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October 04, 2012

Chicago Contract Busts Budget; Layoffs Loom for Lowest Performers

Chicago teachers voted overwhelmingly today to ratify their new contract, sealing the deal that ended September's 7-day strike. The Chicago Teachers Union prevailed in obtaining a 2-3% annual raise for the next three to four years (totaling as much as 17.6% cumulatively), and in keeping the teacher ...

August 30, 2012

Should Certification Require a Master's Degree?

In my last post, I asked whether a Master's degree is worth the tens of thousands of dollars in tuition, time, and opportunity cost, given that it doesn't correlate with better teaching performance. Madeline writes: Personally, I believe a Master's Degree shouldn't even be attempted until the stu...

August 28, 2012

Is a Master's Degree Worth $30,000?

Should a Master's degree be part of the teacher certification process, and what role should it play in compensation, if any? Research has shown that holding a Master's degree does not predict higher teaching quality, and critics have pointed out that states "spend" some $14.8 billion on the pay bum...

August 23, 2012

Go Teach, Young Man: Tweaking Risk and Reward to Recruit Male Teachers

How do we attract more top-performing male teachers to the profession, and what role does compensation play? EdWeek recently published an op-ed, Rethinking Teacher Compensation, by Laura Overdeck, Arthur Levine, and Christopher Daggett. The authors argue that states should reallocate compensation ...

April 03, 2012

Unflattening Teaching and Raising the Ceiling on Pay

In my previous post, I suggested that teaching positions be reconfigured so that they have varying levels of responsibility and compensation. A robust discussion has ensued in the comments, and as I always hope when I write here, this has pushed my thinking further on the issue. First, on the matte...

April 03, 2012

Un-Flattening the Teaching Profession

One of the chief challenges to the teaching profession's status as a profession is its flatness. A first-year teacher has the same duties and working conditions as a 30-year veteran, and while the latter may be higher on the pay scale, not much else changes as a teacher (or a principal, for that mat...

March 29, 2012

Putting a Value on Instructional Time

If teaching is to be treated as a true profession, as I believe it should, how much value should we place on teachers' time? I was observing a math lesson a few weeks ago and started to wonder: How much does a lesson cost? How much is it costing for these students to be at school and participate in...

August 31, 2011

Our 'Social Security Crisis' in Teacher Compensation

There's little doubt that the Social Security system is broken. While it provides a critical safety net for senior citizens, it's one of the worst retirement investments I could possibly make. I honestly don't expect to see a dime of the Social Security tax I pay returned to me as retirement benefit...

August 29, 2011

Making Teacher Compensation a Non-Issue

Last week, I shared a provocative quote from Marc Tucker of the National Center on Education and the Economy: All we need to do to acquire a very poor teaching force is nothing. Tucker is saying not that we presently have a very poor teaching force, but that our teacher education programs are now a...

August 23, 2011

"All we need to do to acquire a very poor teaching force is nothing."

"All we need to do to acquire a very poor teaching force is nothing." So says Marc Tucker, President and CEO of the National Center on Education and the Economy, in this July 22 podcast (MP3) from Bloomberg EDU. He explains: We are now about to get the worst teachers we have ever had, for at least ...

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