It is a blogger’s dream to write something that generates a lot of interest, even when the interest
isn’t positive. I got a lot of feedback from my last post about money and pay for teachers. Every bit of
reaction was virulently opposed to what I said in that post. It tells me I did not do a good job of making
A few points I’d like to clarify:
1. Teachers are working too hard for the level of recognition and respect they get. I am deeply troubled by the inclination to “blame the teacher” or worse. The bashing must stop.
2. I’m not an academic and I don’t even play one on TV. What intrigued me about this University of Chicago study was the nugget of information about human behavior: paying teachers a bonus up front seems to have resulted in high performance for their students over the course of that school year.
3. I was not suggesting that pay should be tied to standardized tests. I am vehemently opposed to high-stakes testing and I think there are and should be many ways to measure the performance of both teachers and students. Using one test to do that is not only wrong, it’s counter-productive.
4. I believe that all teachers should make more money; a teacher’s starting salary should be $100,000 or more.
Yes. This is a touchy topic and I stirred up some real resentment with my first foray into these roiling waters.
But the bottom line is: Pay matters. Money is the way our society recognizes and rewards excellence. We have to find a way to talk about it productively. I hope I got the conversation started. We invite you to send us your own opinions. This space should be a dialogue. You can leave a comment below or, better yet, write your own blog and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.