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The teachers' salary is the key of increasing the education quality?

Some of people think that the key of increasing educatin quality is increasing the teachers' salary. But I don't agree.Could you please give me some ideas to overthrow this view?Thanks a lot.

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    Jul 25 2012: Among those who work in, or do research in this area, very few people believe that salary is the key to increasing educational quality. While having enough pay to live near where they work is certainly important, teachers go into that field out of non-pecuniary motivations. The lure of teaching regularly draws people who could earn vastly more in other lines of work.
    In terms of encouraging and retaining the best teachers, working conditions, such as having the authority to try whatever it takes to serve students best, are far more important in retention of professionals.
    If you search for the research on the connection between salary and educational quality, you should find plenty of evidence. This has been studied over decades by researchers who have no personal stake in what their empirical work shows.
    • Jul 25 2012: I do agree that professionals and esp. teachers are motivated to perform and excel by other factors than monetary rewards.

      However I think that in order to increase quality of education we need a combination of measures including increased compensation. Everyone wants to be rewarded fairly and there is no reason why good teachers cannot receive higher compensation comparable to e.g. IT and medical professionals?

      I see Obama's initiative in that direction as encouraging:

      The biggest problems to better education is attitude of teacher unions and their rules. Also educational institutions are less willing to change the way students are taught. Finally high cost of education together with improper government funding makes this task difficult.

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    Sym !

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    Jul 27 2012: The teachers' awareness and regard about the future is the key of increasing the education quality. I just graduated from high school and I can tell I've met a lot of good teachers who I know they don't get an enough salary while some other bad teachers can get more salary than them. I think being a teacher is more than standing next to a board and trying carelessly to explain an article for the students with a really traditional and boring way. The person who really wants to teach and really cares about building the future, would try to make it better no matter how the salary was. And I think schools have to care about bringing good teachers more than having good textbooks or resources.
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    Jul 26 2012: IN MY VIEW:
    Salary is one of the factors but not the key one for increasing education quality. Education quality depends on proper curriculum, proficiency of teacher in his/her subject, motivation to learn for student and motivation to teach for teachers.
  • Jul 25 2012: Well, there are two problems that I see with raising salaries.

    The first is the lack of money. I know my school has been in proration for a few years; there simply isn't enough money in our education system. I think that is across the nation and not only in my area. In order to raise the salary of teachers, we would need to cut costs from other aspects of school. That would mean less teachers, less books, or less money spent on upkeep of the school. The only other option would be to raise taxes/take money from other government programs. That would be incredibly unpopular by the masses.

    The second problem is how do you measure a teacher's productivity? Teaching is not like a business. In a business, you can see who made the most money or product. Teaching isn't that simple. Standardized tests could be helpful in this, but they are not the best measure of a teacher's ability. A teacher could "teach for the test," but that isn't always helpful. Also, not all students are equal. A teacher might have a brilliant class one year and a below average class the next time. It makes measuring productivity difficult.

    I actually agree with Mr. Gilbert. I think a school voucher system would be helpful to educational quality. The system that we have now makes private schools very expensive. A voucher system would promote more competition between public schools and private schools. As it now, the public school system really has very little incentive to be productive. If it isn't productive, it is fine because not many people have the option to go to a private school.
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    Jul 25 2012: The key is to privatize education. A voucher program is a step in the right direction.
    • Jul 25 2012: Are you sure? Supermarkets are privatized, but it did not make the customers become gourmets. The government also does not give free cars to the citizens, did this make us perfect drivers? Or at least better drivers? Do you learn to drive, if you have to pay for the lessons, or do you learn through driving and using a car?

      Making education a luxury makes people smarter? Most people in this world stop learning because they simply cannot effort it, they have to make a living. If education was free (no, a public libary is not education, it is just information), people could learn throughout their lives, beside work. Many would do so, if they just could effort it.
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        Jul 25 2012: It has a higher cost in the public sector than the private sector.
        • Jul 25 2012: What is simply not true. In fact, the cost of private sector is higher, because the infrastructure is still payed by the public-but most of the public has no access to this private sector. The citizens lose money or better said, they pay without getting something.

