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(APM Marketplace)   Would paying public school teachers a $125,000 salary improve student performance? One New York City school is trying it out   (marketplace.org) divider line 148
    More: Interesting, New York City, University of New York, student tests, students, salary, student achievement, special educations  
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4941 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Feb 2013 at 5:07 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-05 06:26:44 AM  

EZ Writer: Yes, teachers should be paid more. But, if you really want student performance to increase, you have to find a way to increase the parent give a f*ck factor. That's a major part of the problem... And for crying out loud, stop teaching to the ridiculous SOL test! It's nothing but a handcuff.

My wife is a public school teacher, making me an indisputable expert.

Thread over.


us.123rf.com
 
2013-02-05 06:28:28 AM  
I was a sixth grade teacher 17 years ago, an eager, energetic young man with visions of doing good for the world through dedication to this profession, and boy did it humble me.  What a horrible, horrible job that was.  I cried like a baby on many Sunday nights, knowing that no matter what I did, each day would be derailed into chaos by five or six students.  Nothing would stop them...because ultimately, their parents didn't care. 

To be the kind of person who can pull off consistent great teaching in today's world, one has to excel at many things...on one hand, being an empathetic person who's also creative, energetic and intelligent with subject matter.  On the other, a fantastic air-traffic controller.  That sort of skill set would earn you many times that amount of money in other professions!   And who, in their right mind, would do it?

I had the good personable skills and content intelligence, lacked the air traffic control skills, and paid the price.  After two years of a living Hell, the best thing I ever did was leave that profession.  I refused to give in and be a marine drill sargent who passed out worksheets all day in order to survive the job. 

All that for $26,900 in 1995. 

/Never psychologically recovered, either.  If you're like me in your first year and suicidal, DON'T stick it out for two years to prove how tough you are.
 
2013-02-05 06:40:54 AM  
I doubt it. It would probably be better to hire more teachers or teacher assistants or tutors. I bet that smaller class sizes and more one-on-one time for those students who need it would help more.
 
2013-02-05 06:45:40 AM  

FloydA: Would paying professional football, baseball, and basketball players $125K have any effect on their performance?


There was a TED talk about what motivates us and it claimed that physical performance differs from mental peformance when it comes to monetary reward. For physical tasks, it does make for improvements when more money is offered but not for mental tasks.
 
2013-02-05 06:46:43 AM  
Pay them for the hours they spend making lesson plans, PTA meetings, and grading papers. It probably would double most teachers' salaries.
 
2013-02-05 06:50:42 AM  

mamoru: While the increased pay would certainly help with motivation, it's not going to do a thing unless...

a.) administrators (and politicians) stop doing every asinine thing to interfere with how and what teachers teach
b.) teachers are properly trained on how to present material as well as having adequate knowledge of their subject (and given chances and adequate funding to do such training periodically)
c.) class sizes are decreased and classes are separated by ability

Hell, if I could have those three things happen (including being given adequate time and funding for b.) to happen to continue improving), I wouldn't need the pay raise (though it would, of course, be nice). Hell, I'd be willing to double my teaching hours for the same salary if it meant I could cut my class sizes in half and separate the halves based on ability and interest.

Granted, I'm not teaching in a US school system, so YMMV. But I have a feeling that those three things are pretty universal.

But still, I definitely wouldn't say no to a raise. ;)


Here we separate kidsinto 6 levels according to scholastic results at age 12. The highest 2 levels (HAVO and VWO) has stuff in year 2 of 6 that the "regular" to low levels (VMBO which has 4 tiers) have at the end of year 4 of 4. The smart kids got in depth information at a higher pace while the others could spend additional weeks learning what a sine is or how to find x is a basic sum.

You also notice the seperation in the school environment. I have a ti-83 that I sometimes left at a table while I was away for an hour or two. Nothing ever happened to it. A few years after I graduated they let some of the VMBO classes be held in our building due to renovations. Suddenly all kinds of stuff went missing. If someone noticed your wallet? gone. Calculator? Gone.

