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."
DW: "So the existing teachers are just as qualified as the new ones you want to recruit?"
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."
DW: "…and then we fire anybody who didn't think they deserved the higher salary."