View Poll Results: Should teachers receive extra pay for graduate degrees?

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  • Yes

    3 30.00%
  • No

    3 30.00%
  • Depends

    4 40.00%
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Thread: Primary and secondary teacher compensation

  1. #1
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    Primary and secondary teacher compensation

    The following article is one of my favorites from Malcolm Gladwell.

    It begs the question, should teachers receive extra pay for graduate degrees?

    Predicting success in football and teaching : The New Yorker

    This is the quarterback problem. There are certain jobs where almost nothing you can learn about candidates before they start predicts how they’ll do once they’re hired. So how do we know whom to choose in cases like that? In recent years, a number of fields have begun to wrestle with this problem, but none with such profound social consequences as the profession of teaching.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  2. #2
    Military Professional T_igger_cs_30's Avatar
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    I voted yes, I am old school and see teaching as a vocation not a job. Now I am watching my grandchildren go through school as I did my own children, I have noticed a stark change in the attitude of a lot of teachers. Thankfully it still leans to the majority who do treat the position as a vocation, but I would argue it is becoming harder to measure how succesful a person is as a teacher.
    <img src=http://C:\Documents and Settings\Wayne Smith\My Documents\002...My Pictures border=0 alt= />FEAR NAUGHT

    Should raw analytical data ever be passed to policy makers?

  3. #3
    Senior Contributor bonehead's Avatar
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    If I am not mistaken a college graduate gets a leg up in the military. How do you feel about this Shek?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonehead View Post
    If I am not mistaken a college graduate gets a leg up in the military. How do you feel about this Shek?
    You can come in as an E-4 (if you are a college graduate) instead of an E-1. After that, having the degree has minimal bearing on future promotions - what does have a bearing is your matter of performance and demonstrated leadership potential. It's not a bad way to diversify the education level of your entry level soldiers as it costs very little. The key is that it's proven performance doing your assigned job that matters, not what a piece of paper says you studied.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  5. #5
    Senior Contributor bonehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    You can come in as an E-4 (if you are a college graduate) instead of an E-1. After that, having the degree has minimal bearing on future promotions - what does have a bearing is your matter of performance and demonstrated leadership potential. It's not a bad way to diversify the education level of your entry level soldiers as it costs very little. The key is that it's proven performance doing your assigned job that matters, not what a piece of paper says you studied.
    A degree also helps you get into OTS, in fact it looks to be a requirement, at least in the Air force. Thats huge Shek. Sure you have to perform, but there is no question a degree really helps you stand out and thus gain advancement at the early stages of a military career.
    OTS - Applying To OTS

    The Best Jobs Requiring a Master's Degree &mdash; America's Career Publisher :: Occupational Outlook Handbook and Career Publications

    Thats just a short list of jobs where a Masters degree can be required. With this in light there is no reason to pick on teachers.

  6. #6
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    In the U.S., don't teachers have to complete a college degree to get a State teaching certificate?

    I think the amount of college education obtained by a teacher would depend upon the grade that he/she would ultimately teach. You don't need a doctorate in math to teach 2 + 4 = 6 to a gaggle of 2nd graders.

  7. #7
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Shek, your poll question asks "Should teachers receive extra pay for undergraduate degrees?" and may have caused some confusion. At least I was confused.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  8. #8
    Senior Contributor HKDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chogy View Post
    In the U.S., don't teachers have to complete a college degree to get a State teaching certificate?

    I think the amount of college education obtained by a teacher would depend upon the grade that he/she would ultimately teach. You don't need a doctorate in math to teach 2 + 4 = 6 to a gaggle of 2nd graders.
    A doctorate in math is certainly not necessary to teach second grade, but a graduate degree in elementary education would likely expose you to the latest research into how children's brains acquire knowledge and give you a wide range of knowledge on educational best practices.