/Glad I was away at that point.
 
2013-02-05 06:51:06 AM  
Also, money is poorly spent. For example $15,000 per student is paid by the city of Baltimore for public education link

That money is NOT going to better teachers or to school supplies. Where does it all go?
 
2013-02-05 06:54:08 AM  
They would biatch that it was not enough and want a 20% raise.
 
2013-02-05 06:58:13 AM  
With that kind of money I bet they will attract more hot teachers to bang students.
 
2013-02-05 06:59:55 AM  

mamoru: While the increased pay would certainly help with motivation, it's not going to do a thing unless...

b.) teachers are properly trained on how to present material as well as having adequate knowledge of their subject (and given chances and adequate funding to do such training periodically)


As a parent with five kids in public school, this gets me.  I had two kids in freshman science last year.  One teacher taught the class; one sent home worksheets and spent class time on Facebook and YouTube.  This year, the student who had FB teacher constantly hears, "You should have learned that last year."

I have no problem paying the teachers who are there to teach.  We've had many of those.  The ones who are there for vacations need to be sent packing.  We've had plenty of those, too.
 
2013-02-05 07:00:31 AM  

Befuddled: I doubt it. It would probably be better to hire more teachers or teacher assistants or tutors. I bet that smaller class sizes and more one-on-one time for those students who need it would help more.


Eitehr way, it only addresses the least of three problems. It does not address the problem of bloated, inefficient administration, nor does it address the huge, hulking elephant in the living room - the attitudes of parents.
They expect the schools to educate and socialize the undisciplined little monsters they have raise without any inconvenience to them, and without ever rustling said little monsters precious jimmies in any way.
And to have it done by people they hold in contempt, and treat like garbage collectors.
Until that changes, nothing anybody does is going to help.
 
2013-02-05 07:02:16 AM  
It would provide some benefit in that it would attract more qualified applicants to the teaching ranks. With better applicants, schools would be able to hire better/smarter teachers, relative to now.

Would the benefit/improvement be worth the cost? Probably not, as I agree with those above who have said the problem is not with the teachers but with the students. It's GIGO. The best carpenter in the world couldn't make fine furniture from a rotted piece of lumber.
 
2013-02-05 07:04:37 AM  

EZ Writer: Yes, teachers should be paid more. But, if you really want student performance to increase, you have to find a way to increase the parent give a f*ck factor. That's a major part of the problem... And for crying out loud, stop teaching to the ridiculous SOL test! It's nothing but a handcuff.

My wife is a public school teacher, making me an indisputable expert.

Thread over.


Where exactly does your wife work that none of her co-workers are part of the problem?  "Poorly educated" or "failing to give even the minimum required number of farks" described about 3/4 of the teachers when I worked public schools.

Actually I'd say that something like half the reason the US trails in most subjects at the primary/secondary level is that we allow people to teach with an "education" degree, which is a major that people with real degrees in undergrad use as shorthand to insult each others' intelligence.

And half the remaining problems are a complete lack of teacher accountability for anything short of a major felony.  I mean, look at the anti-standardized test people.  They're not suggesting some better form of performance metric, they're suggesting that  teachers arbitrarily get to rate their own performance, with a monetary incentive to say they're doing well.  And with the way the unions work in some states no one can get fired, ever.

But sure, blame the other 25% on the parents, go for it.  That said, we cannot magically force people to behave responsibly on their own time.  Instead of passing the buck every time the issue comes up, primary/secondary needs to get its own house in order.

//Teacher salaries are actually perfectly in-line with other jobs requiring generalist or academic degrees.  The "not paid enough" line hasn't been valid since like the 1970s, if then.
 
2013-02-05 07:17:54 AM  
The schools with the highest paid teachers in my county is also the schools with the lowest test scores for decades now. Higher teacher/administrator salaries do not equate to better student performance. Though, that does pose the question of what impact simply putting that money into teaching supplies/equipment by itself would make.
 
