father rapers! Right there on the Group W bench!

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Did Barnett mention Kavanaugh's claim that he couldn't remember anything about Judge Kozinski's misconduct, or the "Gag List" in particular?

    Did Barnett mention Kavanaugh's claim that Kavanaugh did not traffic in stolen information when pushing right-wing judicial candidates/

    Or is Barnett, as is customary, acting as just another movement conservative mouthpiece and partisan hack?

  • David Nolan||

    To your final question, yes. That's what he's always been.

    In fairness,Volokh Conspiracy prides itself on providing a variety of different viewpoints, very rare in today's tribal America. They don't have trolls, for example, dragging Kavanaugh into every conceivable issue. Or Hillary's email server, Obama's birth certificate, etc., etc., etc.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Insightful comment. It shows you will only read what confirms your bias. You are afraid to read anything with which you might disagree, so much so that you'd rather post inant comments asking others what they have read.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    t shows you will only read what confirms your bias.

    Youi made a public ass of yourself again!

    You are afraid to read anything with which you might disagree, so much so that you'd rather post inant comments asking others what they have read.

    PROJECTION!
    Are YOU afraid to read anything with which you might disagree, so much so that you'd rather post inant comments asking others what they have read. Read this!

    His was ridicule. Rhetorical questions, assuming your ignorance (or cover up) to support your Exalted Ruler, And he caught four of you, so far.

    Which caused this ridicule!

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Gosh. Projecting much?

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    PROVED yours, chump

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    It seems your choice is infinite projection or none. I favor none, but you claim to be the expert on projection. Whatever floats your boat.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    I guess we both win. The thread is quite clear that you're full of shit.
    But you get to snarl and bellow, apparently the only reason you're here.Or perhaps you don't know what projection means?

    You threw a wild hissy fit, that he hadn't read something ,,, based on a rather dumb assumption .. and proved you were the uninformed windbag .. . with a link ... in boldface for the slower witted.

    You bellow. I prove.

    And "projection" seems to be a memorized slogan among your ilk
    Every time they fuck up, even if it makes no sense, like you did here.

  • Peter Duncan||

    Hey, your comments are worthy of a hate crime!

    Wait here while I call the cops, comrade.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I have some influential friends in Boise, where you claim. To live Hihn. I should have them look into having you civilly committed. Not sure what all that takes in ID, but maybe it would be fun to find out.

    I'm game to find out if you are.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Jeez you are one crazy old coot.

  • mpercy||

    Wow. This rant feels so...familiar. Like I've seen this layout, syntax, font selection, etc. all before from someone who's name I will not mention.

    Is it possible there are two people like this? Or is it much more likely that the original is just using sock puppets?

  • Eddy||

    Kozinski's misconduct? I thought he had porn on his Web site. You seem like a Puritan with an outdated moral code.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Kozinski's misconduct? I thought he had porn on his Web site.

    Are you lying for the Donald? He resigned over MULTIPLE accusations of sexual misconduct

    You seem like a Puritan with an outdated moral code.

    Yoiu seem ike a Typical Trumptard, drivem by denials, lies and false accusations. As PROVEN here.
    You people are shameful.

  • Eddy||

    "The newspaper reported last week that several women accused Kozinski of making sexual comments, touching them inappropriately or kissing them without consent."

    Again, only a Puritan could possibly object to this behavior.

    A Puritan educated in goober colleges with outdated moral codes.

    I was not only unfamiliar with the precise allegations - thank you for the kind reminder - I was also unaware that Trump had used his powerful mojo to turn Kozinski into a sex offender - since the resignation even took place before the Trump administration began and Kozinsky wasn't even appointed by Trump!

  • Eddy||

    Oh, he resigned right after Trump became President - the Trump influence is becoming clear to me now, I'm sorry I missed it.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Oh, he resigned right after Trump became President

    Eleven months is not "right after"
    And you just lied about your first comment

    He resigned "right after" multiple accusations of sexual misconduct! ... SEXUIAL MISCONDUCT THAT YOU DEFENDED

  • Eddy||

    It's only "misconduct" if you're a goober who was educated at a can't-keep-up university with an outdated moral code.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    How crazy is a Trumpster? Nobody could invent anything this perverted

    1) He was humiliated by his FIRST lame excuse.

    2) Now THIS:

    "The newspaper reported last week that several women accused Kozinski of making sexual comments, touching them inappropriately or kissing them without consent."

    Again, only a Puritan could possibly object to this behavior.
    A Puritan educated in goober colleges with outdated moral codes.

    ONLY A PURITAN COULD POSSIBLY OBJECT TO GRABBING WOMEN, AND KISSING THEM!!

    Where does your mother live? Or a sister. (drooling)

  • Eddy||

  • Eddy||

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    EVASION!

    Am I entitled to grab your mom and kiss her ... against her will? Your sister? Your wife? Daughter?
    And only a Puritan would object?

  • Eddy||

    Actually, your all-caps are making my sister really hot. I'd be happy to pass your number along to her, so you and she can get together fulfill each others' perverted fantasies.

    I promise I'll simply give your number to your sister, and not scribble it in a bathroom stall under the heading "for a good time call..."

  • sharmota4zeb||

    What is this, Eddy, the MENA dating chat room?

  • Eddy||

    Middle East and North Africa?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    A video for those too Westernized to get the reference.

  • Eddy||

    Well, my sister Sheena, as her culture dictates, is very modestly dressed, but when she gets undressed I bet Ellis Wyatt will get a big surprise.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Why do you say "11 months" (December): is "immediately after" Trump was inaugurated (January)?

    Did you get caught blowing smoke out your ass,
    Again.?

    Just another typical Trumptard
    And they vote :-(

  • Agammamon||

    Is 'trafficking in stolen information' unethical now? You might want to tell Woodward that.

  • David Nolan||

    Umm, how did he steal information in a personal interview?

  • Eddy||

    ...with someone who was authorized to share the information, I presume?

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    MOAR!

    Umm, how did he steal information in a personal interview?

    ...with someone who was authorized to share the information, I presume?

    Your question is TOTALLY stupid .. unless ... you think I need YOUR permission to share what we did together .. in your Trumpian Police State.

    Otherwise, it's also stupid,

  • Eddy||

    NO, YOUR STUPID LOL!!!

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    (victory lap)

  • Eddy||

    My sister still wants your number, by the way.

    Or you can reach her at 867-5309.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Why do I need your permission to share something you and I did together????

  • Eddy||

    Go ahead and tell about that night you and my sister spent in the Motel 6 near Peoria.

    You bolded and all-capped all-night long. It was magical.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    It was your MOTHER. We fucked our brains out. Your dad was PISSED.
    Ashamed to admit it, but, I am your father.
    I am outraged that you were "raised" to be a psycho liar.

  • Eddy||

    There's a reason why just about everyone here holds you in such deep contempt that your insults are not even worth being resented.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Hey Hihn, for a good time, you can call 606-0842, and she's waiting for you!

