The teacher spending gap

Within the same district, California schools with the poorest students spend less on teachers, concludes an Education Trust West report on the hidden gap in teacher pay. Experienced, higher-paid teachers move to schools serving more affluent, easy-to-teach students, leaving low-income, high-stress schools with inexperienced, low-paid rookies. New teachers are less effective than experienced teachers, and much more likely to quit, requiring the school to replace them with more neophytes.

In San Jose Unified, a teacher at a high-poverty school makes $4,000 less on average than a teacher at schools serving the district’s most affluent students, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

About Joanne

Comments

  1. That’s true. Down here in California’s “Imperial” Valley, the difference in compensation can be highly variable. The larger districts can often pay as much as 20% more in total compensation.

    Here, the rural districts pay less, but have traditionally had the highest test scores due to a higher percentage of positive parent involvement and a lower percentage of non-English speakers.

    The cities pay much more, but the students are much more challenging.

    In all cases, (and districts) the average class size (except grades 1,2,3) is between 32 and 35 students.

  2. Mike in Texas says:

    Joanne wrote:

    New teachers are less effective than experienced teachers, and much more likely to quit, requiring the school to replace them with more neophytes.

    How many stories and comments have been posted on this site by Joanne and other “reformer” griping about teacher pay, how teachers shouldn’t get a raise just b/c they are experienced and how pay raises should be merit based (test scores). Now out of the mouth of Joanne herself, it turns out experience does count and some school districts have figured out you have to pay more to get experienced teachers.

    Oh, and I almost forgot the crowd that claims you won’t fix schools by throwing (wasting) more money on them. Looks like its more of a case of “you get what you pay for”.

  3. Yawn. As usual, you try to conflate experience, i.e. time on the job, with competence.

    Even the most worthless teacher is going to learn something over time. At the very least, they learn how not to annoy administrative types by causing waves. They may not be able to teach their way out of a paper bag but they never give anyone in administration a reason to have to apologize or explain. You think maybe an ability to stay off the management’s shyt list is a reason to get a raise?

    Looks like its more of a case of “you get what you pay for”.

    Uh, no. It looks more like a case of self-interest cast as saintliness.

    You can tell how well the message is selling by the success of the teacher’s unions in pushing their (your) agenda in the political arena.

  4. Mike in Texas says:

    Allen wrote:

    As usual, you try to conflate experience, i.e. time on the job, with competence.

    Did you read the story? The experience quote is from Joanne, not myself.

  5. And my response was to your predictable, tiresome attempt, as I wrote, to conflate tenure and competence.

    Of course, tenure might be proxy for competence if you could be sure that incompetence was rewarded by termination. But that can’t be the case in public education because teachers aren’t responsible for how much education occurs. So, everyone has a memory of a teacher who shouldn’t have been teaching for thirty minutes retiring after thirty years of devoted service.

    The notion that you should get what you pay for is, in no small measure, what’s powering the school reform movement. Pat yourself on the back Mike, you’re precisely the sort of person who’s contributed to that movement by successfully frustrating it for so long.

  6. Mike in Texas says:

    Pat yourself on the back Mike, you’re precisely the sort of person who’s contributed to that movement by successfully frustrating it for so long.

    Lots of industries pay more for experienced people.

  7. Mike in Texas wrote:

    Lots of industries pay more for experienced people.

    In lots of industries experience is a useful proxy for competence. In public education experience might indicate competence but how can you tell?

    Between civil service rules and the unions you can be a rotten teacher for a long time as long as you keep a low profile. Even Ted Kennedy seems able to appreciate that.

  8. Mike in Texas says:

    Allen,

    Between civil service and educator unions you can be an outstanding teacher and still be thrown out on your kister for daring to challenge administrative decisions.

    And yes, there are studies to show teacher experience is a direct factor in student achievement.

    http://www.asu.edu/educ/epsl/EPRU/documents/EPRU%202002-101/Summary-08.Glass.htm

    In fact, the only studies that claim there is no correlation between teacher experience and student achievement were conducted by your good buddies at the Fordham Foundation and Hoover Institutes, where being a political science teacher makes you an expert in education reform.

  9. Mike in Texas wrote:

    Between civil service and educator unions you can be an outstanding teacher and still be thrown out on your kister

    OK, now I understand. Your beef is that it’s possible to get fired from a teaching job.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for a big, lovin’ heap o’ sympathy.

    In the private sector you can be fired for “daring to challenge administrative decisions”, not being competent, for being employed by a company that has dumb executives, for being employed by a company that just has bad luck, for wearing socks that don’t match or because your boss just feels like it. Yet somehow the private sector gets along without the power to mandate behavior on the part of its customers and doesn’t require the power of government to compel payment for indifferent services.

    The link doesn’t support your position but that’s not suprising. They never do or their credibility is such that it doesn’t matter whether they support your position. This one, intriguingly, neither supports your position or has any credibility. Where do you find them?

    In any case, this is plowed ground. Remember that it takes, on average, $200,000 to fire a teacher in New Jersey? We did cover this in class earlier in the semester. Do try to pay attention.

    Besides, this is getting us fairly far from the point which is that teachers prefer to work where the working conditions are pleasent as opposed to working where the working conditions are repulsive. Why should anyone be suprised by that?

  10. Mike in Texas says:

    In the private sector you can be fired for “daring to challenge administrative decisions”, not being competent, for being employed by a company that has dumb executives, for being employed by a company that just has bad luck, for wearing socks that don’t match or because your boss just feels like it.

    You just don’t get it Allen. Education is not like anything else out there. Try some of the crap businesses pull and real children’s lives get seriously disrupted.

    How does my link not prove my point? Here’s a direct quote:

    Other things equal, 1) students of regularly licensed teachers achieve at higher levels than students of emergency certified teachers; and 2) more experienced teachers produce higher student achievement than less experienced teachers.

    Notice the lack of any idiotic, politician, political scientist or reforming hack jargon about competence. Whether you choose to believe it or not, experience equates to competence in the teaching field.

    Now, where is your evidence, other than the Fordham Foundation or Hoover Institute financed studies, that show this is not true?

  11. Mike in Texas wrote:

    You just don’t get it Allen. Education is not like anything else out there. Try some of the crap businesses pull and real children’s lives get seriously disrupted.

    As if you care.

    You’ve got your neat, little rationalizations all lined up like a palisade with you safely on one side and the inevitable results of those rationalizations on the other.

    You don’t have to give the slightest consideration to the efficacy of your precious “balanced approach” when little Justin ends up illiterate. No, mommy and daddy didn’t read to him enough or they let him watch too much TV or play too many electronic games or let him eat too much or didn’t feed him enough. Maybe mommy and daddy didn’t make enough money or came from the wrong ethnic group. Maybe the classroom is too hot or too cold or the teacher isn’t paid enough.

    There may be endless excuses that you’ll defend fiercely by believing in unquestioningly but there’s only one person whose job, who gets paid, to see that education happens.

    Public apathy, public deference to authority, the desire to assume – hope – that your kid is getting a good education while plenty of others clearly aren’t, are eroding away under the continued onslaught of illiterate parents seeing their kids becoming illiterate adults. That’s why charters and vouchers and tax credits and the NCLB came into existance over the determined resistance of what used to be the 800-pound gorilla of American politics, the teacher’s unions.

  12. Oh yeah, this jumped out at me as a typical example of Instructorial Conceit:

    You just don’t get it Allen. Education is not like anything else out there.

    Yeah? It’s not an art? It’s not a science? Or is the English language not up to the job of describing this unique – in the true and not misused meaning of the word – profession?

    Get over yourself.

    What you do for a living is what pretty much what every other human on the planet does throughout their lives without much fanfare and generally without any compensation.

    Why do you think that us hairless apes can be aptly described as The Learning Animal? Because we’re also The Teaching Animal as a modest amount of introspection would easily reveal.

    So please, expand on your assertion. Tell us what teaching is like instead of just assuring us what it’s not like which so far consists of “anything”.

  13. Mike in Texas says:

    Allen,

    I noticed you failed to post a link to any research, besides those paid for and commissioned by the Fordham Foundation and Hoover Institute, that shows teacher experience does not equate to student achievement.