What If America’s Teachers Made More Money?

Reblogged from The Atlantic and written by Alia Wong

As districts in certain parts of the country battle staffing shortages and schools nationwide seek to overcome a general sense of dissatisfaction among faculty, several states are considering proposals to pay their public-school teachers more money. The average public-school teacher salary in the United States in the 2012-13 academic year was $56,000, versus roughly $69,000 for nurses and$83,000 for programmers. Experts say raising that threshold could help improvethe profession’s lackluster reputation and encourage more high-achieving college students to pursue the career—especially in less-than-desirable schools and districts. The ultimate goal, of course, is to improve the quality of kids’ education: A recent report from the OECD found that students are more likely to be low-performers if they attend schools that struggle with shortages and low teacher morale…

“Raising salaries today is not going to increase the quality of recruits tomorrow.”

Perceived low pay certainly seems to account for a tiny slice of teachers’ concerns; salaries, Corcoran said, “are definitely not the end of the story.” In a“Quality of Worklife” survey of more than 30,000 educators last year, just 46 percent said their salaries were a major source of stress in the workplace. Testing fatigue, bloated bureaucracy, little time to reflect and decompress and develop professionally have all taken a significant toll on teachers’ job satisfaction.

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