From the arguments going back and forth in Wisconsin and other places about the unions of the public sector one gets the impression that America will become bankrupt because of overpaying the teachers. Nothing could be more fallacious. The challenge in the educational field is not became teachers are lining their pockets but that they are not paid their proper dues. If America desires to hold it position in the competitive field with other nations and eradicate poverty slowly spreading here, better people will have to be attracted to the teaching profession.
Till few decades previously discrimination in employment made the teaching force more strong. Women who were brilliant became school teachers at the elementary level because there were no openings for them in better jobs. It was very unfair but because of it the children of America benefited.
Today the brilliant ladies are now doctors and bankers. Of the 12th grade teachers 47% come from the lower one third rankings in the colleges.
The problem has worsened with relative pay scale. A new teacher of a public school of New York City earns $2,000 less as salary than a new lawyer at a law firm of repute. Currently the lawyers put in their pockets inclusive of bonuses $115,000 more than a teacher.
There is hardly anyone who does not know about the role of teachers and what a difference in their quality makes. In a Los Angeles based study it was found that a teacher coming from the most effective group for four consecutive years would be enough to erase the achievement gap between the Blacks and Whites.
Good teachers even from the kindergarten level cause increases in the earnings of their pupils in later life. An excellent teacher can better the lifetime income of their students in future by $20,000. In a class of 20 students it means an extra $400,000 – something to pause and think when compared with the performance of an average teacher.
A teacher who is 93% better than others in the line would add to the lifetime pay of class comprising of twenty an amount of $640,000.
The teachers union took the wrong step in making use of their clout to obtain job security instead of focusing on pay. This made the field open for low achievers. Work rules of teachers are not flexible, compared to salaries the benefits are better and it is impossible to push out teachers who are not effective.