The Correlation between Teachers’ Wages and the Education Crisis

The Correlation between Teachers’ Wages and the Education Crisis

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Kelly Hayes English 102 Section 29 Essay 3 Revised Draft The Correlation between Teachers’ Wages and the Education Crisis In 2005, less than one quarter of high school seniors performed at or above “proficient” in mathematics. In addition, the overall performance in reading has declined since 1992 (The Nations Report Card). It is undeniable that America is falling behind, but why? An important contributor to the decreasing academic performance is the salary grid for public school teachers. The salary grid is a “one size fits all pay structure” (Clowes) that measures a teacher’s salary by years of experience and personal education level. However, this grid does not consider the teacher’s performance or concentration of study. In other words, a teacher could be nearly incompetent and yet still make just as much money, if not more depending on their education level, as the phenomenal teachers with a high success rate. It is not enough for a teacher to have a PhD, they must also have the patience and traits necessary to make a good teacher. The first step to improving education in America is to change the way a teacher’s salary is determined. Teacher’s wages need to be determined by the effectiveness of their teaching style in conjunction with their educational background on their particular subject, and the salaries need to compete with the salaries of other professions that require the same amount of education. This method of determining our teachers’ salaries will, in effect, raise students test scores. During the hiring process, the salary grid gives school officials the potential to project approximately how much it would cost to employ a specific teacher throughout their entire career. Basically, any student fresh out of college with a bachelor’s degree in education will receive the same starting salary as every other new teacher. It does not matter where the student received his/her degree, whether their program of study was 1
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Kelly Hayes English 102 Section 29 Essay 3 Revised Draft accredited or not, or whether their focus was in physics or physical education. They will all receive the same starting salary. After one year of teaching experience, they will get a pay increase of approximately 1.019 times their starting salary (Figure 1). Teachers in Illinois for example, would receive a $500 pay raise. As the teacher gains more and more experience, they receive an annual pay raise that is positively correlated with their increasing yearly salary. However, if a teacher only has a bachelor’s degree, then their salary increase stops after their twelfth year of teaching. The only way for the teacher to receive another pay raise is to get a higher education. Figure 1
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The Correlation between Teachers’ Wages and the Education Crisis

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