No so fast ? It works for Massachusetts but not for New York. New York teacher salaries are ranked No.1 but ranked 31st in Math(282.57) and Reading(264.28) Average National Assessment of Educational Progress.Lost in the debate about collective bargaining rights and the related issues of pay, pensions, and health care coverage is the dialogue about a core issue. There is no clear correlation that better paid teachers produce better educated students.
Wisconsin teachers are among the most vocal opponents of Gov. Scott Walker's plan to curtail some collective bargaining rights. Though there is little doubt that good teachers improve student achievement, the evidence that well-compensated educators produce better prepared students is mixed. Wisconsin is a case in point.
Teachers in Wisconsin fare slightly worse than the national average with starting salaries of $32,642 and a maximum with a master's degree of $60,036. The Tax Foundation says its tax burden is the fourth worst in the U.S., and its QualityCounts ("QC") rating was a C+, about average. What the state underscores is how a dysfunctional system of teacher pay rewards educators with little emphasis on merit. Throwing more money at teachers, however, is not the answer to the myriad of problems affecting the nation's schools.
"I would love to say dramatically raise their pay," says Richard Lemons of the Education Trust, in an interview. He adds that there is no evidence yet that dramatically boosting a mediocre teachers' pay will inspire them to become better at their jobs. In theory, higher teacher pay will entice higher quality candidates into the professions, though there is little evidence that shows these people will be any more successful than current teachers.
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Published by: Jonathan Berr for 24/7 Wall St