          How could the private sector have lower cost? Only through outsourcing cost factors to the public. If all cost factors would be included, the cost is always higher, because you have to pay extra for the private sector profit-ok, when you get the infrastructure for free, than you can invest your profit, but only on the shoulders of those you "rob".

          If the private sector had to pay the full bill, it would cost way more, because they do not have the masses of "costumers", like public schools have. And if they had the same ammount of "costumers", they would have the same costs like public sector...see, whatever way you turn it, it is always more expensive for the society to have private sectors.
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        Jul 25 2012: Lars

        That trope apparently started here in the U.S. along with quite a few other specious memes by a "Harvard law professor name Elizabeth Warren.

        Everyone pays for the infrastructure and business pays a disproportionately higher taxes to pay for that infrastructure. That statement does not hold water.

        The assumption that business automatically cost more because they have to make a profit does not hold water either. Anyone who has run a business before will tell you that competition is what keeps them scrambling to keep costs down. This is not a factor in a government service in fact quite the opposite they try to come up with reasons to raise the budget.

        I have to admit that Germany's production ethic and system of apprenticing is impressive and is what keeps the country going despite the socialism.
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        Jul 26 2012: Compare pothole repair crews. The city crew will have many individuals who each arrived at the jobsite in a late-model city truck equipped with radios; computers; phones; climate control; and all the latest tools in nifty locking tool box truck bodies. Not all of the city workers will be working. The sub-contracted, for-profit, civilian operation is quite different. Just enough workers all working as quickly as possible. They arrived in one extended cab vehicle. They fill the pothole and move on. There are no supervisors leaning on shovels. This crew is bare bones, highly efficient and cost-effective. Featherbedding and profitability are mutually exclusive. Government is naturally, inevitably inefficient and wasteful. Increasing government worker's pay is no guarantee of increased quality and productivity.
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    Jul 31 2012: From personal experience: School district A pays beginning teachers $19,000 per year at the bottom of the district's pay scale. Fifteen miles away, School district B pays beginning teachers $30,000 per year also at the bottom of the district's pay scale. After teaching in school district A for three years, an opportunity in school district B opens up and a reasonably experienced teacher moves to the higher paying district B. This creates a vacancy in school district A which is filled by a novice teacher fresh from college. This happens all across the country every year. Students in districts with low tax bases are taught by more inexperienced teachers. Experience counts. It would be illogical for teachers to stay in a lower paying job when they have a family to support. I realize that this is arguing for equal funding rather than higher pay in general. Why, in a capitalist society, should we not compensate members of our society in one of the most important fields at a similar level to other important occupations? If a doctor is compensated at x degree, should the people who taught her be compensated at 1 twentieth of x? How, in a capitalist society, can we attract the most talented people to a very important field when other fields make more economic sense? Is a wall street speculator more important than a teacher? Should teachers work out of altruism as their only motivation? Should teachers be encumbered with similar college debt as someone in a field requiring the same level of education, yet not be compensated at the same level? Finally, from personal experience, my wife, who is a teacher of 1st graders, works from about 7:00 am every day before school starts at 8:30. Then she works until 3:30 with only 20 minutes for lunch. Then she works until 5:30 almost every day. She comes home, makes dinner, helps with our kids, and then works again from about 8:00 till 10:30PM almost every day. The myth is that teachers work until 3:30PM.
  • Jul 28 2012: I don't know whether it is the key but I can say education quality will surely increase with the increasing of teachers' salary . If a teacher is better paid he then needn't consider to do extra job to earn more . And that means the teacher will spend more time on his teaching career . On the other hand since one can get that much out of teaching the status of teachers in society will promote and this can evoke teachers' sense of responsibility .
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    Jul 27 2012: If a teacher only want's money, then that "teacher" shouldn't be a teacher at all.
