Paying teachers more for a master’s degree wastes money, conclude researchers Marguerite Roza and Raegen Miller in Separation of Degrees by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and the Center for American Progress.
On average, master’s degrees in education bear no relation to student achievement. Master’s degrees in math and science have been linked to improved student achievement in those subjects, but 90 percent of teachers’ master’s degrees are in education programs — a notoriously unfocused and process-dominated course of study.
In New York, 78 percent of teachers hold master’s degrees, costing an extra $416 per student or $1.12 billion a year.
Teacher pay should be aligned to their ability to boost student achievement, Roza and Miller conclude.
On City Journal, Sol Stern has “seven achievable reforms” in the New York City teachers’ union contract.
. . . (Mayor) Bloomberg’s six-year school-spending binge . . . fattened the education budget from $12.7 billion in 2003 to $21 billion this year — probably the greatest increase by a school district in the history of American education. The UFT was complicit in the spending, since it reaped a 43 percent across-the-board pay raise for teachers, an identical hike for the union’s executives and managers, and a commensurate increase in union dues.
One suggestion is to tear up the “irrational salary schedule” and replace it with “a formula that plausibly links pay raises to real academic accomplishment and classroom skills.”