The Center For Innovative Thought which is part of the College Board has popped out what I think is an interesting idea how to increase teacher pay.  They want to create a teachers trust.   Now I am all for paying teachers a higher salary, but I am not sure the idea they want will ever get proper funding.

The starting average for a teacher is around 30,000 a year now depending on what stats you look at.  I say that is royally crappy and needs a big boost.

They briefly discuss why teachers leave the system in only a few years time.  Poor salary, poor school conditions, and things such as poor support for teachers. Like I have been saying for years mentors for new teachers in a school district is must.

When you get a lot of turnover in teachers the students suffer big time and students will have a greater chance of being taught by someone that lacks a major in the class they are teaching.

The report says that lack of diversity is a problem. I agree that more men need to teach and people from other races as well, but higher salaries will never be the fix to solving that problem.

They provide six recommendations to implement:

The first one is to provide salaries for the real world.  Now that is an idea that I like.  They want to see an immediate 15-20% increase in salary to be increased up to 50% down the road.

The second recommendation is making teaching a preferred profession. In the report they showcase a few places and how they pay new teachers.  The people behind the report recommend mimicking the idea from the state of New Mexico. The state of New Mexico has a three-tired teacher licensure system.  Not a bad idea, but something I would not fully support.  I will agree to pay more to teachers that teach in needy schools and some extra salary for teachers teaching needy subjects in a school district.  They recommend a half-day a week for lesson preparation and grading like the UK system has.  In my plan we have no room for it and I am not so sure that it is going to improve the educational system all that much.

The third recommendation they list is creating multiple ways of becoming a teacher.  Programs such as the “Teach for America” program easily come to mind.  They want teachers under alternative certification to be on a probationary period until they get a master’s degree and get a full state license. That alone for me does not make you “fully qualified”.  Years of good overall classroom grades do that for me.

The fourth recommendation they list is to close the diversity gap.  You can try to create new marketing campaigns to get more minority teachers to teach, but the only thing that will work even though it is not a 100% fix is with better pay and benefits to start.

The fifth recommendation is to fix the math and science crisis. They want to see way lower costs in college tuition through scholarships.  Students must have a want to take a major such as math before they get into college imo.  I know that costs are a major concern of people wanting to go to college, but the fix they want is just not going to work.

The final recommendation they list talks about how to pay for the salary increase for a teacher. They want federal, state, local contributions along with some money from windfall profits.  The federal government is too far in debt to pay a piece of it, but I do not think the Deparment of Education needs all of the money it spends per year so you can get some money to pay for it through cuts of that program.  Not all states are debt free, and some cities are in a major mess as well.  It would be almost impossible to get proper funding for the idea.

A windfall profits tax is a very controversial idea that even I can’t accept.  I do not even want to think of the companies that would be affected by a tax like this and they do not even go in bigger detail on this idea.

The whole section on how to pay for the increase in teacher pay is too short, which sucks imo.  I need details.

I do not think that this can be an all business paid idea.  Nice report folks, but I do not think this idea is going to work.


To comment on my commentary: RichardGinn@myeducationalplan.com


"Teachers and the Uncertain American Future" Center for Innovative Though (2006) n. pag, Online. Internet. July 2006
Available: http://www.collegeboard.com/prod_downloads/press/teachers-and-