Monday, December 11, 2006

The value of an experienced teacher

I have previously written about the concept of a fair wage for teachers. After comparing public school teacher salaries with those for teachers working at private schools it becomes quite obvious that public school teachers are overpaid. But it goes beyond even that since there is no market for experienced teachers within the public school system. You will not find local school districts recruiting experienced teachers from other districts. You will find that occurring in private industry. Why?

In private industry, many experienced workers produce more than inexperienced ones. So businesses are willing to pay a premium for such expertise. In public schools, teachers typically reach peak performance somewhere between years 5 and 10. Afterwards, they add no additional productivity. And, as class sizes do not vary with experience, the teacher at the top of the salary scale teaches the same size class - 20 students - as the new teacher straight out of college. Both the experienced teacher and the one with a 5+ years under his belt produce the same product; one year of education for 20 students.

There is no demand from other districts for teachers making $86,000 a year or more, yet we are told that these teachers are worth that salary. You will hear district employees and board members speak of the market wage for experienced teachers. Strange, both the private and public sides of education don't act as if they agree.

One other interesting observation. Students are told to behave during class time, respect others, etc. Wait until the next teacher negotiations to see if such behaviors are requisite for the unionized teacher looking for a tax-funded raise.

No comments: