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January 13, 2020

Florida Teachers Seeking Pay Boost Have a Big Opportunity

Florida's teachers are marching on Tallahassee today. Hard-working teachers deserve a big raise and talented teachers are profoundly underpaid. But teachers ought not overplay their hand, or they're likely to face a backlash of their own.

January 23, 2019

LA Teachers Strike a Deal, But Miss an Opportunity

Every California teacher could see an immediate pay boost of $10,250 per year, if not for the state's massive pension debt. Yet the LA teacher strike deal kicks the can on that crucial issue.

October 23, 2018

Sketching a Workable Way Forward on Teacher Pay

There's a win-win solution to teacher compensation. But it requires a willingness to rethink how teachers are paid and how school dollars are spent.

May 21, 2018

Of Teacher Strikes, Inigo Montoya, and Claims of 'Justice'

I don't think the teachers really intend to talk about "justice." What they're actually trying to do is to lend their demands a compelling moral claim, highlighting an unfortunate pathology in the public square today.

April 10, 2018

5 Thoughts on the Teacher Strikes

The recent teacher walkouts in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Kentucky have not only been remarkable for their scope and success, but have also rapidly reshuffled the educational debates.

March 29, 2016

A Trick for Attracting Science, Math, and Special Ed. Teachers

Are there reasons to be leery of varying teacher compensation by field? Absolutely. But the reality is that some knowledge and skills are more in demand than are others, and one consequence is that they cost more.

November 18, 2011

Making Sense of the Whole "Are Teachers Overpaid?" Thing

A couple weeks ago, Andrew Biggs, an AEI colleague, and Jason Richwine of the Heritage Foundation, authored a controversial study on teacher pay. They used federal wage, benefit, and job-security data, along with measures of cognitive ability, to argue that teachers are overpaid compared to what th...

April 04, 2011

Florida's Senate Bill 736: With "Wins" Like These...

Recently, I wrote about how turning reasonable discussions about issues like teacher evaluation and pay into polarizing moral crusades yields "reform" victories that amount to self-defeating, ham-handed mandates. The most recent example is the troubling, recently-enacted Florida Senate Bill 736. ...

March 24, 2011

How Moral Crusading Makes Us Stupid

One of my least favorite things about education is how eagerly we turn sensible discussions into bizarrely polarizing moral crusades. Aided by competing, mindless invocations of "it's for the kids," we manage to turn otherwise sensible discussions about school accountability, teacher evaluation and...

December 10, 2010

Rethinking Pay v. Mere Merit Pay Silliness

Boy, I can't decide whether I get more frustrated by the Ravitchian charge that rethinking teacher pay is an attack on schooling or the ludicrous merit pay schemes that masquerade as reform today. My choice, when asked to pick between those two approaches, is "neither." I try to explain why that's...

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The opinions expressed in Rick Hess Straight Up are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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