Impact of Eroding Teacher Salaries

Not the kind of pattern one would want to see if the goal is to increasr the quality of the workforce, and make the profession more attractive to potential future educators.

Individuals who choose to teach over other professions may be doing so at a consider financial cost as teacher salaries have been in decline during the past three years. It is important to note that between 1978-1979, public elemenatary and secondary school teacher salaries fell over 3%, followed by a 6% drop the following year before picking up again in 1982. The question at large is how bad will the next leg down in teacher salaries be in 2013? So far there’s been nearly a 2.5% drop between 2011-2012. Below is a chart illustrating estimated wage erosion over the past three years for elementary and secondary public school teachers

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The good, the bad and the uncertainty

Following up on our earlier piece, of experts warning of the dangerous of using student test results to evaluate teachers, Greg at Plunderbund brings into view the notion that HB153 also calls for the use of test results to evaluate principals. This brings forth the uncomfortable connundrum of having a faulty grading system grade principals as "unsatisfatory" and then having those very same "unsatisfactory" principals be responsible for evaluating teachers. As Greg notes, with a bit of math

Crunch the numbers with these components in place and we end up with 797 head principals and 412 assistant principals being categorized as “unsatisfactory” who will be assigned the responsibility for evaluating an estimated 22,000 teachers. Now, we don’t know the evaluation category of all of those teachers, but put yourself in the place of one of those professionals who is expected to take advice from an “unsatisfactory” leader. Wouldn’t you be a bit skeptical?

It's time that lawmakers start to get the sense that education is a team sport, not one of individual competition.