America’s public education system is broken. Myriad reforms achieve local success, but none generate systemic change. The key to overcoming this barrier and unleashing local reforms throughout the system is to rethink the teaching profession. We ought to treat teachers like any other skilled professionals, by recruiting and retaining the best and rewarding them for success. Profit of Education argues that we can achieve systemic change by raising average teacher salaries by 40 percent, and distributing the increases in a sophisticated way that rewards achievement by all students. Profit enlists state-of-the-art research by economists and others to show that such an approach can work, as well as laying open many of the practical and political issues involved in measuring teacher success. It also demonstrates that the value of improved education is so great as to repay the costs of the program nine-fold.
Some nice things people have said about Profit of Education:
“Dick Startz has written a provocative and interesting book about how we support and compensate teachers. His recommendations are practical, timely, and most importantly, will help improve education for our Nation’s children.”
-Joel Klein, Chancellor, New York City school system
“What a wonderful surprise it was to read this book. Startz, a newcomer to teacher policy, pulls off a feat managed by few veterans of the field. Using layman’s terms without compromising a whit on his economist credentials, he lays out a highly persuasive argument for why we need to pay great teachers a lot more money and how it can be done. What Freakonomics did in raising our collective economic literacy, this book does for the economics of schooling.”
-Kate Walsh, President, National Council on Teacher Quality
“The clearest and most forceful books in education invariably tend to be ideological statements that at best twist existing evidence on what can improve student outcomes. And that is what makes the contrast with this book so great. Here we have a clear and visionary statement that is completely based on existing research and evidence — evidence that is presented accurately in a lively and well-written book that should be read by everybody who wants to improve our schools.”
-Eric A. Hanushek, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution of Stanford University