2013-02-05 07:22:47 AM  
It depends.

Are they going to go out and find the very best teachers in the country, or otherwise get experts in various fields (who would have at least some teaching background) to come in?

Or are they just going to give teachers who are already there a giant raise?
 
2013-02-05 07:24:53 AM  

EZ Writer: Yes, teachers should be paid more. But, if you really want student performance to increase, you have to find a way to increase the parent give a f*ck factor. That's a major part of the problem...


Came here to say this. The decline in education came when both parents were either too busy working jobs to care or they thought they could outsource their parenting to the schools and siblings because the kids were "holding them back". I'm not a fan of dumping money at the problem while looking the other way from the causes of it.
 
2013-02-05 07:26:24 AM  
Why not? It works for politicians.
 
2013-02-05 07:26:34 AM  
Just raising a teacher's salary won't make them a better teacher. A shiatty teacher is a shiatty teacher at any price. The idea should be that the higher salary attracts people to the teaching profession who otherwise would have made more money in another business or industry.
 
2013-02-05 07:29:12 AM  
Sure, if you empower them to do what they need to.

Allow them to whip out Ol' Spanky when it's appropriate.
 
2013-02-05 07:29:54 AM  
FTA "We give our master teachers one year to prove themselves"

For first year teachers with no real lesson plans, no experience, no time proven testing methods, no experience with a class room of crazy children, this goal will be impossible to meet. Either the turnover will be ridiculous at that school or they are hiring teachers near retirement age and nothing to lose.
 
2013-02-05 07:31:29 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: So, cut frills and make each teacher do two jobs


That's a pay cut. So i guess you're against the raise idea. Thanks for giving it a chance though.
 
2013-02-05 07:33:34 AM  
Get rid of standardized testing, all of it. Get some decent textbooks written by actual experts in the field, not people who do nothing but write school textbooks, stop pushing homework so much, don't over do tests, and actually engage students. When you shovel lessons at students as something they just need to suck down with no thought of actually engaging them, having them think or having any idea what any sort of point in it all is, you get problems.
 
2013-02-05 07:34:04 AM  
No, in five years they will all strike to earn 175k a year. I get a kick out of the philosiphy of "if we pay our teachers more, we could get better teachers in our school district." This would make the "good" teachers leave their district or force the district to pay them more.

More money does not mean better teachers and higher test scores.

End tenure and hold teachers more responsible for their students knowledge advancement.
 
2013-02-05 07:35:54 AM  

mamoru: Oh, forgot one...

d.) Stop blaming the teacher if a student is doing poorly

Yes, if an entire class has poor performance, then the teacher and his/her abilities need to be looked at, and assistance or discipline needs to be applied. However, if it is only a few, then maybe, just maybe the problem is not with the teacher but with the student. So, stop blaming us if your precious little snowflake is screwing around and not doing the work and then ends up failing. Do some damn parenting and help us out by not producing little shiat-heads. :p


It must suck to be parent and teacher all at once, but it seems that's what we expect of our educators.
 
2013-02-05 07:36:52 AM  

mrsjdmcd: mamoru: While the increased pay would certainly help with motivation, it's not going to do a thing unless...

b.) teachers are properly trained on how to present material as well as having adequate knowledge of their subject (and given chances and adequate funding to do such training periodically)

As a parent with five kids in public school, this gets me.  I had two kids in freshman science last year.  One teacher taught the class; one sent home worksheets and spent class time on Facebook and YouTube.  This year, the student who had FB teacher constantly hears, "You should have learned that last year."

I have no problem paying the teachers who are there to teach.  We've had many of those.  The ones who are there for vacations need to be sent packing.  We've had plenty of those, too.


In Pennsylvania, once they get their tenure, it's extremely hard to get rid of them. My school years were over before there was Facebook and YouTube, so instead I had teachers that drank whisky and read magazines but couldn't be fired because they'd been there 20 years and had tenure.

