How much should teachers be paid?

Pay for the future

“$50-75K as starting salary, easily—yes even in today’s economy. Teachers are teaching the future. Today’s students are tomorrow’s doctors, lawyers, politicians, economists, meter-readers, librarians, public servants—you name it, teachers are responsible for the start of the future. Shouldn’t we reward that responsibility? We reward athletes and those in the entertainment industry, why not the teachers? Without our teachers, where would we be?” —Melissa Rollosson, instructional technology resource teacher, Accomack County Public Schools

Impossible to determine

“It is not possible to set such an amount. $60,000 is a lot for a teacher in Mississippi, but barely a living wage in New York City. Measuring the ‘worth’ of a teacher is complicated at any given moment. Having said that, it must also be remembered that there is no proven correlation between a teacher’s pay and student’s performance. If there is any correlation, it goes the opposite: Teacher pay has increased significantly over the past decade–while student scores have dropped as significantly! Good teachers do a good job, no matter what their salary level is, and bad teachers will still not turn into good teachers when their salary is increased. Performance pay is not a good idea, since there are too many factors involved where the teacher has little or no impact. The ‘standard’ ones, such as socio-economic, parental involvement, and such have their own impact on student performance. But when you see kids with all the ‘good’ things surrounding them perform badly, how is that explained? To make a teacher responsible for overcoming those obstacles is unfair. How about making students responsible for their results?” —Rudy Schellekens

Meris Stansbury

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