    • Jul 27 2012: The problem is that some of the brightest and most qualified people to be teachers, are not attracted to teaching because they could use their intellect to do something that is more logical with regard to sending their children to college, buying a house, and getting other things they may want and/or need. I agree that a great teacher normally loves what they do, but why would that also mean they shouldn’t be better compensated for doing the job that very well may be the most important to our countries future.
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        Jul 27 2012: I think they should be correctly compensated for their work, but If a teacher doesn't truly enjoy being a teacher, then they should use their intellect elsewhere.
    • Jul 28 2012: Plus they are the dumbest person alive for seeking financial affluence through teaching that's for sure!
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      Jul 31 2012: Most teachers enter the profession with the goal of helping create a foundation for society and other altruistic goals. This does not mean that they should not be compensated for their work. Even if a lawyer enjoys her job, she expects to be compensated well. The same holds true for teachers.
  • Jul 27 2012: Honestly, I meant to put agree instead of argue. I'm a teacher so I get heated when I talk about this stuff :)
  • Jul 26 2012: The quality of education will increase when the quality of life for the kid's who go to school increases.Many people look at schools as if the society in which they exist has no bearing on what goes on in school. I have taught in a poverty stricken school and an affluent suburban school. The teachers in the poor school weren't bad, but the test scores were much lower in the poor district. We taught kids who sold drugs, parents were in jail, family mental illness. You name a problem, we had it. I went to work in the suburban school and the level of education was much higher because the kids coming to school were functioning on a much higher level. Parents are involed and the kids have all of their basic needs met.
    If you want schools to improve, the communities in which they exist need to improve. It's not bad teachers or bad kids. It's the problems that some of these kids have that they can't check at the door.
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      Jul 26 2012: That is a systemic problem that is always going to be there to some degree, what you are talking about is a cultural problem. The cultural problem has been created by the government created entitlement mentality.
      • Jul 27 2012: I would argue that the culture is created by the system. Schools reflect the values of the society. Suburban schools work because it is a mini society of like minded people with common goals. They are families that make a choice to send their kids to a good school. There is ownership and investment in the process and all of the families take care of their kids. An inner city school is a mess of problems that the schools have to deal with on a daily basis. These are problems that the schools have no part in creating.
        It's hard to get Jonny to read when Jonny doesn't eat right or sleep in a bed. The present teaching methods aren't broken. Society is broken. We keep asking about how to make teachers teach better so that the kids will learn more. Kids will learn when their parents are involved and do their job at home. Teacher's unions can't protect a bad teacher if the school district is doing their job. Too often, school districts fumble the process to get rid of bad teachers. Tenure offers due process under the law. If a teacher is bad, a school district has the ability to remove them. However, if the people who are in charge of firing the teachers don't do their jobs, the process is thrown out and the school district must start over from the beginning. Due process means that the school districts have to follow the protocol for firing a bad teacher.
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        Jul 31 2012: The entitlement of education was emphasized by Thomas Jefferson himself. Every citizen must be afforded an equal opportunity for education. What is the moral imperative to the contrary? Maybe you meant the entitlement in welfare? In that I can agree, however if the minimum wage was such that a person could put in full time labor and rise above the poverty level, work might be better than welfare. Also, the kids are not responsible for their parents' work ethic. Two solutions: make work pay, equalize education funding.
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          Jul 31 2012: I was referring to welfare and the entitlement that is trained into the recipients by the government.

          Calif has about 10% of the population yet has 33% of the welfare. The teachers are either the highest paid or close to it yet the academic scores are at 47 out of 50.

          Point is this top down mentality does not work.

          Meanwhile the state has driven investment capital elsewhere because of the increased costs. This has made it very hard on anyone who is not a government worker especially small business.

          What is palpable yet not recognized by the average citizen is that this adds to the cost of living through higher gasoline prices, higher energy costs, higher taxes, higher costs for goods due to more regulations, higher produce cost because of less water due to the concerns for the snail darter, higher housing cost, etc. etc.