  • D-Pizzle||

    You're the stupid one, Mr. Victory Lap. It's all in the context of the working relationship/setting. If you and your attorney are "working together" on something, the attorney is not allowed to share anything about that interaction, right?

  • Agammamon||

    The person he got the information from was not authorized to copy that info to him - hence its stolen.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    ALL Trumpsters are bat-shit crazy!

    And stupid.
    It's all verbal interviews, taped.

    And demented. I do NOT need your "authorization" to describe what *I* did ... because you were there.Are you the Love Child of Donald J Trump, that inherited his own level of intelligence?

  • JesseAz||

    The server that housed the information had zero security protocols set up the person literally went to a network folder share and copied data. This isn't stealing anymore than going to a website is stealing. Maybe the DNC should learn basic security protocols. They seem to have a problem with it.

  • Jerryskids||

    Providing teachers with a decent middle-class living commensurate with other professionals with similar education is not simply a matter of fairness.

    Which is why the Starbucks baristas with their PhD's in History of Underwater Basketweaving make the big bucks. They don't have a "similar education", they have similar credentials and credentials don't mean shit in the real world.

  • tpaine||

    i would like to see a financial accounting of the differences in the salary the state pays this woman and the actual cost to the people of Kentucky to employ this woman.
    As an off-topic example, my local fire department says their average firefighter has a $77,000 salary. However transparent California shows that it costs this town more than $160,000 per year to employ that firefighter with the $77,000 salary

  • PeteRR||

    OT plus benefits.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Yeah, those damn fires have NO respect for a time clock!

  • JesseAz||

    You're too dumb to understand how work shifts happen. Congrats hihn.

  • David Nolan||

    I have 16 years as an education activist, elected a full-slate to clean up our school board and won a tax revolt that dragged on for two years. (They submitted the same increase 8 times, and were in stare receivership when we were elected.

    Here, I strongly doubt that her 16 year experience was in education, especially with a Masters, The 20 year salary reported by Nick is not that much higher the 16. The biggest bump comes from the Masters, regardless of seniority. A long-tenure Bachelor degree will never compare with a fairly short-term Masters. This is how they pay the"average wage" con. If the Bachelor is underpaid and the Masters overpaid, the "average" and "median" both look low.

    It goes back a few decades, but the staring wage was around $20,000, with small annual increases, and the AVERAGE Masters, which I had to calculate myself(!) was a hair over $40,000. NO salaried profession has anywhere near that gap, for people working the same hours, doing the same work.

    The MASS insanity in public education are essentially unknown to conservatives and libertarians, who mostly bitch about gummint schools, and have no clue how to structure and promote charters and vouchers. A lot like everywhere else, screaming about "issues" that have no meaning or persuasion to voters or parents, Here's a similar wage con, also a few decades back, but still true at higher numbers.

  • Chasman1965||

    In the local district, the difference between a bachelor's and a master's is not nearly that. The difference is $2500, which would place a new teacher with a master's at the same salary as a ten year teacher with a bachelor's. ($46500 for either one)

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    The advanced degree is probably more valuable if one is pursuing a career in administration.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Also, there's this thing called "supply and demand". Whether we like i tor not, it has a big influence on how things are valued.

    Some people have strange ideas of value--it's the basis of the "greater fool" theory. They think that if it costs $10 billion to build a bullet train to nowhere, then it must be worth $10 billion. Actually, it's only worth a multiple of what people are willing to pay to use it. If people aren't willing to pay enough to finance its construction, maintenance, and operation costs, then it's worth less than what it cost to build--and it may be worth less than nothing. Last I heard, the Detroit FD wouldn't put out a burning building unless someone confirmed that the building was occupied. No one bothers to insure those properties because they're worth less than nothing.

    Yes, peoples' skills and work are quantitatively valued in the same way. Because you spent a tremendous amount of time, effort, and money on your education does not mean anyone values it. Meanwhile, if people with meager training sometimes make tremendous salaries because of the demand and limited supply of their skills, that's a tremendous good for society. It's a primary force behind social mobility, not just within in the U.S. but also other countries. That's how China, a nation with a billion peasants 17 years ago, suddenly grew a middle class--because people's labor started to be priced based on supply and demand rather than education.

  • vek||

    At its core it's the same argument as saying every art major should be making engineer money. Just doesn't hold water.

  • Peter H.||

    This is the biggest crisis facing the teaching profession. If you Google "teacher shortage," there are numerous articles referencing a supposedly looming crisis - but it turns out that there are about 100,000 more teaching certificates issued every year than there are job openings. Such a large supply will naturally depress wages.

    (Note: while there is a general surplus of qualified teachers, there is a legitimate shortage of teachers qualified to teach specialized subjects such as science and mathematics, English as a second language, and special education. Districts often have to spend money training general education majors to fill these roles, taking more money out of the general salary pot. If teachers unions were OK with varying salary within a district based on subject taught rather than years of service, I'm sure this shortage would seriously mitigated and maybe Time Magazine's "penalty" would shrink. What do I know, though.)

  • Ken Shultz||

    I know over-educated people who've found happiness doing work that doesn't pay much and doesn't require much education. People do things for qualitative reasons, too. I know someone who's foregone a free ride at the University of Edinburgh because she trains horses that race at local tracks in Scotland--and wouldn't give it up for the world. Does the subject of this story enjoy being a teacher? If she was forced to squander her youth and her resources to get a low paying job that she doesn't enjoy because of government regulation or her own mistake, then market based pay isn't to blame for that. She should blame the government that forced her to get a ridiculous amount of education in order to teach children or her own self for making a bad choice.

    If she went into education because she loves it and wanted to make a difference--despite the lack of pay--well guess who gets the credit for that, too?

  • Brian||

    If it makes her feel better, the taxpayers will be paying her until she dies.

  • ||

    I suspect that, if teacher pensions were transferable, a lot of teachers would quit.

  • Cy||

    Teacher are going to go the way of the American malls. Technology is coming for you, I hope you're ready.

  • Bronze Khopesh||

    True, a lot of teachers have been filled with young males looking to alleviate some boredom.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    And the young males who don't show enough interest when the teacher enters the room get Ritalin to cure their boredom.

  • Bronze Khopesh||

    How ever did society survive before we started giving kids drugs?

  • Vernon Depner||

    We had these things called "fathers".

  • Bronze Khopesh||

    And asylums.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Technology is coming for you

    It's here Has been for several decades.

  • Trainer||

    Go by the teacher's parking lot of any school and see what they're driving. It's not 10 year old Chevys, that's for sure.

    You can also add in the extra pay you get for being a bilingual teacher, math or science teacher or special ed teacher. And don't forget signing bonuses worth thousands of dollars. Add to that the extra help you get financing a home (in Texas they can get up to $25,000 free for your house just for being a teacher) and other perks and they're doing much better than my husband who was a CPS supervisor with a master's degree. They can also teach summer school. All in all, it's a pretty decent gig despite what the unions want us think.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Sounds like Brown is an idiot or a liar (or both). Good attributes for a role model.

    Speaking of idiot teachers, I recall some reporting in the past few years that made it clear that many (most?) teachers are essentially clueless about personal finance--and that this contributes to their individual and collective money problems.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    You believe Alex Jones?

  • vek||

    Honestly, most middle class and lower people don't have a clue about finances. Fortunately most do juuust enough to not be destitute in their old age

  • gimpy||

    Show me the 1040.

  • JoeBlow123||

    SHOW ME THE 1040!

  • Doug Heffernan||

    Is Nick angling for a job as a K-12 teacher? The pay and benefits sound awesome!

    I'd bed he'd get the job if he applied. It might be an opportunity to learn about actual markets, instead of working for the same foundation for decades which serves primarily a market of a handful of wealthy funders.

    Maybe a libertarian K-12 teacher might be willing to switch jobs with Nick?

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    same foundation for decades which serves primarily a market of a handful of wealthy funders.

    Speaking of education and intelligence, those rich dudes are like investors. The "market" is readers and/or web visitors, a few hundred thousands.

    Likewise Microsoft. The investors provide the capital. The "market" provides the revenues, hundreds of millions of people, in a worldwide market, Revenue and investors both bring cash into the enterprise, but investors are not the "market."

    Short version: It's not Nick who needs to learn about markets, But you still have time. When you teach high school.

  • Paloma||

    Nick would do a better job of teaching kids than a K-12 teacher would do at his job.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    You must be new.
    In this commentariat, all non-libertarians are required to talk like psychos. Like the Authoritarain Right (same thing)

    Or are you libertarian?
    And smarter than a box of rocks!

  • JoeBlow123||

    Did you seriously just imply you were part of the group that does not talk like a psycho?

    Rich. THAT IS RICH I DECLARE!

  • Vernon Depner||

    Effective teachers are the most important school-based determinant of student educational performance...

    And yet, they scream like frightened monkeys if anyone suggests that their effectiveness be objectively measured, or that they be promoted and compensated based on proven merit.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    Those aren't the effective ones, who would earn more if paid on outcomes, obviously, which is the whole point.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Bullshit. Public school teachers are nearly unanimous in opposition to achievement testing and results-based compensation.

  • Ellis Wyatt||

    One more time for the mentally challenged.

    "Those aren't the effective (teachers) who would earn more if paid on outcomes, obviously, which is the whole point."

    Sluggo BELEEBS the best teachers PREFER lower incomes! It's in their contract!
    Must be a Trumptard. (snort)

  • Vernon Depner||

    Well, since you put it in BOLD, you must be right. But, just to educate us, could you please post some links to the organizations of effective teachers who are lobbying for merit compensation based on tested student outcomes?

  • Sevo||

    Hinhfected, Hinhsane.
    Fuck off,

  • ||

    So, what is the point of these "teachers aren't paid enough" stories?

    Is it them saying, "honest, if you just pay us more we'll try harder." Is this some kind of labor action, a slow-down strike? If only we cough up more dough they'll all do a better job, and all of a sudden our precious children will sudden all be performing like the Finns?

    Seriously, what is it that is wrong with things now that will be fixed by paying more money to people who do not seem to be able to teach now?

    There does seem to be some kind of perverse logic at work here. It is one thing to say that higher pay might attract a "better class of people" into the teaching profession, thereby improving overall performance; it is another thing entirely to think that paying more money the same "inferior class of people" that you already have will somehow make them better.

    OTOH, maybe it would work just as well to replace teachers like the one in this story with people from the large mass of humanity who can get along just fine on fifty large per annum and even less.

  • ||

    I do sometimes wonder what the target audience for stories like this one is.

    It is one thing for someone to think they deserve a greater reward for "all the work" they do. After all it is the rare individual who does not consider himself underpaid.

    The thing that stretches credulity is that here we have someone that is in a household that is clearly above the median income level who claims she has to sell her own blood in order to make ends meet. I'm not sure that I would trust such a person to teach my precious children, if I had any.

  • Eddy||

    "Look at all the good results we're producing, yet you ingrates aren't paying us enough!" is supposedly what they're saying, I imagine.

    If they said, "look at the bad teachers we get with the low salaries you skinflints are offering," then the reader might reply "OK, we'll grant higher teacher pay if you purge the teachers whose students don't show enough improvement," yet I'm not sure if that's where Time wants to go.

  • ||

    Yeah, that's kind of where I was going.

  • Paloma||

    Teachers as a group seem to feel sorry for themselves a lot. It seems to be built into their psychology, at least the ones I've known. It strikes me as somewhat narcissistic.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Military, cops, firefighters are the same way. They get so much smoke blown up their butts they start believing their own myths.

  • vek||

    The higher pay will attract better people to teaching is the only argument that makes sense... But it also implies current teachers are sub par! Which is actually true according to studies that looked at professions by IQ.

    The problem is better teachers won't accomplish much anyway. It is a lie to say our education has got worse by objective measures... What really happened is groups that do poorly in school started making up a higher portion of the US population. White Americans still score as good as they ever did.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Really? If teaching quality doesn't matter, how do you account for the fact that the same states lead national test score rankings year after year. And for the fact that the leaders tend to be states with better pay for teachers?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Demographics. Those same states do a shitty job with achievement gaps, but Simpson's Paradox saves their ass. For now.

  • vek||

    Note I said "won't accomplish MUCH." It would help... Some small amount. The truth is that most kids do as well as they can anyway, with minor improvements at best. I never lived anywhere where I went to an "inner city" school. Those are probably fucked. But again that's largely the kids there anyway that make it so... But anybody who goes to 95% of suburban or rural schools (I went to pub school in a poorish suburb, a wealthy one, and a small town) will be able to get a decent, basic, education if they're capable of it mentally.

    The truth, as homeboy says, is that it's demographics. Ethnic demographics explain most of it, and the remainder is income bracket, which is a proxy for IQ since they're highly correlated. There's a reason the wealthiest neighborhoods always top test scores, and it's not the money itself... It's because their parents have higher IQs on average, and their kids inherit them to a large degree.

    Look up US test scores on international achievement tests... BY RACE. White Americans are still some of the highest in the world. The fact that we have vastly more Hispanics is mostly what drags down our scores, and some other groups as well. Asian immigration has helped though of course!

    I'm not saying nothing can be improved, just don't expect miracles.

  • Chasman1965||

    Some would say that the same state lead national test scores because of the population living in that state. The teachers being irrelevant. They are states with higher wages, meaning that the population is making higher wages. Basically speaking, they are states with better students from better families making the state have a higher cost of living, meaning teachers have to be paid more.

  • Chasman1965||

    Some would say that the same state lead national test scores because of the population living in that state. The teachers being irrelevant. They are states with higher wages, meaning that the population is making higher wages. Basically speaking, they are states with better students from better families making the state have a higher cost of living, meaning teachers have to be paid more.

