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Teachers Overpaid

Teachers Overpaid

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Published by Paul Richardson
New research sets the record straight on teachers' pay versus equivalent private sector jobs.
New research sets the record straight on teachers' pay versus equivalent private sector jobs.

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Published by: Paul Richardson on Nov 04, 2011
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05/01/2012

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 New Research
 – 
Public SchoolTeachers Overpaid; A Bunch
Paul Richardson, November 14, 2011
 
 Reference -
“Study: Teacher 
s
Make Too Much Moneyfrom Education Week.
In the article Francesca Duffy reports on a Washington meeting this week whereBiggs and Richwine (researchers at the American Enterprise Institute and theHeritage Foundation ) reported on their findings that on average teachers make52% more than workers with equivalent skills make in the private sectorconsidering pay, benefits and job security. They totally demolished Arne Duncan,
Education Secretary’s assertion that teachers are “desperately
underpaid.
I amreally surprised that the researchers made it out of town without suffering harm.The researchers reckon that the overpayment nationwide amounts to $120 Billion a
year. This puts it in the same ballpark as the savings the “super committee” is
tasked to find in the federal spending over ten years. Yes, it is hard to take awaysomething that people are used to getting but in this case it is both unfair andunaffordable. This is why a focus of the discussion was to promote the idea thatstates facing budget shortfalls should consider teacher compensation as a viablearea for spending cuts.While this could be a fruitful area and could start addressing the unfairness tosociety of the current situation, we know from the states (Wisconsin et al) whereeven small changes in what teachers pay for healthcare or retirement plancontributions are attempted that it will require a lot guts on the part of statelawmakers with majority public support to make it happen.Richwine contended that the standard regression method, which compares teachersto workers with equivalent education and finds that teachers are underpaid, isflawed because it doesn't consider "unobservable ability." People going intoteaching have lower SAT and GRE scores than people who pursue other fields, hesaid. Thus, in the case of teachers, "years of education could be an overestimate of cognitive skills." In addition, the education major itself is not as rigorous as otherfields of study. Thus, this adds to the recognition of education outsiders overdecades that an education degree is of extremely low value compared to otherdegree paths.
It is essentially a “seat time” certificate.
For decades those who failin other college majors switch to education and become
A
students easily and
 
those who
can’t get admitted to more rigorous studies start out in education from
day one.
This doesn’t mean that all educators are uneducated but the majority certainly are
.They set the tone for the whole endeavor making any improvement virtuallyimpossible as has been proven over decades. An example of critiques of theeducation schools and their graduates is Gary Lyons article in Texas Magazine,Sept. 1979. Lyons reported that half of the teacher applicants to the HoustonIndependent School District scored lower in math and a third of them lower in
English than the average high school junior and he blamed the state’s sixty
-threeaccredited teacher-training institutions
for turning out “teachers who cannot read as
well as the average sixteen-year old, write notes free of barbarisms to parents, orhandle arithmetic well enough to keep track of the field-
trip money.” He accused
the teacher colleges of coddling ignorance an
d, “backed by hometown legislators,”of turning out “hordes of certified ignoramuses whose incompetence in turn
becomes evidence that the teacher colleges and the educators need yet more money
and more power.”
 Arthur Levine, then president of Columbia Teachers College (when he wrote hisreports) in his three part critique of education schools starting with Educating
School Leaders in 2005 reinforced Lyons’ criticisms of 
26 years earlier. Hepointed out the low SAT and GRE scores but also that administrators as a group
had lower SAT and GRE scores than the teachers they were “leading.” He also
bemoaned the lack of rigor as being related to universities, even those with goodreputations, using education schools as a low quality diploma mill with loweringstandards and admission requirements to support the levels of income needed tofund more important career majors at the universities.Back to the new research: They found that when teachers and other workers arecompared by cognitive ability, Richwine added, "the wage penalty has essentiallydisappeared." Also, their research showed that when teachers left teaching to takeprivate sector jobs their pay declined by 3%. Of course, the party line of theteachers unions is that teachers are constantly tempted by higher pay in the privatesector, which is perhaps true for some teachers but not for the average teacher.

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Paul Richardson added this note
Wall Street Journal published an article on this topic today.
Paul Richardson added this note
Aha, thanks because I could perform miracles by replacing the technically wrong education process used by our schools with the one that all of our global competitors us because it is technically correct. E.D. Hirsch points out that the progressive, constructivist/romantic approach that turns "teachers" into facilitators who don't know the subjects they teach is most harmful to the "Gap" kids .
Paul Richardson added this note
Carla, the feds (dept of ed; title one, title two, and on and on) do pay money to the states which then flows through to teachers. I didn't say that the feds could save that money but that the states were in control (basically). I was using the federal "super committee" as a comparison to the size of the problem.
Paul Richardson added this note
The researcher concluded that the public overpays teachers by $120 Billion per year. That is over $1 Trillion dollars over ten years which is the time frame being used in the federal government's budget cutting goals. The super committee is tasked to find a little over $1 Trillion in ten years to provide perspective.

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