Welcome to the Profit of Education website. Continuing the conversation begun in the book Profit of Education, we discuss the latest economic evidence on education reform.

How high can you go?

One reason we don’t have more great people stick at teaching is that teacher salaries top out at not very high levels. There are individual districts where the high-end salaries aren’t too bad, although these are often districts in very high cost of living areas. Overall though, top salaries aren’t very top.

The School and Staffing Survey asks each school district to report the highest base salary paid to any teacher in their district.  SASS then reports the median across districts of these highest salaries for each state. This is one way of getting a ball park idea as to what constitutes a high salary for a teacher.

I’ve made a little map.

Median base salary of the highest paid teacher in the district

You can decide for yourself if you think these qualify as high salaries. In case it helps in making comparisons, I went to the Current Population Survey and found salaries of college-educated, full-time workers. The 90th percentile is about $135,000. $80,000 is about the 70th percentile. $50,000 is below the median. My read is that high teacher salaries don’t remotely compared to high salaries in other jobs.

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