  • Bronze Khopesh||

    I worked with a guy who was always going on about getting his Ed. degree. He was a morose, unpleasant, pedantic asshole with no desire to help out when needed. Any conversation that started when he was near would always end up about him and/or how everything sucked.

    He had only enough social skills to avoid being beaten to death. I can only imagine what he would be like in a classroom. And it's not a happy image.

    I left that job before he finished school so I don't know if he got his degree but it was 20+ years ago so if he did become a teacher he's had plenty of time to totally mess up 1000s of kids.

  • Mrs. Premise||

    "He had only enough social skills to avoid being beaten to death."

    Thank you. This comment made my day.

  • josh||

    They spend so much time teaching teachers "how to teach", except for the part about learning the actual subject they're teaching, and we're supposed to think they're indispensable/underpaid??

  • Tony||

    So a years' salary could maybe pay for one of Betsy DeVos's pieces of jewelry. What has she contributed to human life again? I find it odd that the salaries listed here are considered even remotely extravagant.

  • ||

    What?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Martin Luther made the same mistake when he visited the Vatican. The poverty in Germany was not a result of the gold in the Vatican. It was the result of the 16th Century Germans being too dimwitted to mine coal and burn it. Popes didn't have long lives back then either.

  • vek||

    That's the thing commies can't grasp. Asia/Africa weren't poor because Europe is rich. Asia has figured this out, and is fixing the "being poor" thing. The same applies within countries too.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tomy hasn't figured it out yet though.

  • LynchPin1477||

    What has she contributed to human life again?

    Since she didn't get rich by taking my money, I don't really care, so long as she didn't violate anyone's rights in the process. If you'd like to cut her current salary, you've got my attention.

  • sarcasmic||

    What would you propose to do with that jewelry? Can't eat it. I suppose you could use government to steal it from her, then sell it to feed the children. But then someone else would own it and you'd be bitching about that.

  • LynchPin1477||

    The possibilities are endless

    trigger warning: shaky cam

  • JoeBlow123||

    Hahaha. Touche.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Hahaha. Touche.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|9.15.18 @ 5:09PM|#
    "So a years' salary could maybe pay for one of Betsy DeVos's pieces of jewelry. What has she contributed to human life again?"

    Doesn'
    t shitbag look just great in green?

  • Paloma||

    Tony, all you have to do to get a degree in education is sit your ass in a seat in a university for four years and not shoot yourself from boredom.

    That's it. Any test they give you, just regurgitate anything you heard while your ass was in that seat. If you can stand it, you'll get your teaching certificate.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "on average in the United States you could add 23.2 percent to any average salary for all benefits for total compensation."

    Which likely underestimates what *government* workers get in benefits.

    Also, how many days are these teachers working in the summer?

  • Bubba Jones||

    If teaching wages were higher, the competition would be greater and none of the current crop of teachers would land a job.

    Be careful what you wish for...

  • LynchPin1477||

    Median household income in Woodford County, KY is just under $60,000. So if the above salary numbers are accurate she would be just below the median household income before considering any other sources of income for herself or her husband.

    Also, if she's anything like my high school teachers, she *could* work during the summer to supplement that income (the managers at the pool I lifeguarded at were almost all teachers). Maybe one of her additional jobs are summer jobs.

    All of which is to say that it is very likely that the combined income of her and her husband is significantly higher than the median income in that part of the country, and probably in line with what most people would consider middle class.

  • PoxOnBothYourHouses||

    LynchPin1477: " So if the above salary numbers are accurate she would be just below the median household income before considering any other sources of income for herself or her husband."

    No! No no, no! That's simply incorrect. She's far ABOVE the median. While median HOUSEHOLD income is about $60,000, all we know about her is her INDIVIDUAL income. But median income for an INDIVIDUAL (as opposed to a household) is only about $38,000.

    Her salary of about $56,000 puts her at about the 68th percentile for personal income, far above the median income for a person with one job.

    In fact, if she were married and her partner earned just the average for a job, together they'd generate a household income of $94,000, which would put them at the 86th percentile for households, far above what most people here have.

    Let's take it one step further. In Kentucky the median cost of a house in the two largest metro areas (Louisville and Lexington) was only $165-167,000 in 2017, about 28-30% lower than the national average. See here.

    Frankly she's pretty well off, even without the other two jobs or the plasma sales. The whole teacher-poverty argument is slimy.

  • sarcasmic||

    Teachers, like police and firefighters, are saintly beings who think only for others. They choose their occupation because they are saints, not because it pays well. Because they are so selfish and saintly, it is simply not possible to pay them enough. Did I mention that they are saints?

    Seriously though, a degree by itself don't mean shit. It is the course of study that matters.

    This logic is coming from people who totally oppose any measure of teaching aptitude other than their degree and years on the job. Anyone who has been a student understands that some teachers are great and others suck. But it is taboo to say it. After all, they are saints.

  • Number 2||

    I would like to know what "professionals" teachers are comparing themselves to. It used to nauseate me to hear teachers I know compare their salaries to the compensation received by doctors and lawyers, completely overlooking the fact that a high paid doctors and lawyers are not salaried employees, but our business owners who own their own practices and run their own businesses. Compared to doctors and lawyers work for government, particularly taking the shorter work year into account, teacher salaries are remarkably comparable.

    And oh yes; doctors and lawyers are compensated based on merit, with substantial emphasis based on the clientele they attract and the business they generate. Teachers are paid on a fixed salary scale and don't have to worry about attracting customers; they have a government guaranteed monopoly.

    Finally, doctors and lawyers have to worry about attracting and retaining clients; we do not have the luxury of a posing "physician choice" or "lawyer choice." Teachers fight school choice tooth and nail.

    But, like nurses, the first course is teachers take in education degree programs are the courses that teach them how to complain that they are the single most important profession in the world, yet are grossly underpaid.

  • Number 2||

    Damn. This is what happens when you hit "submit" before heading "preview."

  • Number 2||

    I am an attorney. I make substantially less in annual income than actors and actresses who star in bad movies. This means I need to sell body fluids in order to afford to live in a mansion and own my own jet. This is grossly unfair. Justice is more important than "Waterworld!"

  • lap83||

    "I truly love teaching," says the 52-year-old. "But we are not paid for the work that we do."

    OK, then take money from bloated administrative costs and give more of that to the teachers. Oops, I'm not supposed to come to that conclusion, am I?

  • cc2||

    A big fringe benefit of teaching is you get the summers off when your kids are out of school. If you have kids this is huge. If you don't have kids, many teachers work in the summer so their income is higher than reported.

  • sparkstable||

    I am a teacher in OKC. (I wish more libertarians would join the profession and help muck up the machine... we are forced to fund it regardless of who works there so better us than "them")

    I use almost every opportunity I can to explain to my students why I am paid the exact right amount (I agreed to it so I have no grounds to bitch). I also spoke out against the recent walkout to anyone who would listen. (This is not counting the next argument about how all public ed needs to go away).

    This lady... and all the idiots like her... are stupid people who can't function at life at a basic level. They are our teachers. Is it any surprise that our schools suck?

