I do not know of a single teacher, world-wide, who would answer the question by saying, “Yes”, teachers are overpaid. The educators I know would probably say, “teachers have low-prestige and low salaries”.
Yet, to satisfy a curiosity, what do the experts say?
One globally-recognized education expert is Mr. Andreas Schleicher, special adviser on education policy to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s secretary-general.
Before joining the OECD, he served as director for analysis at the International Association for Educational Achievement within the Institute for Educational Research in the Netherlands and international coordinator for the IEA Reading Literacy Study at the University of Hamburg, Germany.
Are Teachers Overpaid?
Andreas Schleicher: “Learning outcomes are the result of what happens in classrooms, and what happens in classrooms is mainly shaped by teachers. That’s why the quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers.
The quality of teachers, in turn, is a function of the pool from which teachers are drawn, the standards of university-level teacher-preparation programs, and the quality of their initial training, induction, and continued professional development.”
Again, the teachers I know would be in absolute agreement with Mr. Schleicher. Teachers matter – a lot. If you put your best and brightest into the teaching profession, give them great initaial training, welcome them to the profession and mentor them in their induction to the profession, and focus on high quality continuous professional development, the results will be of high quality.
Now, show me the money, right? Pay me a high salary and i perform better. What does Mr. Schleicher say?
Andreas Schleicher: “Money alone does not guarantee a high-quality teaching profession — the world provides plenty of examples for that.”
Oh, really? I’m surprised. Tell me more…
Andreas Schleicher: “But no high-performing education system has teacher salaries that compare as poorly to salaries in other graduate professions as they do in the United States. What’s more, most high-performing countries pay teachers better and still spend less per student than the United States because they devote a higher share of spending to classrooms and because, different than the United States, prioritize teacher quality over smaller class size.”
Andreas, don’t all teachers simply follow their national curriculums?If you agree with me, that makes teaching a profession that doesn’t really need a lot of rigourous training, the way, for example, becoming a doctor does? Do you agree?
Andreas Schleicher: “Today, the best-performing education systems have made teaching a profession of high-level knowledge workers. In these countries, teachers are able to personalize learning experiences to help every student succeed. They’re able to manage increasing diversity in their classrooms and differences in learning styles, and they keep up with innovations in curricula, pedagogy, and digital resources.
Their teachers work in environments that provide the status, professional autonomy, and high-quality education that go with professional work, with effective systems of teacher evaluation and differentiated career paths.”
Andreas, here’s the question I would like you to answer: Are Teachers Overpaid?
Andreas Schleicher: Let me answer you by telling you what needs to be done to match the performance of the best education systems in the world. A country has to
“…rethink its approaches to teacher development on many fronts. Education leaders and policymakers need to make the teaching profession more attractive for the most talented graduates. They need to improve the education recruits obtain before they start their jobs, as well as how new teachers are inducted into the profession and supported afterward. More attention needs to be paid to improving the performance of struggling teachers, and giving the best-performing teachers opportunities to acquire more status and responsibility. But leaders should also rethink how teacher compensation is structured—and consider bringing it more in line with other professions.
Thank you Andreas. I conclude from your closing remarks that you feel teachers are not overpaid. Specifically, you recommend that teachers pay should be restructured so that it compares better with other professions.
Source for Andreas Schleicher’s quotations