    I understand that right now there seems to be a great deal of public anger in the U.S. at public employees and teachers seem to be taking some of this heat. It is true that there are areas where public education in the U.S. would benefit from reform. At the school where I work, we get a one step pay increase for completing a graduate degree. Not a lot of money, but an aknowledgement that you are dedicated to growing as a professional. For example, the Masters Degree that I recently completed cost me roughly a decade of the corresponding pay increase. This was not a great money maker. As illustrated in Shek's article and plenty of others that I have read, there isn't always an improvement in teacher performance as a result of attaining that degree. I work with a Kiwi guy who has nothing beyond a university degree, but he is widely considered one of the best teachers in the school. This however, is the exception rather than the rule. While a graduate degree does not necessairily mean that a teacher is better, it is my experience that the vast majority of good teachers will either have one or be working on one. It comes from the reality that those most dedicated to their jobs are also very likely to be interested in updating and developing their skills and knowledge of their chosen profession. I think it makes sense to provide some financial incentive to those teachers who are, often at considerable expense, trying to become better at what they do. Does it make more sense to continue to provide this incentive to the majority of teachers who are doing their job adequately while spending the greater effort identifying those 6%(low number IMHO) of teachers who are incompetent and then actually dealing with the problem, or just take a general swipe at a profession that already feels undervalued?

    It is absolutely correct that public education in the U.S. could use a healthy does of reform. There are a number of problem areas that should be addressed. But once this is done, the larger problem will still be there. The one that people don't really like to talk about. That large segments of the American population place a low value and priority on education, the best schools in the world won't be able to address that situation.

  9. #9
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    My wife is a high school Special Ed teacher. At our college , to get the certification for this specialty was to go through a masters degree. I'm pretty sure you don't need to go this far elsewhere. As HKDan says, she gets a step up in pay, but by no means, is it a massive one. I suppose it does depend on the school district.

    To keep her licence up, she has to continue taking credits. I want to say 5 per renewal, but I'm not sure offhand. This is out of pocket for us.

    ZF-

  10. #10
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    I am not a teacher or married to one. So, I'm not biased in that way. I believe teachers who keep up in the disciplines they teach ought to be paid more. A graduate degree in education itself is not that impressive, but is in history or science, etc. It's my experience that good teachers have personal qualities that can't be taught on top of a genuine interest in their students. I've never seen a good teacher belittle, demean or chide a student, yet many teachers do just that.
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

  11. #11
    Military Professional dave lukins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    Shek, your poll question asks "Should teachers receive extra pay for undergraduate degrees?" and may have caused some confusion. At least I was confused.
    That sound more like it

  12. #12
    Senior Contributor HKDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
    I've never seen a good teacher belittle, demean or chide a student, yet many teachers do just that.
    Damn right, and that is where the focus should be. There are a number of incompetent clowns in the teaching profession and they need to be run out of town.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    The key is that it's proven performance doing your assigned job that matters, not what a piece of paper says you studied.
    And that is exactly how ALL employment should be.

    Unfortunately, that is not the way it works.

  14. #14
    Senior Contributor bonehead's Avatar
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    It often times does work that way. You need a diploma to get your foot in the door, but if you don't produce you will soon be knocking on someone else's door looking for a job. However, being able to call the boss "dad", or "uncle" has its perks.

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    As someone who wants to teach at risk high school kids any thing that would boost my future pay is good for me- an investment. However, research is starting to show that advanced and even terminal degrees add very little to a teachers ability to teach primary and secondary schools. Such degrees need to be on target- history teachers gain zero for their students from an MAT, but a history degree in a related field might. For example, since may of my students will be black, cl;asses on African and African American history will help me relate to my students and give me information to give to them that is relevant and can hopefully inspire.

    JADD,

    I've never seen a good teacher belittle, demean or chide a student, yet many teachers do just that.
    I've never see a good teacher/leader who did not push those under their care: to reach, pass and set new limits to be exceeded. Oh Johny your such a wonderful boy, you'll figure out reading some day... Should be considered child abuse. Instead- "Johh, you know whats expected of you and that is what you will do" should be the norm. People generally rise to the level of demand and no higher.

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