  • I'm Not Sure||

    "This lady... and all the idiots like her... are stupid people who can't function at life at a basic level. They are our teachers. Is it any surprise that our schools suck?

    Hard to argue with that.

  • Brian||

    Hey: if I was a teacher, I'd use heroin, too.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    This shit is fake news. It's not even something that's just a different interpretation of the data. It's simply a lie.

    This bitch on the cover is simply a shit money manager. That's all it tells us.

    When I had 16 years experience in my industry, I was making around $36,000 in the late 90s, and that was in Seattle, not Kentucky. My rent was $1400 a month... and them's late 90s dollars.

    I'm growing very tired of this "poor, poor teachers" routine.

  • vek||

    My grandpa was a teacher in Cali. He made enough money to be very comfortable. One of my uncles is too, and it's the same for him.

    Now if you wanna talk teachers in overpriced trendy cities like SF, NYC, Seattle, etc, they probably have a garbage standard of living... But so does everybody else that doesn't make $150K a year plus. If you don't like it, move! I make 6 figures, and I'm still going to bail out of Seattle soon because it's ridiculous to live here anymore.

    But there is no real pay problem on a national basis. Especially not when benefits and only working 9 months are factored in.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    They don't have a garbage standard of living. The city subsidizes the home loans for swanky condos purchased by teachers because, and I quote, "We want them to live in the same communities they teach in."

    Fuck 'em, and everyone who looks like 'em.

  • vek||

    I don't know if they subsidize them enough for a teacher to ACTUALLY be able to buy anything around Seattle anymore though... I mean even 2 teachers working full time could barely qualify for a 30 year mortgage on a 3 bedroom in a dodgy neighborhood. The guvmint might be helping out, I know they do some places... But they aren't giving them $400K down payments to make them able to pay the mortgage!

  • art guerrilla||

    1. as per usual, your SHITHOLE site is NOT worth visiting with ablock/etc turned off to comment, dog almighty what a cesspool...
    2. also as per usual, the cruel and unusual posters of reason show their asses... a parade of mostly meaningless anecdotes which actually make the teachers point, except you are too stupid to realize it...
    3. I KNOW there is not a man-jack one of you who would last a WEEK doing the job teachers do in low-income schools, NOT A FUCKING WEEK, you cowardly, big-talk pukes...
    4. when compared to USELESS donut-eaters, state pigs, etc, who make HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars a year for driving around, eating donuts, and occasionally killing people and dogs, YEAH, teachers are underpaid... it is all RELATIVE, isn't it, you stupid wormtongues ? ? ?
    geez, about sick of the overgrown children who infest this place, idiot so-called libertarians and other ex-AV nerds who are playing their own virtue-signaling game, but -you know- it is the 'right' game... dicks...

  • Sevo||

    art guerrilla|9.16.18 @ 10:59AM|#
    "1. as per usual, your SHITHOLE site is NOT worth visiting with ablock/etc turned off to comment, dog almighty what a cesspool..."

    Pretty sure a 'teacher' showed up.
    Fuck off, imbecile

  • sarcasmic||

    Teaching might be a shitty job, and so is washing dishes. Don't like the pay? Study something worthwhile and get a real fucking job.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    It's not a shitty job to do, it's a shitty job for some teachers, depending on where and whom they're teaching, just like bus driving is entirely peaceful and relaxed job, or a harrowing crime-infested job depending on your route.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Up thread I posted actual median income data for the county where this person lives. That's not anecdotal.

    You are probably right that I wouldn't last a week teaching in a low income school district. I never claimed otherwise. Most teachers probably wouldn't last a week doing the job I do. Not everyone has the skill set needed to do someone else's job. I don't see how that is relevant.

    Cops may very well be overpaid, but that has nothing to do with whether or not teachers are underpaid. It's not relative. And a lot of the comments here aren't even dealing with whether or not teachers are underpaid or overpaid. They were dealing with the claim of the teacher featured in this article that she couldn't make ends meet on her teaching salary.

  • Agammamon||

    3. I KNOW there is not a man-jack one of you who would last a WEEK doing the job teachers do in low-income schools, NOT A FUCKING WEEK, you cowardly, big-talk pukes...

    Probably true - completely irrelevant.

    No one is saying *teachers in low-income* schools aren't getting paid for the work they do. They're saying *all* teachers are in that boat. Even the ones teaching in rich schools. That *all* teachers 'deserve' a pay raise because *some* teachers might have a rough job is the sort of goal-post shifting that people like you love to do.

    'Want to cut taxes?! Then how are you going to pay for all the good stuff government does!!11!!' - how about we just cut out paying for the bad shit?

    'Teachers are underpaid because low-income schools!!11!' - how about we bump up the pay of the teachers in low-income schools and not give pay raises to the ones with easy jobs?

    And if you're so sick of us - why do you keep coming back?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Hey, it was Time magazine that put "teaching in America" on their cover. The fault lies on their shoulders for pushing a narrative that her experience is what it's like to... you know, "Teach in America."

  • operagost||

    You came to the wrong place if you were looking for police bootlickers, my friend.

  • Bette||

    So, a salary of 56k for working 9-10 months out of the year, from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, and they want more?

  • Chasman1965||

    No matter what salary I get, I want more. Are you some kind of socialist who is against people wanting to make more money?

  • sarcasmic||

    My dumbass stepbrother has a teaching degree. He delivers mail.

  • Mudhen||

    I live in Northern IL and the average teacher salary in my district is $95,000/yr for essentially 9 1/2 month work. Doesn't include Health Care or the fact most can retire at age 55 on a generous pension. They get raises based on years on the job and increased education (which I also pay for through my taxes.) School Administration is even more lucrative, which is why so many work on their Phd (again, at my expense.) Its also why we have the 2nd highest property taxes in the nation. Rather difficult to have sympathy for anyone teaching here.

  • techgump||

    Of course teachers are not paid what they could and should be paid. Then again, that's what heppens when people have thier money stolen (tax). If Govt didn't decide how to spend a majority of parents earnings, and instead individuals controlled how earnings we're spent and with whom, you can bet lots more would be spent on education, and much less on the war machine.

  • Stephen54321||

    "Brown often works from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. at her school in Versailles, Ky., then goes to a second job manning the metal detectors and wrangling rowdy guests at Lexington's Rupp Arena. With her husband, she also runs a historical tour company for extra money."

    For the record, a day job that runs from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m works out to an 11-hour day.

    If she gets out of school at four, spends (say) an hour travelling to her second job (and maybe snatching a quick meal in-between), and then spends (say) four hours "manning the metal detectors and wrangling rowdy guests at Lexington's Rupp Arena", that would mean her work-day would end around 9pm, that works out to a total work-day length (excluding travel time) of FIFTEEN HOURS!!!

    That is slave-driving by any yardstick.

    In that case, the attitude the author of this article is (to say the least!) uncharitable.

