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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Researcher suggests scrapping teacher pay system



Vigdor It's that time of year when teachers across Florida are negotiating for their pay and benefits.

In many counties, they're scrambling for scraps and begging for more. (See these stories about Pasco, Hernando, Broward and Manatee as but a few examples.)

A big part of the dispute centers on whether teachers will get raises (also known as "steps") based on their years of service. A Duke University researcher suggests that perhaps now is the time to throw out the whole pay system that rewards teachers for "valueless credentials" in favor of a front-end loaded wage plan.

"Numerous studies, including several based on North Carolina data, show no significant relationship between advanced degrees and effectiveness, with the possible exception of high school teachers who receive advanced training in their field of specialty," writes Jacob Vigdor (shown above) in Education Next. "An evidence-based salary schedule, accordingly, would pay no automatic premium for these degrees."

Vigdor acknowledges the political realities of implementing his idea, and suggests a phase in beginning with newly hired teachers might be a palatable way to get it in place. But he makes some interesting arguments on how a different pay plan might attract top teachers to enter the field and remain there. Check out the article and then let's hear what you think on this Labor Day.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:55am]


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