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The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries

If you haven’t seen it, take a look at Dave Eggers and Ninive Clements Calegari New York Times Op-ed, “The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries,”  published on May 1st. The commentary presents a powerful argument for teachers. Here are ERS’ thoughts from a resource perspective:

With limited resources, achieving their goals requires two-fold action. Tough trade-offs have to be made to free dollars to invest in teachers such as strategically raising class-size or closing under-utilized buildings. Then teacher compensation must be transformed. Less than 2% of a typical district’s teacher compensation goes towards increased responsibility and results. After a base salary and benefits, the majority of most teachers’ compensation rewards years on the job and education credits, neither of which is correlated with effectiveness. These dollars should be used to reward teachers who contribute more to student success. Expert teachers who coach others and reach more students should be the most highly paid, while others who contribute less, make less. Putting more money into a broken system will never buy us the student achievement results we need.

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