Same problem continues with new technology to enable it.
 
2013-02-05 07:37:35 AM  
Back about 8 or so years ago, I was thinking about changing careers and didn't know what I wanted to do.  Getting full-time work in the IT industry wasn't cutting it.  I thought about teaching.  I got the opportunity to observe what teachers these days do in elementary school, so I sat in and watched.

By about 10 AM I was like 'AW HELL NAW.'

The rest, of course, is history.
 
2013-02-05 07:38:14 AM  

EZ Writer: Yes, teachers should be paid more. But, if you really want student performance to increase, you have to find a way to increase the parent give a f*ck factor. That's a major part of the problem... And for crying out loud, stop teaching to the ridiculous SOL test! It's nothing but a handcuff.

My wife is a public school teacher, making me an indisputable expert.

Thread over.


it's not just one side. Teachers need to be held just as responsible as the parents and the student themselves. Maybe if all of the teachers gave a fark we would be in a better place.
 
2013-02-05 07:39:40 AM  

WhyteRaven74: Get some decent textbooks written by actual experts in the field


I make sure my son only goes to school where they issue "Authentic" Texas Board of Education (tm) textbooks.  I'll accept nothing less.
 
2013-02-05 07:40:58 AM  

heili skrimsli: tenure


I could never understand what the thinking was behind that.  If I worked here for 20 years and suddenly one day decided to slack off and watch pr0n or drink while at work, I'd be out on my ass.
 
2013-02-05 07:42:30 AM  

doglover: mamoru: I'm also very glad that the fact I don't teach English any more was made quite obvious in the sentence where I stated it. :-/

I know, but the filthy liters might not.

DON'T TEACH ENGLISH IN JAPAN!

 
2013-02-05 07:45:18 AM  

great_tigers: End tenure and hold teachers more responsible for their students knowledge advancement.


If you pay more you might get some people who would otherwise do other things. Granted you'd have to accept that some of these people may have some slightly radical ideas, you may end up with math teachers who think anyone with a pulse can learn basic calculus, and worse, they'll prove it.
 
2013-02-05 07:47:11 AM  

thisisarepeat: Isnt $125,000 in New York approximately equal to $37,000 in the "fly over states" ?


farkingnotworking: Also, keep in mind that 125,000 in NYC is chump change.   Nice pay for a teacher, but crap when compared to what  all the other white collar workers are making.


Jon iz teh kewl: the fact that they're not making 125k already is terrifying me.  why would someone want to live in such a place without at least a 7 figure income??


The median family income in NYC is 66k.
 
2013-02-05 07:52:35 AM  

WhyteRaven74: great_tigers: End tenure and hold teachers more responsible for their students knowledge advancement.

If you pay more you might get some people who would otherwise do other things. Granted you'd have to accept that some of these people may have some slightly radical ideas, you may end up with math teachers who think anyone with a pulse can learn basic calculus, and worse, they'll prove it.


that's why you fire them. There are tons of teachers looking for work.
 
2013-02-05 07:58:35 AM  
Um, have you thought about paying the students instead? They're the ones whose performance you're really trying to improve, right? Why pay the teachers more?
 
2013-02-05 07:58:38 AM  
Or, you know, we could cut out all this crap that every child can be an doctor or engineer and start teaching some of them that there's no shame in trades. We all had those kids in our classes we knew were never going to college but spent their weekends working on cars or building things. Sure, maybe they can't understand string theory or calculus but they could take apart and put back together a car with a butterknife or spot weld blindfolded. I'm a crane operator and I'm much happier working outside with my hands then I ever would have been in an office.
 
2013-02-05 08:03:47 AM  

amquelbettamin: Pay them for the hours they spend making lesson plans, PTA meetings, and grading papers. It probably would double most teachers' salaries.


Bls.gov has work hours by job. Teachers self reported hours is below average worker hours.

Stop the myth of teachers working longer hours. Reports dont line up.
 
2013-02-05 08:05:41 AM  

doglover: Teachers who don't have to work three jobs can plan better lessons.


Ah the sniveling of the "poor" teachers

NYC Median income 2012 $56,951

In the 2008-2009 school year, the 50th percentile of teacher salary earnings in New York City was $69,901, according to the New York State Education Department


Link

Median household income for Michigan $48,669

Michigan elementary school teachers on average earned $54,290 per year in May 2009

Middle school teachers in Michigan made slightly more than elementary teachers, 2009 BLS figures show, with an average annual salary of $55,270 and a median salary of $53,700 per year.

Michigan's secondary school teachers were paid an average annual salary of $52,110


It does not work in Detroit:

More than 300 teachers in the region make more than $100,000 - double the median household income - and the average top wage for a teacher with a master's degree and roughly a decade of experience is nearly $82,000

Only 7% of Detroit Public-School 8th Graders Proficient in Reading. only 4 percent scored highly enough to be rated "proficient" or better in math.
 
2013-02-05 08:09:53 AM  
As an aside. I agree with more money for teachers, but at the price of less administration. School district I live in siphons off 45% of funds for an incompetent admin. In the late 70s it was only 25% but student test scores were the same.

Let high performing students advance quicker. Do not slow the smart down in the name of self esteem for the dumb. Hold kids back, stop passing failing kids.
 
2013-02-05 08:10:00 AM  

mamoru: @doglover, been there, done that. Unless you can get a full time contract at a single school, teaching English in general and specifically in Japan pretty much sucks. I'm very glad I'm don't teach English anymore.

But, "double" is a bit of an exaggeration, as I currently have 24 hrs of class time per week, and 48 would be impossible. Perhaps if I could drop a couple of classes (maybe my 7th grade math classes so I could focus solely on 10, 11, 12 biology classes) then double hours with half class sizes (so 36 hrs/wk) would be such a good thing.

Overall point is that smaller classes would be so nice that I'd rather have that than a salary increase.


So, you're wanting to work less for more pay. I get it.
 
2013-02-05 08:12:53 AM  

Jim_Callahan: EZ Writer: Yes, teachers should be paid more. But, if you really want student performance to increase, you have to find a way to increase the parent give a f*ck factor. That's a major part of the problem... And for crying out loud, stop teaching to the ridiculous SOL test! It's nothing but a handcuff.

My wife is a public school teacher, making me an indisputable expert.

Thread over.

Where exactly does your wife work that none of her co-workers are part of the problem?  "Poorly educated" or "failing to give even the minimum required number of farks" described about 3/4 of the teachers when I worked public schools.

Actually I'd say that something like half the reason the US trails in most subjects at the primary/secondary level is that we allow people to teach with an "education" degree, which is a major that people with real degrees in undergrad use as shorthand to insult each others' intelligence.


The teachers who are "Poorly educated" or "failing to give even the minimum required number of farks" are in the best positions to succeed long-term under the current education system.

If you have the content mastered, why would you bang your head against the wall to do crowd control every day when you could have much less stress at almost any other job?  If employees are disruptive or won't work then they are fired.  If students are disruptive or won't work then it's just another part of the teacher's job to somehow fix someone else's attitude.  Everyone wants public school teachers to have college professor level knowledge but also do the work that's done by TAs and secretaries for those professors.

Caring about students too deeply gives emotional highs and lows but, just like being a doctor, you have to learn to separate yourself or you will just burn out emotionally.  The old jaded teachers are the ones who've learned that lesson.  Emotional separation is seen as a plus in a doctor and as a huge negative in a teacher.
 
2013-02-05 08:13:10 AM  
Notice in some locations where teachers are paid above average they have some of the poorest performing schools-like Waashington DC. Conversely some locations with low teacher pay do better in perforamnce.


www.teachersalaryinfo.comhttp://www.teachersalaryinfo.com/images/datacharts-2.gif">


Average Teacher Salary Compared to Median Household Income.

