Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Here are David Rea’s comments:


Whenever I hear the refrain that "we need to pay teachers more," I like to imagine the following exchange:


Randi Weingarten: "If we want higher quality teaching we need to pay teachers more money."


Daniel Webster: "Huh?  Do you mean that teachers are holding back on their effort and dedication because we don't pay them enough?"


RW: "No, I mean we will attract more high quality people if we offer more money."


DW: "So if we doubled salaries would we get better applicants?"


RW: "Yes, definitely."


DW: "Would we ONLY get better applicants, or simply a lot more applicants?"


RW: "Well, clearly we'd get a lot more applicants, and many of them would be subpar, but many of them would be highly qualified."


DW: "But how do we tell them apart?"


RW: "Because we're professionals and we know what makes a qualified teacher."


DW: "Wouldn't the old teachers complain that they were only getting paid half as much?"


RW: "No, because we would have to pay ALL the teachers the higher salary."


DW: "But I thought the new teachers were more highly qualified and talented."


RW: "Um…yes….but not more so than our existing teachers, just more than the applicants we're currently turning away…."


DW: "Oh, I see.  So higher salaries would both attract a lot of good, new teachers, and more fairly reward our existing, underpaid teachers."


RW: "Exactly."


DW: "So the existing teachers are just as qualified as the new ones you want to recruit?"


RW: "Uh-oh…."


DW: "So how about if we redefine the job at this new, higher salary, but require all existing teachers who want that new pay level to first quit and then re-apply?  Remember, you just said that you know how to pick the good ones."


RW: "Ummmm….."


Post Script:

DW: "…and then we fire anybody who didn't think they deserved the higher salary."

 Subscribe in a reader