riddler78 saidHere's the full interview - personally I think he looks silly in the video, anyone who has actually gone to school or even knows of kids who go to school know that not all teachers are created equal. There are amazing teachers. There are also bad teachers - in the context of the level of job security and benefits, to deny this makes him look well, silly -
As for his claim that teachers get paid "shitty"? Again, it just makes him look ahem, uneducated -
At last Saturday's "Save Our Schools" rally, a fairly livid actor Matt Damon told Reason.tv that teachers make a "shitty" salary. Is the Oscar winner right about that?
The short answer is no. The longer answer? Also no.
According to Department of Education statistics for 2007-2008 (the most recent year listed), the average public school teacher brought in a bit over $53,000 in "total school-year and summer earned income." That figure, which is about $13,000 more than what the average private-school teacher gets in straight salary, does not include health and retirement benefits, places where teachers almost always get better deals and bigger employer contributions than the typical private-sector worker. For more on teacher compensation, go here.
An average salary of $53,000 may not be much for a movie star such as Damon, but it's a pretty good wage when compared to U.S. averages. Indeed, the Census Bureau reports that median household income in 2008 was $52,000. Teaching in most public schools requires a bachelor's degree and here teachers fare less well on first glance, though still not awful. The median income for a man with a B.A. was $82,000; for a woman, it was $54,000. About three-quarters of teachers are women, so the average salaries when gender comes into play hew closely to one another.
More to the point, Bureau of Labor Statistics and other surveys that take into account the reported number of hours worked in a year consistently show that on a per-hour basis, teacher income (again, not including fringe benefits, which are typically far more robust than those offered other workers, including college-educated professionals) is extremely strong.
So teachers are not compensated poorly. And, as the link above suggests and contrary to another assertion made by Damon, it turns out that teachers don't work long hours. At least not compared to other professionals.
None of this is to argue that teaching is easy or unimportant. But K-12 educators are not paid poorly. They may have good reason to be mad at their collective bargaining units, however. Since 1991, teacher salaries have generally kept pace with inflation while inflation-adjusted per-pupil funding has gone up by more than 25 percent. So even as more dollars are heading to schools, teachers aren't grabbing much of it, at least not at the same rate as the per-pupil funding increases. Their unions and negotiators may be grabbing more. Ther are more teachers per student than ever before, so it appears that part of the money is going into more staffing rather than paying existing employees more.
The bottom line: Teachers are not paid poorly relative to the average worker or to other professionals.
Now can we get back to a far more important question: How in the hell is sending even more money to a broken system going to help the students for whom schools exist in the first place?
The short answer is that it won't.
and now let's refute those claims.
1. The average public school teacher earns more than private one because private school teachers are not required to be credentialed to teach. They don't go through the same oversight. As such, you can pick up cheaper labor.
2. The average salary is completely misleading. Starting salaries aren't above 40,000 in any states to my knowledge, and a lot of that average is skewed by older teachers who are grandfathered in by higher pay. New teachers today cannot be expected to earn that amount anymore, nor to receive the same amount of benefits. It's also important to consider teaching is a job with a tremendous longevity of its employees. When you factor in the decades the work for the amount they receive and the average is 53,000 it's still rather low.
3. The hours teachers are technically paid for are nowhere close to the actual amount of hours they work. As someone who taught one course with twenty-four students, that only met for 3 hours a week, I was expected to work 20 hours a week to fulfill my obligations, and often did more. Forget the meetings and conferences... just think if an English teacher has 150 students and semester and gets an essay from each one of them. Even if you can make it through one page in five minutes (which is rather fast), a paper that is three pages would still take 37.5 hours to evaluate. If you ever lived with a teacher like I did, you would see the long hours they put into the night simply going over homework.
And it would be so like you to miss the point. Matt Damon isn't arguing about salaries. What you're doing is making a straw man point. So take your false logic elsewhere. If anything, he's arguing about teacher's loss of power in the classroom and the means by which education is now judged by standardized testing being liked to funds and success.Of course your source would focus on that, because that's the blog of the reporter who got pwned. And of course you would completely miss the entire point, the point Matt lambasts against with "MBA-style paternalistic' thinking. All you hear is money and think economic principles will solve this problem. Why don't you actually listen instead of hear next time when Matt himself says the problem is very complex.