Thursday, March 31, 2005

The $100,000 Per Year Teacher And Middletown, California

From Education Gadfly:
Over the past half-century, the number of pupils in U.S. schools grew by about 50 percent while the number of teachers nearly tripled. Spending per student rose threefold, too. If the teaching force had simply kept pace with enrollments, school budgets had risen as they did, and nothing else changed, today's average teacher would earn nearly $100,000, plus generous benefits. We'd have a radically different view of the job and it would attract different sorts of people.

Yes, classes would be larger, about what they were when I was in school. True, there'd be fewer specialists and supervisors. And we wouldn't have as many instructors for youngsters with "special needs." But teachers would earn twice what they do today (less than $50,000, on average) and talented college graduates would vie for the relatively few openings in those ranks.

I would like to know just exactly where these smaller classes are? Here in Middletown, California, just about every single junior and senior high classroom is stuffed to capacity, with 35-38 students per class being the norm. So we don't have an overabundance of teachers down here along the Mexican border.

What we do have here in Middletown, California is an overabundance of redundant bureaucracies, with identical sinecures jobs being done at the federal, state, county and district levels...

And of course, all of these "positions" pay more than classroom teaching, at least here in California.

And none of these "staff" positions use anything like a fair instrument (say an examination) for qualifying job applicants. As with most aspects of the EduCracy, it's not what you know, it's who you know.

As for Gadfly's observation that paying teachers higher salaries would attract more highly qualified applicants, we are not so sure about that one. The same excuse was used to raise congressional salaries, and you see where that got us...

As for Middletown, we haven't had any type of pay increase in three years, even though our test scores keep going up.

Tipped by: Polski3
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