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.

Math pays outside teaching, not for teachers though

Teachers get paid for experience and credentials, but not for specific skills. Patrick Walsh explains that outside of K-12 education, both math and verbal skills get rewarded…but math skills get rewarded more. Unsurprisingly, people with more math skills are drawn away from teaching into other professions.

How big is the pay gap? Walsh computes the effect on the difference between teacher versus nonteacher salaries for a one standard deviation (about 90 point) increase in SAT scores. Here’s a quick summary

Effect
4 years post graduation 10 years post graduation
math $1500~$2000 $3000~$3800
verbal $300 1300

You can see why teachers with good math skills are especially likely to be drawn into another career. And note that the incentive to bail increases as people move along in their careers.

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