The Problem With Raising Teacher Pay

You know that there’s a huge problem in the system when a first year kindergarten teacher is paid the same as a first year high school physics / calculus teacher. And that’s all the fault of the unions. 

Teachers should be paid what their degrees are worth. STEM majors can get starting jobs for $40-60k on the outside. Why would any good STEM majors want to teach? 

And history and English majors can get jobs at Starbucks for minimum wage. Why pay them above that? 

Despite low and stagnant teacher pay, raising teacher pay across the board is a bad idea, writes Pennington, a Bellwether Education Partners analyst.

Instead, districts should use teacher compensation as a lever to attract, retain, and support a high-performing teaching force, and they need to do this in a financially sustainable way. Base salary increases may be part of the solution, but districts also need to consider other key components of teacher compensation including teacher effectiveness, the speed of salary growth, bonuses and rewards, incentives for hard-to-staff schools and positions, and so on.

Most teacher salary schedules aren’t linked to teacher performance, explains Bellwethers’ Learning Landscape.

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