There’s something I’ve been trying to say for several years now. NCTQ’s Ruth Oyeyemi not only said it, she said it really, really cleverly (so I’m a bit jealous.)
Ever hear the classic song, the Hole in the Bucket? Its catchy, ironic logic applies to lots of situations, including this one:
Teachers don’t get paid enough to attract the best and the brightest, SO we want to pay teachers more,
BUT it’s hard to justify higher salaries, in the face of flat student achievement results,
SO the overall quality of the teacher corps continues to be too weak,
BECAUSE we aren’t attracting the best and the brightest, SO
we want to attract better talent and do a better job training them,
BUT we can’t attract our best and brightest,
BECAUSE teachers don’t get paid enough.
This all lead to a teeny-weeny disagreement between my friends over at NCTQ and moi. (Not just because I was jealous of Ruth’s wordsmithing.) NCTQ’s last word on the subject was spot on and a good reminder to us all.
We do believe that teachers’ salaries should be higher and that competitive salaries would help attract the talent we need to this challenging profession…We just want to get past the idea that it’s OK to throw up our hands about improving teacher quality until that great day when salaries are sufficiently high.