    In particular, I notice he compares US teacher salaries to median salaries elsewhere in the US (and claims they're "doing well compared to households on the national level") without bothering to wonder whether those Americans who earn those OTHER wages also have to work two (or three) other jobs just to make ends meet, and therefore are working at jobs that NOT pay them enough to live on.

    Apparently the days of slave-driving really have not yet ended in America.

  • Stephen54321||

    One other point (which I had =no room to make in my previous post due to Reason's comment-character limit). I notice the author fails to wonder why Ms Brown starts work at school at 5am, and thus three or four hours BEFORE the students get there (and several hours before anyone arrives to open the school up).

    Allow me to explain. I'm from Australia. My mother was a high school teacher in the state of New South Wales for 30 or 40+ years. Based on what I observed about her, I can tell you that teachers do NOT work 9-5 jobs, following which they then come home and put their feet up for the night!

    After getting dinner for us kids and my father, my mother would afterwards spend several hours each night preparing lessons for the following day. She did that five nights a week and sometimes at weekends at well. That preparation was NOT paid for in her salary, but if she and her colleagues did NOT do it they would not be in a position to teach the following day.

    However, that also means that if she had had to work a second or third job just to make ends meet she would not have been in a position to do her job as a school teacher.

    Hence, no doubt, why that US teacher starts her school day at 5am. Plainly, unlike my mother she has no time in the evening to do her next day's prep work and instead has to do it in the wee hours BEFORE school starts.

  • Zeb||

    Did you miss the part where she makes plenty of money to live a comfortable middle class existence?

    I agree that many teachers do put in a lot of extra time. My mother did the same. Not 11 hours a day, but much more than what she was contractually obliged to do. But she is paid well for a job with 13 weeks + of time off. If she doesn't have enough money from the teaching salary, it's because of choices she makes, not because it's an inadequate salary to live on.

  • Stephen54321||

    Zeb: "Did you miss the part where she makes plenty of money to live a comfortable middle class existence?"

    Did you miss the part where she has to work TWO extra jobs in order for she and his husband to live that "comfortable middle class existence"?

    Zeb: "If she doesn't have enough money from the teaching salary, it's because of choices she makes, not because it's an inadequate salary to live on."

    That's debatable. She is certainly by no means alone in the multiple jobs trend. According to the stats more than 5% of working Americans (closing in on 8 million) hold down multiple jobs.

    Then there's this article:

    https://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=93364&page=1

    which mentions that "Americans work more than anyone in the industrialized world." They "take less vacation, work longer days, and retire later, too."

    "[M]ore than 25 million Americans — 20.5 percent of the total workforce — reported they worked at least 49 hours a week in 1999. Eleven million of those said they worked more than 59 hours a week."

    No one works such long hours for nothing. For over one-FIFTH of the American workforce to be putting in such extended work-hours, whether in multiple jobs or through overtime at just one, suggests more than "lifestyle" is involved. A more reasonable conclusion would be that they need the money.

  • Sevo||

    Oh, goodie! One more slaver:
    Stephen54321|9.17.18 @ 8:09AM|#
    "Did you miss the part where she has to work TWO extra jobs in order for she and his husband to live that "comfortable middle class existence"?"
    Get another job an STFU. See how simple that was?

    "That's debatable. She is certainly by no means alone in the multiple jobs trend. According to the stats more than 5% of working Americans (closing in on 8 million) hold down multiple jobs."
    No, you idiot, it's not "debatable"; it's fact.

    "No one works such long hours for nothing. For over one-FIFTH of the American workforce to be putting in such extended work-hours, whether in multiple jobs or through overtime at just one, suggests more than "lifestyle" is involved. A more reasonable conclusion would be that they need the money."
    Yeah, your imbecilic assumptions are involved.
    Fuck off.

  • Stephen54321||

    Sevo: "Get another job an STFU. See how simple that was? ... Fuck off."

    Rude, crude, AND ignorant, all rolled into one obnoxious package. Nice. Is that your normal state of mind or only when you're being a troll?

  • vek||

    You do realize Americans ALSO have the highest incomes in the industrialized world right? At least if you exclude micro nations like Norway, which is really just the Saudi Arabia of Europe.

    As far as working lots of hours... Do you know how many of them are management guys that make 6 figures? Or engineers that make 6 figures? Etc. It's not all people making minimum wage. I've worked as much as 80 hours a week at points in my life, but I was mostly doing it because I was gettin' paid. WANTING more even if you have enough is a key driver for super achievers, and they make up a large chunk of the people who work a lot of hours.

    5% of people working multiple jobs is often the same. People who want more than they have. The truth is almost 100% of the population works more than we have to to have the standard of living our great grandparents have... But we want more, so we work more still. Some people working multiple jobs may feel the need to, but many are just doing it because they WANT more income, but don't really "need" it.

  • Mark22||

    After getting dinner for us kids and my father, my mother would afterwards spend several hours each night preparing lessons for the following day. She did that five nights a week and sometimes at weekends at well. That preparation was NOT paid for in her salary, but if she and her colleagues did NOT do it they would not be in a position to teach the following day.

    Routine lessons shouldn't require extensive preparation for an experienced teacher. If she needed to "spend several hours each night preparing lessons", she was incompetent and should have been fired.

  • Stephen54321||

    Mark22: "Routine lessons shouldn't require extensive preparation for an experienced teacher. "

    Only someone who did not know ANY teachers would make such a statement. Teachers do not do the same lesson from one day to next, or across all the classes they teach, especially in high school..

    Here are some stats own the issue from my own home state in Australia:

    While most people expect to work a 38-hour full-time week, our public school teachers are working far more. In fact, teachers are working an average of 54 hours per week (43 hours at school and 11 hours at home) due to the increasing administrative demands on them to meet compliance standards.

    (I'd post the link but Reason's comment system won't let me.)

  • operagost||

    Lesson plans are supposed to be compiled before the school year starts... you know, during those 8-10 weeks teachers are completely out of school for the summer. And they don't need to be completely redone every year. And revisions during the year should be expected, but minimal.

    But why do I bother? You are talking about Australia, and thus your arguments, if you call them that, are irrelevant.

  • Stephen54321||

    operagost: "You are talking about Australia, and thus your arguments, if you call them that, are irrelevant."

    If you don't know any teachers, let alone what their jobs require, and have not even done any research into the matter, then you are basically talking from a position of ignorance. So why are your arguments any more relevant?

  • Chasman1965||

    I taught for 8 years. An experienced teacher should be able to do a week's worth of lesson plans in a couple of hours. Yes, my first year, it took a long time to do a week's worth of lesson plans, but if you aren't getting better at it after a few years, you need to think about another job. And, no, I never reused lesson plans. It's just that anything gets faster with practice, and if after 36 weeks of writing lesson plans you aren't faster, then you have some kind of cognitive disability.

  • vek||

    Yup. My grandpa was a teacher, and I don't recall him EVER spending obscene amounts of time mulling over this kind of stuff at home after he got off. He graded some papers sometimes, etc, but it was not several extra hours every day.

