Monday, June 06, 2005

Highly Qualified Teachers: Supply And Demand

Here's the standard hiring procedure (bugmenot id: bugmenot87, password: bugmenot) in one District.

1. Place "Help Wanted" Ads for a teacher.

2. Receive 80-90 completed application packets.

3. Screening committee reduces number to about 15, all of which are fully credentialed.

4. Probing telephone calls from the school's department head further reduces the number to about six.

5. The remaining half dozen are invited for an interview.

6. Two or three demonstrate their teaching skills in a real classroom.

7. One individual is offered a classroom teaching position with starting pay of about $50,000 annually.

If securing highly qualified teachers for our students were really a priority, this is the way things would be done.

Of course, the district cited above isn't typical. It's one of New York states most "exclusive" communities, Scarsdale. In that district, a teacher with a Master's and 25 years of service earns a salary of $128,000.

As with all occupations, talent tends to gravitate to where the money is.

The one thing that could be done in order to substantially increase the pool of talented applicants who desire to enter the teaching craft would be to substantially increase the amount of compensation.

Higher compensation equals a larger number of applicants for any given teaching position. And a large pool of applicants makes it possible for a district to be highly selective in who they put into their classrooms.

As unappetizing as it may sound for some, money does make a difference, even when it comes to "noble callings" such as teaching.
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