How to pay (some) teachers more

By redesigning teachers’ roles to “extend the reach of excellent teachers,” we can pay excellent teachers up to 130 percent more without increasing class sizes and within current budgets, concludes the Opportunity Culture initiative.

“In 2007-08, states spent $14.8 billion on pay bumps for teachers with master’s degrees, which—time and again—have proven to be entirely unrelated to instructional effectiveness,” concludes The Sheepskin Effect.


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  1. Oh, it’s the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

    I wonder when Gates will get tired of throwing good money after bad?

    I would have thought “quite a while ago” but apparently Steve Jobs wasn’t the only one capable of deploying a reality distortion field and Bill Gates seems to have succombed to the effects of the one deployed by the NEA.

  2. Some places also bump up salaries – to doctoral degree level – for teachers with 60 graduate credit hours. A relative, who taught grades 3, 4 and 5 (at various times) was paid for a “doctorate” on this basis for 25+ years. I think she was an excellent teacher, but I don’t agree with paying regular ES teachers for a master’s, let alone a doctorate. It’s one thing to pay extra for a good reading or math specialist, but another to do it for everyone. At my kids’ ES, all the teachers had a master’s (in education) and were paid for it.

  3. Roger Sweeny says:

    At my kids’ ES, all the teachers had a master’s (in education) and were paid for it.

    I can hear the cynic in me saying, “If they were paid in proportion to how much that master’s improved their teaching, they were paid the same amount as someone without a master’s.”

    • They were almost all solid-to-excellent teachers (with the notable exception of the senile fourth-grade teacher who wasn’t considered worth the expensive hassle of firing), but I’m sure the additional degree had nothing to do with it. Most were in college when many fields were pretty closed to women, so lots of very bright women became teachers.

  4. Tom Linehan says:

    South Korea pays the best teachers more by a lot more than 130%. Some of the teachers who are in the greatest demand make millions.