  • Mark22||

    That is slave-driving by any yardstick.

    You seem to be a bit fuzzy on the concept of slavery: that involves compulsion.

    This woman can quit her job any time she likes. If things are as bad as you claim, it means that she is so unqualified and unemployable that this job is the best she can get.

  • Stephen54321||

    This woman can quit her job any time she likes.

    Easier said than done if, like many people, she has a growing family and a hefty mortgage to support.

    If things are as bad as you claim, it means that she is so unqualified and unemployable that this job is the best she can get.

    That's an absurd statement. If she was "unqualified and unemployable" she wouldn't be working as school teacher in the first place.

    Dunno about America, but in Australia you need a university degree and specific training in being a teacher to simply be allowed to teach, let alone advance through the teaching ranks. They don't just allow any tom, dick, or harry in through the schoolyard gate.

  • operagost||

    She must have a hefty mortgage, being that her household probably earns in excess of $100,000 yet she is forced to work a second job and sell plasma.

  • Stephen54321||

    operagost: "She must have a hefty mortgage"

    Probably, given that American financial institutions reportedly hold an estimated ten TRILLION dollars in mortgage debt on family residences.

    Or as one writer put it:

    To put that into perspective, mortgage debt stands about seven times larger than student loan debt, and about 10 times greater than credit card debt in the United States. ... Data from the Mortgage Bankers Association...suggests that Americans who applied for a purchase mortgage to buy a home in January 2017 were looking for a loan sized at an average of $309,200. At an average rate of 4.1% for 30-year mortgages during the month, the borrower would pay $1,494 in monthly principal and interest, in addition to any property taxes and homeowner's insurance premiums.

    He goes on:

    The vast majority of Americans (about 69%) of owner-occupied housing units with a mortgage cost their owners between $500 and $1,999 in total monthly expenses, but more than 10% of homes had a monthly cost of more than $3,000...

    That "more than 10%" with more than $3000/month can't all be the filthy rich.

  • D-Pizzle||

    "Probably, given that American financial institutions reportedly hold an estimated ten TRILLION dollars in mortgage debt on family residences."

    What in the world does this have to do with the size of her individual mortgage?

  • Stephen54321||

    D-Pizzle: "What in the world does this have to do with the size of her individual mortgage?"

    Because it suggests there are a growing mortgage debt problem in the US, which workers are finding can only be alleviated by working longer hours or getting a second (or third) job.

    There are roughly 56 million people with mortgages in the US. That suggests the average mortgage size is around $178,000. However, as it happens the average mortgage in the US 2017 was $137,000 but the average NEW mortgage was $244,000.

    In other words mortgages are rising. If interest rates aren't rising (much) then the likeliest cause is house/apartment prices are going up.

    If the size of mortgages are rising then wages have to rise also if a worker who wants to buy a house or apartment is able to afford it. If wages AREN'T rising but they still want to buy a house or apartment then if mortgage sizes are rising faster than wages are the reality is that the longer a person waits the greater the unaffordability will become. The temptation then is to get a mortgage sooner rather than later. However, if they can't afford one on the salary they DO have at that point in time then their choices come down to either to work longer hours and get lots of overtime (assuming their job allows overtime) or get a second job.

  • vek||

    There are affordability problems in the top dozen or so trendy major cities, but beyond that it's not much of a problem.

    Incomes in the USA leave people perfectly capable of buying homes in most places.

    As for this lady, she lives in a LOW cost of living area, and her family probably makes DOUBLE the income for an area... If that's not "enough" then how much is? Does she need to make 5 times income for her area? 10 times?

    You're obviously a deluded lefty, but if you make twice the average income, in the wealthiest industrialized country on earth, you're probably doing JUST FINE. If you're not, you have a severe spending problem.

  • D-Pizzle||

    Aggregate mortgage debt has nothing to do with her specific mortgage debt, just like the aggregate value of housing in this country has nothing to do with the value of her house. Also, vek's comment is spot-on.

  • Humaphobia||

    Eh, good teachers work plenty more than 9 to 5. The problem is incentivizing proper talent while also maintaining acceptable minimal certification and performance standards. Unions have made the latter impossible. Everyone above is correct that there are terrible teachers out there who can just ride apathy and ignorance to a bloated pension. The problem is that coupled with that, we don't really have incentives out there for teachers to excel in the public sector outside of them being good people and caring about children. That wanes even among the better teachers after a decade+ of dealing with shit parents.

    I can speak for my wife, who works as a teacher in Arizona, that she is both a) surrounded by incompetence and b) not paid enough for the work she does/supplies she provides to ensure her kids actually perform at an acceptable level. Our action is her just making as much money substitute teaching for a company hired out by school districts due to a mass teacher shortage, prior to us moving. If we neutered public unions, increased pay over a gradual scale, and then also increased performance and certification standards directly with pay increases, you could attract better teachers to the market. Too many commenters above speak as if teachers being "the dumbest people in college" and "incapable of doing anything else" is an inescapable norm. It really brings into question what people desire kids with bad parents to have for an education.

  • vek||

    Not going to get too deep into it, but you should get my general idea... What is enough in terms of pay, outcomes, etc?

    If teachers were paid $150K a year starting, and went up from there, we could probably steal half of the most brilliant people from private industry... But what would the outcome be? 10% improvements in outcomes for standardized tests? 15%? Would that be worth it?

    It's a balancing act. There are not unlimited funds for every thing in the universe that would be nice to do, including education. Also sucking those ultra competent people out of private industry may well have MORE negative side effects than the positive ones introduced by minor improvements in education.

    I'm of the belief that most kids do as well as they want/are able to, assuming a moderately stable home. I scored 99th percentile in most school years on most subjects, and mid-high 90s on my weakest subjects. I was in a so-so public school in a not affluent suburb in California, a state with a garbage system. Most other smart kids did fine too. And average kids did average.

    You can't turn an 85 IQ kid into Einstein, no matter how good the teacher. So there is some point of optimization. IMO there are lots of problems to fix in our education system, but I don't think we're going to see MASSIVE improvements in outcomes no matter what we do, because people are varied in their abilities.

  • XM||

    To be fair, she'll probably lose chunks of her salary to taxes, and she's probably paying off student loans. She won't qualify for most welfare benefits.

    On the other hand she probably qualifies for a bunch of deductions and if she lives anywhere near Asians she can make secondary income teaching in learning academies.

    I wouldn't be surprised if she has mortgage payments too.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    All of this is true, and you just described most of America.

  • bsrcpa||

    I have a friend who was a teacher she just retired at 53 she makes 45K a year in retirement plus health insurance. I also have friends a married couple who are both teachers, they make 130K a year combined and have a RV and travel around the country every summer. One of them is a coach so that helps him make a little extra. 130K a year is much more than the average family makes, especially is Georgia.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    This describes the teachers I personally know. My downstairs neighbors some years ago had fairly light schedules and on day 1 of summer vacation, packed their subaru with camping gear and dogs and were gone nearly until september. They weren't rich, but they seemed to make a comfortable living and... were fucking gone all summer. High five to them, but when I'm working minimum of 9 hours a day on a fixed salary 270+ days a year, I don't want to even hear about the hardships. If you're in a shit school district or have a stressful job because of low income students, that could be the fault of other factors, not your low pay.

