Teachers are underpaid | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Teachers are underpaid

Posted By on Sun, Mar 13, 2011 at 7:45 AM

Nicholas Kristof isn't breaking new ground here, but it's worth repeating as the Tea Party and the school reform crowd promote the story line that teachers are overpaid, underworked and in need of mass firings.

The facts are that equal employment opportunity for women (or something more nearly approaching it) has decimated what used to be a built-in advantage for school kids — mass numbers of smart women with fewer job opportunities outside the classroom.

These days, brilliant women become surgeons and investment bankers — and 47 percent of America’s kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers come from the bottom one-third of their college classes (as measured by SAT scores). The figure is from a study by McKinsey & Company, “Closing the Talent Gap.”

Changes in relative pay have reinforced the problem. In 1970, in New York City, a newly minted teacher at a public school earned about $2,000 less in salary than a starting lawyer at a prominent law firm. These days the lawyer takes home, including bonus, $115,000 more than the teacher, the McKinsey study found.

It's very simple. We need to pay teachers more to attract more and better candidates into the profession. Isolated merit pay bonuses won't change that if the overall compensation remains mediocre. Ruthless firing of teachers will only create still more openings in tough jobs with unexciting pay. You can imagine how many brainiacs are lusting to build a career in impoverished communities with a starting pay of $28,000 or so and classrooms full of kids from struggling homes.

Pay teachers more. Value them more. That's a start.

Tags: ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (23)

Showing 1-23 of 23

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-23 of 23

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Municipal League targets FOI law changes

    The Arkansas Municipal League adopted four resolutions at its convention last week endorsing legislative changes in the state Freedom of Information Act. Some will not be well-received.
    • Jun 18, 2018
  • Monday's open line. Children in cages

    The open line and the daily news roundup, beginning with the caged concentration camps operated by the U.S. on our southern border.
    • Jun 18, 2018
  • Democrats choose new House leaders

    The House Democratic caucus has chosen Rep. Charles Blake of Little Rock as the new minority leader, succeeding Rep. David Whittaker of Fayetteville. Rep. LeAnne Burch of Monticello was chosen whip of the group.
    • Jun 18, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Arkansas Supreme Court refuses to rehear invalidation of marijuana act

    The Arkansas Supreme Court today denied a request to rehear its decision invalidating Issue 7, the medical marijuana initiated act.
    • Nov 3, 2016
  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation