You Get The Teachers You’re Willing To Pay For

Or not pay for, as is the case in the U.S. (boldface mine):

You know what is a legitimately bizarre-to-the-point-of-being-funny choice for a political platform? “The job of teachers is too easy.” Yet this, in essence, has become a standard right wing talking point, in the guise of “teachers’ unions are bad.” After you spend some time thinking about these villainous teachers unions and all the work they have presumably been doing to make the lives of teachers unforgivably cushy, please take a look at this Economic Policy Institute report about teachers’ wages, which finds a yawning gap between what teachers are paid what comparable workers—that is, workers with similar credentials to teachers—are paid. Even when benefits are factored in, teachers are still making more than 11% less than their peers. In other words, we strongly incentivize talented and well-educated people not to be teachers. Because we do not pay them. This is a political choice.

When you isolate only the wages of public school teachers, the gap is even more striking: “For all public-sector teachers, the relative wage gap (regression adjusted for education, experience, and other factors) has grown substantially since the mid-1990s: It was ‑1.8 percent in 1994 and grew to a record ‑17.0 percent in 2015.”

And why is it that teachers tend to have strong unions? “In 2015, teachers not represented by a union had a ‑25.5 percent wage gap—and the gap was 6 percentage points smaller for unionized teachers.”

By the way, teachers have also lost ground in absolute terms–in inflation adjusted dollars, teachers are earning less now:


But I’m sure more standardized tests will fix this.

This won’t end well.

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One Response to You Get The Teachers You’re Willing To Pay For

  1. I think Donald Trump has the solution. He says that Charter schools will give parents more choices. They can decide to send their children to private Charter schools in poor neighborhoods where the teachers earn lower wages and aren’t unionized. This means they will get a better education because they had a choice. It will be amazing.

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