"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Heritage Foundation and AEI Issue Report Exposing Dumb, Fatcat Teachers

When I heard that the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation were about to release a report by two of their PhD staffers, I thought, here we go again. After all, it was just a few days ago that the Feds released data showing the income of the top 1 percent went up 275% from 1979 to 2007.  Were AEI and HF about to pile on just when the 1%ers are coming under such increasing hostility and ridicule?  How much can our job creators take, after all!  We could lose them to Switzerland or Monaco if we're not careful.
I was relieved to realize yesterday that AEI and HF have tag-teamed to slam to the mat the real culprits in the scandalous out-of-control salary story: teachers.  That's right--under-worked and overpaid fatcat teachers, with health insurance and retirement plans and teacher rooms, and desks.  You name it--teachers have it.

In forcing us Americans to face the truth about the undeserved wealth and unearned privileges we have bestowed upon the parasitic and cognitively-deficient teacher bigshots, AEI and Heritage have also exposed, too, our former president, George Bush, for the socialist that he truly was.  It was Bush who whined in 2003 that "salaries are too low. We all know that . . . we need to figure out a way to pay teachers more."

Thank you, AEI and Heritage Foundation for your fearless effort to identify those who are wrecking our economy and our democracy. Power to (a few of) the People!

From NPR:
The American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think thank in Washington, D.C., is causing waves with a study (pdf) it released today that found teachers are overcompensated in comparison to "similarly educated and experienced private-sector workers."

The organization said it took a "comprehensive" look at teacher's salaries and tried to take into account what it says are unique areas of compensation for teachers, including generous pension plans and better job security.
The bottom line? Teacher's compensation, the American Enterprise Institute writes, is 52 percent above market rates and costs government "$120 billion annually in excessive labor costs." Here's a bit of the reasoning behind those figures:
• The wage gap between teachers and non-teachers disappears when both groups are matched on an objective measure of cognitive ability rather than on years of education.
• Public-school teachers earn higher wages than private- school teachers, even when the comparison is limited to secular schools with standard curriculums.
• Workers who switch from non-teaching jobs to teaching jobs receive a wage increase of roughly 9 percent. Teachers who change to non-teaching jobs, on the other hand, see their wages decrease by roughly 3 percent. This is the opposite of what one would expect if teachers were underpaid.
Of course, teachers' unions took issue with the study. The American Federation of Teachers, one of the largest unions in the country, put out a statement saying the report "uses misleading statistics and questionable research:"
This report contains a number of ridiculous assertions, such as arbitrarily assigning 8.6 percent as a "job security premium" teachers supposedly enjoy. This "job security premium" is pure fiction, given the 278,000 public education jobs that have been lost during this recession. There's no basis for this claim—it's simply a placeholder used to lead to AEI's conclusion. In our business, such reasoning would get a flunking grade.
The truth—backed by reputable research—is that few, if any, workers subsidize their professions like teachers. America's teachers spend hundreds of dollars per year on classroom supplies for their students and work longer hours than their peers in other nations, including late afternoons, evenings and weekends grading papers, preparing lesson plans, talking with students and their parents, and other school-related work.
Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of the Washington, D.C. school system, who has been a nemesis of the teachers' unions, sided with them on this issue. She told Politico that "under the status quo in most school districts, good classroom teachers are not only undervalued in pay, but as professionals generally."

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