Monday, August 01, 2011

Duncan: Teacher Salaries Should Be $60,000 to $150,000

I agree with Arne Duncan: better teachers require better pay.

Duncan: Teacher Salaries Should Be $60,000 to $150,000
By Michele McNeil
July 29, 2011
Education Week

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called for a radical upending of the nation's teaching pipeline—higher salaries, improved performance-based teacher accountability, and a higher bar for prospective students to enter schools of education.

In remarks today to a conference of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, he called for teachers to start out making $60,000 a year, topping out at around $150,000. His speech comes as thousands of teachers from across the country descend on the nation's capital to protest many of the Obama administration's policies, from the increasing reliance on standardized tests to using test scores to help evaluate teachers.

"We must think radically differently," he said, according to prepared remarks. "We must ask and answer hard questions on topics that have been off limits in the past like staffing practices and school organization, benefits packages and job security—because the answers may give us more realistic ways to afford these new professional conditions."

Top salaries of $150,000 a year won't come cheap, and Duncan acknowledged as much.

"And it will cost money—and—given the current political climate with the nation wrestling with debt and deficits—I am sure some people will immediately say that we can't afford it without even looking at how to redirect the money we are already spending—and mis-spending.

He called on colleges of education to raise the bar for prospective students, to lure the brightest in. "Top undergraduates will flock to a profession that demands high standards and credentials," he said...

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