Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The tide is turning against bonuses for teachers with advanced degrees

The Education Action Group with an argument against the ultimate sacred cow, extra pay for extra degrees, even though there is NO evidence that more degrees translates into more student learning.  Think of how much impact this money could have if it were allocated to the best, hardest-working teachers based on meaningful evaluations:


Almost all public schools have higher pay scales for teachers with advanced degrees, or credits toward a higher degree.

     Teachers and their unions love the extra money. As Bill Gates put it, getting them to forfeit those bonuses would be like "kicking a beehive."

     But Gates and many experts think the hive should be kicked, for the financial and academic health of public schools across the nation.

     Every year American schools pay more than $8.6 billion in bonuses to teachers with master's degrees (or working toward advanced degrees), according to a recent article in the Huffington Post. In 13 states, more than two percent of total education spending goes to teachers for some type of master's degree bonus, the newspaper said.   

     Nearly half of American K-12 teachers have a master's degree or higher, and most receive a bonus ranging between $1,423 and $10,777 per year, according to research conducted at the University of Washington.

     To top it all off, many schools partially or fully reimburse teachers for the cost of tuition.

     "My own state of Washington has an average salary bump of nearly $11,000 for a master's degree, and more than half of our teachers get it," Gates said during a speech in Louisville last year. "That's more than $300 million every year that doesn't help kids. And that's one state."

     Clearly this is money poorly spent. And public schools can't afford to waste a dime of revenue these days.


June 30, 2011


The tide is turning against bonuses for teachers with advanced degrees

The money would be better spent on incentives for classroom excellence


By Steve Gunn

EAG Communications


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