The Chicago teacher strike has resurrected the question at the center of much edupontificating: Are American teachers underpaid or overpaid?
For some perspective, we’ve compiled data on the average wages of elementary-school, middle-school, and high school teachers in more than 300 metropolitan areas. As you’ll see, most teachers make more than $45,320, the average yearly wage for all occupations tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Yet the range of what they earn varies widely: Elementary-school teachers in Jefferson City, Missouri, earn an average of $37,090; their colleagues in Long Island, New York, earn an average of $90,560. More…
via Map: How Much Do Your Local Teachers Earn? | Mother Jones.
The independent fact finder’s recommendation that Chicago Public Schools officials have been pinning their hopes on to resolve a contentious teachers contract dispute is finally in — but Mayor Rahm Emanuel may wish it wasn’t.
The report essentially gives Emanuel’s school board a tough choice: dole out double-digit teacher raises in the first year of a four-year contract, or roll back the mayor’s signature longer school day and year effort.
Fact finder Edwin Benn found that CPS “caused this problem by lengthening the school day and year to the extent it did when it was having serious budget problems,’’ according to a copy of Benn’s long-awaited report reviewed by the Chicago Sun-Times.
“The board cannot realistically expect that it should not have to compensate employees for the problem it caused by an almost 20 percent increase for the employees’ work time. Continue reading
Under Act 10, public workers can’t negotiate health care benefits, work conditions, or really anything. The one thing they can “negotiate” is whether or not their wages will be adjusted for inflation.But, now we find that this was just the tip of the iceberg.The Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) General Counsel Peter Davis has confirmed that a new rule recently approved by Governor Walker, together with Act 10, will prohibit school districts and other governmental bodies from including most so-called “add-ons” in the pay scales of new contracts. While years-of-experience add-ons largely will be preserved, additional education, advanced degrees and most other add-ons will be prohibited from being put in the contract.This will hit all public sector workers hard, but will teachers the hardest.
Davis agreed and said that a commonly used “guesstimate” for the effect of the changes was that about 30% of the wages actually paid to teachers would not be counted as part of the total wages. Continue reading
By Diane Ravitch on March 27, 2012 11:41 AM
There comes a time when you look at the rug on the floor, the one you’ve seen many times, and you see a pattern that you had never noticed before. You may have seen this squiggle or that flower, but you did not see the pattern into which the squiggles and flowers and trails of ivy combined.
In American education, we can now discern the pattern on the rug.
Consider the budget cuts to schools in the past four years. From the budget cuts come layoffs, rising class sizes, less time for the arts and physical education, less time for history, civics, foreign languages, and other non-tested subjects. Add on the mandates of No Child Left Behind, which demands 100 percent proficiency in math and reading and stigmatizes more than half the public schools in the nation as “failing” for not reaching an unattainable goal.
Along comes the Obama administration with the Race to the Top, and the pattern on the rug gets clearer. It tells cash-strapped states that they can compete for federal funding, but only if they open more privately managed schools where few teachers have any job protections, only if they adopt national standards that have never been field-tested, only if they agree to evaluate teachers by student test scores, and only if they are ready to close down low-performing schools, fire the principal and staff, and call it a turnaround. Continue reading
Gov. Pat Quinn wants to eliminate state funding for two health insurance programs that provide coverage for retired schoolteachers and community college instructors across Illinois.The idea, part of the new spending plan the governor unveiled last week, would cut roughly $92 million from the Teachers Retirement Insurance Program and the Community College Insurance Program.
About 77,000 retired educators and their dependents outside Chicago are covered under the programs. Without the state share, retirees might be required to pay higher premiums. The costs also could be passed on to local school districts, which in turn could result in property tax hikes. Continue reading
MANATEE COUNTY – In a devastating night for Manatee County teachers, School Board members imposed a retroactive pay cut of 2.75 percent for this school year, raised health insurance premiums and ended automatic annual pay raises awarded for longevity.
The moves came despite a protest by more than 300 teachers who lined Manatee Avenue West and packed the hearing, many wearing red T-shirts and holding signs saying “enough is enough.”
Even worse for teachers: the pay cut applies to this school year as well, and will be retroactive. Beginning with paychecks in March, a year’s worth of salary cuts will be jammed into the 11 paychecks left in the school year. Continue reading
A study from a conservative Wisconsin think tank proposes a new system of compensation that would boost teachers’ pay based on the performance of the schools they work for.
Michael Ford, research director for the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, proposes the system as an alternative to what he calls “lock-step” pay systems based only on teachers’ years of service and educational attainment.
He also says his proposal would be more effective than systems that reward individual teachers without regard to where they work.
“The key to creating a consistently high level of teacher performance is building a school culture that demands it,” Ford wrote in his report, titled “A Modern Teacher Compensation System for Wisconsin.” Continue reading
The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute has a new report calling for a change in the way teachers in Wisconsin are paid. WPRI Research Director Mike Ford discusses the report that recommends school districts do away with lock-step increases, and take other factors into account, including a student’s post-graduation success.
View the video
via New Plan For Paying Teachers – Video – WISN Milwaukee.