          This has a direct impact on people trying to feed their children and having enough time and energy away from making a living to be able take care of their children.

          Some cultures value education more than others which is another factor.

          Minimum wage drives work away from where it is enforced as the employer simply does without or goes elsewhere. Doing away with minimum wage produces jobs.

          Look at the graph of personal saving rate at 2.50 minutes into this video and compare it to the graph at 3:50 showing national debt they are both correlative of each other and started in 1985 which indicates what I'm talking about.

    • Jul 27 2012: I agree. I do think that schools can also serve an important function as community hubs. If governments want community improvements they need to focus on bringing the "village" to the school by stationing community resources and outreach programs within "arms reach" either virtually or preferably physically. Prevention needs to cause a deficit until it reeps the benefit. Or we could just continue to find scapegoats among the working civil servants in our society. I mean really. I Love to learn and live to teach but seriously, when help is not there its just not there right. We can only blame ourselves the tax payers for our problems. Innovative solutions are being devised daily to reconcile a modern need with an ancient industrial archetype. What: are we just going leek and patch, while watching intellectual currency seep away and remain never actualized, or could we form plan of action based on a wealth of conceived alternatives and flip a system on it's head now. No guts no glory. Let's start with a tablet for all students in the class, community based health and wellfare teams active in education and prevention, and a financial mandate which provides opportunity for those who might not otherwise have them.
      Personalized learning, competent technology education for teachers, learning profiles, org time for wholistic team planning when accommodating special needs, the abolishment of standardized testing from k to 6, database storage of student work for teacher reference etc. etc.
      • Jul 27 2012: Schools are going to be turned on their heads in the next 20 years. Technology is moving so fast that the teaching styles and methods will have to change to keep up. This will cause a wider gap between the "haves and have nots". The inner city kids will fall further behind because they won't have the tools that they need to keep up. There is friction right now because there is about to be some major changes.
        • Jul 27 2012: You are correct. But people are used to things taking time to change and that is just not the case anymore.
          To All Teachers;
          Adapt now or face irrelevance. Time is running out for you to close the technological gap and still keep even partially up. If you're students are teaching you about the ways they NEED to communicate now to remain competitive then you are perpetuating a disservice. Not that I am not always learning from my students even if they are in grade one!
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      Jul 31 2012: Do these stories sound familiar? I had the remedial 7th grade class one year, on a parent teacher interview night early in the year I didn't get one parent requesting an interview. A girl in my 8th grade class was suspended for two weeks for fighting, her family took her on a holiday for the two weeks. I have contacted a parent to inform them of an issue at school and received the reply "I don't call you when he's bad at home so don't you call me when he's bad at school". As to the actual question, you get what you pay for like anything else. Higher wages will attract teachers from a wider field of applicants but for many schools the perfectly adequate teachers are hamstrung by factors beyond their control. Mind the salary for AUS teachers ia about 20% more than the equivalent in the US.
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    Jul 26 2012: I don't agree either.

    The higher the salary, the lower the quality.

    If teachers worked on a low-paid or voluntary basis, the teaching quality would actually be high because it would attract teachers who love the work, rather than loving the money.

    It's the old heart vs. head argument. The heart wins every time, in occupations where the well-being of people is concerned - and that would include education.

    But then there is the question of keeping the wolf from the door...
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      Aug 1 2012: If we follow this logic through to its conclusion, we may not like it.

      Premise one: People do better work when payed less or not at all.
      Premise two: People who are not paid love their work more.
      Conclusion one: People should work in fields they love without pay.
      Conclusion two: Heart surgeons who earn less money are better surgeons.
      Conclusion three: Everyone should work without compensation.
      Conclusion four: Communism is the correct way to run a society.

      I don't support this line of thought. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
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        Aug 1 2012: You left one out Eric! This also assumes that just because you love something you are automatically good at it! My golf handicap begs to differ.
  • Jul 26 2012: No - Don't give them any more money - No More!