  • emmanuel||

    And don't forget teachers, like police and firefighters, pay no Social Security tax either, and have quite generous retirement plans.

  • FlameCCT||

    Lest we forget, that is $55K for approximately 180 days of scheduled work not the 260 days let alone the 6 hours of scheduled work per day not the 8 hours of work per day. Teachers have 80 days time-off not to mention all the federal holidays that many people do not receive. Teachers also have full healthcare, retirement, sick time, vacation time, etc. that many people would love to receive.

    IOW she is paid:

    Scheduled days, scheduled hours: 180 days / 6 hours: $50.92/hour
    Scheduled days, normal hours: 180 days if 8 hours: $38.19/hour
    Normal days, normal hours: 260 days if 8 hours: $26.44/hour

    IMHO she is well paid for a part time employee. Although I have a suggestion, make all teachers work the full year, full hours, and same benefits as other government employees. I would further suggest the summer hours, when school is out be the time that class room prep, CEUs, training, etc. be accomplished.

  • Duelles||

    Leave teaching and get another job that pays what you want. When there are no more people willing to teach the pay scale will increase. And the outside economy will have cough it up. As a self employed idiot for 30+ years I covered all my benefits, both sides of taxes, and competed with contractors who dealt strictly is cash and paid no liability insurance, workers comp, or taxes! But, I could pick and choose jobs and retired at 58. No birthing ever. Supply a needed service to others.

  • texexpatriate||

    I entered First Grade in 1943 and ended my educational soiree with a doctorate. It's been my observation that the poor teachers of the 1940's, 1950's, and 1960's earned far less than they were worth, and they worked very hard as well. Today compensation has gone up but the teachers are much more poorly prepared and don't work nearly as hard and are worth less. They get no sympathy from me.

  • JonFrum||

    Teachers compare themselves with engineers with 'equivalent education.' There is no equivalence between an engineering degree and a teaching degree. Engineers - and other professionals - are highly intelligent people, and intelligence is valuable. School teachers largely come from state schools, where they are average students in courses that do not challenge the intellect. If anything, teachers get paid more than they deserve, do to their public sector union premium.

    First rule of salary - if you're worth more, then you can get more. If you're not getting more, you're not worth more.

  • operagost||

    In the three southeastern Pennsylvania school districts in my area, teachers with her level of experience earn $85-90K a year. As explained in the article, her compensation is in line with the cost of living in Kentucky. The media likes to quote the salaries of teachers in the poorer sections of the country to shock affluent, progressive white citizens of the coasts.

    If she's seriously needing to sell plasma, maybe she had better overhaul her finances.

  • ||

    Let's see how I can define the B.S. in this story.

    From my experience (Former teacher, Master's Mathematics, etc), not only is this "whale" not working from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m., since she has been teaching for 20 years, she's a mail man. A mail man is a teacher that already has a curriculum because she has been teaching the same curriculum for 20 years. This means, she uses the same calendar every year!

    Can you imagine having a job where you only work from 30 minutes prior to the start of school to 30 minutes after the start of school (contract language in most union mail teaching jobs). Moreover, she only working 9 months a year, a "real" mail man works all twelve.

    Consequently, I am in the process of suing the San Diego Unified School District, San Diego State University, Veterans's Affair and others because they didn't like the fact that while in the Army I had to kill Black men and Brown men (true story).

  • Diane B||

    I'd like to know her lifestyle, what car She drives, what kind of house she lives in. Where does she vacation? Seems as if she's over extended.
    55k is a good wage for middle class. Does her husband work? What is her combined family income?
    Sounds to me She's living beyond her means.

  • vek||

    Probably: BMW for her and $60K loaded SUV for hubby, 3,200 square foot 5 bedroom in a nice neighborhood, and a different awesome spot every year! But don't forget the jewelry, 70 inch TV, etc.

    There's no way somebody making that kind of money in a low cost of living place needs to work spare jobs, unless they're spending like crazy on something. Maybe a lot of things. Or a drug habit. Or gambling. SOMETHING is going on though.

  • Diane B||

    I'd like to know her lifestyle, what car She drives, what kind of house she lives in. Where does she vacation? Seems as if she's over extended.
    55k is a good wage for middle class. Does her husband work? What is her combined family income?
    Sounds to me She's living beyond her means.

  • Enemy of the State||

    If she's not paid for "the work we do", she should quit and do something else that does per her for "the work we do"...

  • Robert Arvanitis||

    The state, as employer, sets required credentials. They set levels - e.g. with master's degree.
    In a (reasonably) free market, when there's short supply of truck drivers in Houston, or roughnecks in North Dakota, those trades can make $100k.
    So if the market isn't functioning for teachers, we must ask what the state is doing to hinder. Must you live in the municipality? Mandatory union dues taken? Irrelevant teacher exams or licensing requirements? Are principals able to play favorites? Do work works stifle productivity, initiative, efficiency?
    *********************************
    Note that all those considerations make markets sticky, not frozen. So just like with an earthquake, when it finally moves it may be a bigger hit.

  • jonnysage||

    Hang on. I can make an extra $400 a month just selling my blood?

  • Smokert5555||

    Sorry, they get no sympathy from me. If this teacher has to sell her blood and work at other jobs, it's because she's spending more than she's taking in. That's her choice, not our problem. I've (and many, many others) worked similar hours for much less pay than she gets. Plus, she has a pension that many, many others don't have. Her problem is of her own making, so it begs the question as to why she's basically campaigning for more money and saying "Look at poor, poor, pitiful me!".

  • Longtobefree||

    If a person with 20 years experience has to work that many hours to complete their duties, they are completely incompetent.
    If a person cannot reconcile their income and expenditures, they are completely incompetent.

    To quote Gail Wynand - "Fire the bitch".

  • rau9||

    I also question that "5 am to 4 pm" part. She may RISE at 5, but, according to most teacher contracts, she is not REQUIRED to be there before about 1/2 hour before the kids get there. Most high schools get out earlier, so again - she might be exaggerating her working day's length.

    Your boss is not mandated to pay you more if you won't live within your means. This is not a new thing - workers have always pled poverty as the reason for a raise.

    The teachers in that article might be struggling to make ends meet, but - for most of them - it's a CHOICE, based on the reality that they could reduce their debt-load. Don't just sell the old clothes, downsize the house, get rid of the leased cars, and replace them with fully-paid-for beaters. Not only gets rid of the payment, but also the high insurance premiums.

    It's not pleasant to take a step backwards, financially, but - I've done it, and so have many of the taxpayers who sacrifice to pay her salary.

  • Humble Gardener||

  • Humble Gardener||

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