As a teacher I am often asked how I would fix schools in America. I always say the easiest way is to raise starting salaries to about $60,000 a year then wait seven to ten years. I figure the raise in pay will attract so many eager new students that colleges will be raising standards to keep classes to a manageable size. In about four years schools will have so many new applicants they can pick the best of the best. Then after a few years teaching we will start to feel the effect of these new high quality teachers.
Before I get flamed like crazy this is not the entirety of what I would do if by some weird coincidence I actually had that sort of power and influence. It’s more of a discussion starter for a question that is more rhetorical than real.
I would like to qualify that we do have many outstanding teachers in our schools. I think almost every educator I have worked with has put in a top notch effort. While those schools have been considered “at risk”, every year I worked they met AYP (adequate yearly progress) according to NCLB. More importantly the teachers, parents, and students all felt we were producing high quality education.
All that aside though why shouldn’t we pay teachers $60,000 a year? I mean besides the question of we can afford it. I also don’t think the argument of teachers being lazy works either. Teachers work harder than most people think. I don’t mind a discussion of weakening tenure either, just realize that teachers need to be protected from one irate parent or principal.
Take it from there. Go to our discussion board and talk.