Sunday, March 30, 2014

Top Three Barriers to Paying Teachers $90k a Year

By Joy PullmannMarch 26, 2014

Matt Damon made headlines a few years ago when he went on an expletive-laced screed about teachers’ poor (not his word, but close) salaries. It’s personal to him because Damon’s mother is an early childhood education professor.

Let’s agree with Damon that good teachers should earn a lot. The job can be very demanding, and it is crucial to society. So what would it take to pay teachers a great salary — say, something around $90,000 a year or more? That’s actually possible, without raising taxes or adding to the great American debt mountain. Here are three major barriers to that.
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My Take All this sound good, but most of this is a load of hoohaw!   This claptrap about how much better off they would be in the private sector is a logical fallacy.  We have to assume they could get or hold a job in the private sector, and that can’t be proven one way or the other.  As for 90,000 a year as a goal - a great many are already making that kind of money, and the kids they’re turning out have to take remedial reading, writing and math before they can enter college. In short, here are the real three “barriers” preventing teachers from making more money.  Most teachers are already overpaid, underworked and need remedial education themselves!

 And I know this because in Ohio about 25 years ago or so they were required to take a test to see just how educated they were – a test at the fifth grade level – and the outcome was disturbing, and this is still an issue.

Now one of the arguments is - it isn’t the teachers, it’s the system.  I agree the system plays a major role in these outcomes, but how does that justifying paying them more?  The claim in a commercial by Brian Williams (who needs to go back to Canada) is we need “world class teachers” to keep up.  Okay, but if the system is so flawed what possible difference could having great teachers make?   The logical conclusion from that commercial is we have substandard teachers at the money and benefits we currently pay, which is already unsustainable.  So why would we want to pay substandard teachers more and why would we pay extra for “world class teachers” – whatever that means - if the system forces them to fail in their task?

I’m 67 and during my school years teachers made a fraction of what they do now, but we all came out knowing how to read, write and work basic math.  And the teachers had three months off for the year -  and one more time - they didn’t make the equivalent of  $90,000.

So the logical question that must be asked is this; were they world class teachers, or was the system designed to actually teach?  So which is more important, a good system or a great teacher?  Is it possible that it’s the system that makes the teacher great?  

The reality is the system is designed to dumb down our kids, overpay teachers irrespective of their abilities and load down the taxpayers with guilt and taxes.   We need to get this.  Whenever you start hearing someone spouting emotional phrases like – “It’s for the children” – you had better look more closely at what’s going on behind the scenes, because that’s an intentional emotional trigger to push through something that’s for someone other than the children.

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