    They got all weekends free, all religious and national holidays, they gave got longest holidays in summer
    yet they complain that they have under appreciated job. yet when a student doesn't understand it is student's problem.

    I don't blame anyone, Today's teachers are not trained to teach how to learn, they are simply told what to teach.
    I used to teach - but I gave up and start to teach how to learn.

    More Money is not the solution for quality. Yes, I agree, Good stuff cost more money.
    Education in Harvard or Yale isn't the same as Education in average university.

    More Money is not the key to motivation for better education.
    but the understanding and taking responsibility for better youth to this world.

    as they say: We all want better world for our children but hardly anyone wants better children for world.


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      Jul 31 2012: If teachers have it so good why did you quit?
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    Jul 26 2012: No, even if more money can raise the chance of getting better teachers, good teachers can't do much with horrible curriculum. It's just too hard of an equation to only consider one variable as enough.
    But one thing is for sure, even if it can help, the money being spent on raises could be spent elsewhere with faster and better results.
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    Jul 26 2012: Ken, I cannot speak of what your experiences are because you have not indicated a location. So I can only say what the USA is experiencing. Salary of course is a factor in any equation. However that is not your question. Your question is, to me "THE KEY" to quality education.

    In the latest PISA Exams Singapore blew away all other countries. The teacher salaries are very low as state workers however they are very dedicated. The system has tremendous community and family support. The students are dedicated to the learning process. Sinapore has narrowed the scope and have six areas plus a pactium. They believe that application is the major factor in the learning process.

    The picture I am drawing is that the "KEY" is actually a "KEY RING". Salary cannot make it better all by its self. Sure we all want more of everything ... that is a want ... not a need.

    In the US public schools have many problems, not the least of which is state and federal intervention. This year another giant blocker to good teaching is being implemented. Teachers evals are being based on student grades. Guess what, the teachers will now teach only to the test for their protection. The US Sec. of ED wants the federal gov. to write all syllabus, develop all currirulum, write and grade all tests, and write all textbooks. Everyone but the teacher is involved in the process. Doomed to failure.

    Charters are popular and take good minds out of the public system (when the parents can afford it) and the key to their sucess is that they do not have all the government rules to follow as they are private. They are better because they do not have all the baggage and have select students.

    Ken Robinson has told us for years what is wrong and what are the keys for repair ... no one is listening. Learn form Singapore ... no one is listening.

    Sorry I am out of space. Want change ... get involved.

    All the best. Bob.
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    Jul 26 2012: Save money by lowering their salaries and notice if the quality of education declines. Follow the money!
  • Jul 26 2012: I love my job and luckily i am one of a diminishing percentage of fairly compensated teachers. Think of education as a fair trade situation. One education= One ✈⛵
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    Jul 26 2012: I don't know anyone that thinks this. Most people understand you cant fix a broken system by throwing money at it. (And I am in education)
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    Jul 25 2012: A higher salary is definitely an incentive for more people to become teachers. Moreover, it would give teachers more reason to perform at a higher efficiency to hold this position or achieve a higher salary (very similar to the private sector).

    However, just because there are more teachers and perhaps an improved quality of the childrens' education, does that necessarily mean that the students are absorbing said education properly? Are simple teaching methods enough? Or does technology need to step in for those students who are struggling with basic learning?
    Many students these days have very short attention span and each develop certain needs to retain information. In this case, an increased salary would suck up resources from school budgets which provide computers and enhanced learning environments for the children of the 21st century.
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      Jul 25 2012: At least in the United States, there is no shortage of teachers. Highly qualified people enter teaching, even knowing the pay tends not to be generous.
      Retention is an issue, but not because of salary. Many more people leave, I believe, because of working conditions than because of pay.
      • Jul 27 2012: But isn't pay a way of compensating for working conditions, and increasing retention?
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          Jul 27 2012: In some situations it can be, but I think it is much more efficient to improve working conditions.