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View Diary: A political issue -- teacher pay (255 comments)

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  •  Underpaid educators (none)

    Excellent diary!  In most fields, it would be taken for granted that if you want quality, you pay for it.  With teaching, though, there is this sentiment that teachers are lazy people with cushy jobs, and so the solution is tighter management controls.  I know we've all had a few teachers who fit that bill, but the majority sure dont -- and there'd be no need to accept so many underperformers if we paid enough to attract quality talent.

    I'm not as opposed to greater flexibility in hiring/firing and greater accountability as some Dems are, but, if we're going to expect better performance, we need to pay for better performance, too.

    On a side note:  I wonder how many people don't realize how poorly paid educators are relative to their qualifications and their other options.  A while ago I was chatting with a family acquantaince who runs a small manufacturing business in New Hampshire.  He knew I was looking for academic jobs and wondered what they paid.  I asked him to guess what professors start at.  He thought for a second -- thinking, I could tell, "Hmm, a guy with years of grad school at MIT, harder to do than an MBA or law degree, must have to pay those people pretty well".  So, he guessed $150,000.  When I told him it was more like $40,000, and only $60,000 even at Ivy League caliber schools, he was just stunned.

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