Note: this chart compares one teacher's salary with that of a "household" income. So according to this chart, it is better to be in a state with bars on the right side of the chart, which means a teacher in that state makes more than the Median Household Income for that state
 
2013-02-05 08:13:16 AM  

alwaysjaded: Or, you know, we could cut out all this crap that every child can be an doctor or engineer and start teaching some of them that there's no shame in trades. We all had those kids in our classes we knew were never going to college but spent their weekends working on cars or building things. Sure, maybe they can't understand string theory or calculus but they could take apart and put back together a car with a butterknife or spot weld blindfolded. I'm a crane operator and I'm much happier working outside with my hands then I ever would have been in an office.


You're spot on.  I've currently got a son with two Ds and a C (algebra, biology, and English).  Give him something to take apart and put back together, no problem.
 
2013-02-05 08:14:54 AM  

Tumunga: mamoru: @doglover, been there, done that. Unless you can get a full time contract at a single school, teaching English in general and specifically in Japan pretty much sucks. I'm very glad I'm don't teach English anymore.

But, "double" is a bit of an exaggeration, as I currently have 24 hrs of class time per week, and 48 would be impossible. Perhaps if I could drop a couple of classes (maybe my 7th grade math classes so I could focus solely on 10, 11, 12 biology classes) then double hours with half class sizes (so 36 hrs/wk) would be such a good thing.

Overall point is that smaller classes would be so nice that I'd rather have that than a salary increase.

So, you're wanting to work less for more pay. I get it.


Wat?
 
2013-02-05 08:16:14 AM  

Tumunga: So, you're wanting to work less for more pay. I get it.


Your math teachers obviously failed you, if you think the suggestion of having more teaching hours for the same pay is somehow equal to less work for more pay.
 
2013-02-05 08:17:47 AM  

MyRandomName: amquelbettamin: Pay them for the hours they spend making lesson plans, PTA meetings, and grading papers. It probably would double most teachers' salaries.

Bls.gov has work hours by job. Teachers self reported hours is below average worker hours.

Stop the myth of teachers working longer hours. Reports dont line up.


Can you link to that report?  I'm looking at BLS and not finding it.
 
2013-02-05 08:17:47 AM  
Might work.

They cut the unions out of the deal and make the teachers compete for the jobs. Which means, assuming the hiring folks knew their asses from a hole in the ground, they should have been able to find The Best And The Brightest.

We'll see how well that works out for them once the students come into play.

Of course, since it's a charter school, they were able to be selective about their students, too.
 
2013-02-05 08:20:43 AM  

great_tigers: No, in five years they will all strike to earn 175k a year. I get a kick out of the philosiphy of "if we pay our teachers more, we could get better teachers in our school district." This would make the "good" teachers leave their district or force the district to pay them more.

More money does not mean better teachers and higher test scores.

End tenure and hold teachers more responsible for their students knowledge advancement.


Charter school. No union, no strikes. Try again.
 
2013-02-05 08:21:05 AM  
Paying a decent wage AND finding teachers that are competent will improve performance in schools.  Throwing money at a problem is never a solution.
 
2013-02-05 08:23:29 AM  

hasty ambush: Notice in some locations where teachers are paid above average they have some of the poorest performing schools-like Waashington DC. Conversely some locations with low teacher pay do better in perforamnce.



Teachers get paid more in poorly-performing areas because no one wants to teach there.
 
2013-02-05 08:23:42 AM  

mamoru: Tumunga: So, you're wanting to work less for more pay. I get it.

Your math teachers obviously failed you, if you think the suggestion of having more teaching hours for the same pay is somehow equal to less work for more pay.


If you're at work less than 2200 hours a year and earning more than $McPay, you're "working less" and getting "more pay" than most of the people that recite that refrain.

Grading papers at home isn't work, because you can do it with your pants off. You might as well be playing XBox.
 
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