Tag Archives: Eric Hanushek

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.

Charter schools improving

Some of the more ideological education reforms have favored charter schools as something of a magical solution. Increase choice and the market will fix all problems. There is solid evidence that a small number of charter schools perform splendidly, however … Continue reading

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CALDER on tenure

CALDER has a nice conversation on the effects of eliminating tenure in the wake of the Vergara. Good points are made, with an emphasis on shedding light rather than the all-too-common political posturing. A few of my favorite quotes: Rick Hanushek: … Continue reading

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Do academic skills really pay off?

You’d be really surprised if the answer to the question posed in the title were “no,” wouldn’t you? Be assured, the answer is “yes.” Rick Hanushek and co-authors have measured the returns to skills, doing two things different from what’s been … Continue reading

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  1. Chris says:

    “Interestingly, the returns are larger in the United States than in other countries; something I suspect is due to our unequal income distribution.”

    You have the causality backwards. Our unequal income distribution is due to our unequal distributions of talent, education and good work habits.

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Educating kids from families with and without much education

Rick Hanushek, Paul Peterson, and Ludger Woessmann offer the following graph comparing educational outcomes across states while controlling for parental education. (The bright red arrows are my addition.) The circle for each state shows the percentage of 10th graders proficient … Continue reading

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U.S. Students from Educated Families Lag in International Tests

So I lifted the title of this post from the very nice piece over at Education Next. Recommended reading if you have a few minutes. If you have a few more minutes, you might want to go through the longer, … Continue reading

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Returns to skills around the world

We all know in a generic sort of way that more skills lead to more money. Rick Hanushek and coauthors have taken an extended look at new data in a paper titled “Returns to skills around the world” and come … Continue reading

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Standing Lake Woebegon on its head

New York City has released teacher rankings. It’s about the stupidist situation since, well since Los Angeles released teacher rankings. Teachers should be rated and the ratings should be used. But conducting employee reviews in public is no way to … Continue reading

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Is the problem the bottom few?

Rick Hanushek has been arguing recently for focusing on the very least effective teachers. Hanushek has calculated that if we could replace a small number of the least effective teachers with average teachers it would make an enormous difference in … Continue reading

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Schoolhouses, Courthouses, and Statehouses

I’m a touch embarrassed to discover that I’ve not yet reviewed Schoolhouses, Courthouses, and Statehouses, the great book by Eric Hanushek and Alfred Lindseth about policy and politics of school reform. I highly recommend the book to anyone with ideas about … Continue reading

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Hanushek on teacher salaries

I wrote last week about the fact that while spending on schools has gone up, the increased spending hasn’t gone into teacher salaries. Rick Hanushek was nice enough to send me a graphic that illustrates one important part of the tale. Hanushek, … Continue reading

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  1. Dave Larson says:

    I completely agree with you on the proposals to cut the bonus pay for Board certified teachers. I am a school board member and have been lobbying the legislature heavily to maintain those bonuses. It is particularly unconscionable to cut those bonuses for teachers working in “challenging” schools with high percentages of low income and ELL students. I will also note that in my district, over 20% of our teachers are Board certified, so it is not just a few. Since almost all our schools are “challenging”, there is a powerful incentive for our staff to get certified.

  2. Dave Larson says:

    One problem I have with many of the teacher salary studies, including the one in Profit of Education, is that they only look at base salary and not what they actually get paid. For example in my district in Washington state, a teacher with 6 years experience, a bachelor’s degree plus 45 credit hours, has a base salary of $43,591, using the 2008-2009 salary schedule. However in my district they also get $6,330 in TRI pay (given for time spent in addition to the straight classroom time), a $700 longevity payment, and a $1,200 classroom enhancement payment that may be taken as straight salary. That is another 19% on top of $43,591. In addition, if they are Board certified and teach at one of our challenging schools, they get another $11,000 ($5,000 for Board certified, $5,000 for teaching at challenging school and $1,000 from the district for being Board certified). So that raised the pay to $62,821 which is 44% above the base pay. So there you have your 40% raise.

    I am not opposed to more pay for teachers if the system has more incentives for quality work, but I don’t think the current pay levels are as bad as many people make them out to be.

    • dstartz says:

      You make a very important point, even though I don’t agree with all you say. First, I entirely agree that looking at base pay alone would be a mistake. For example, according to the Digest of Education Statistics average base pay for a Washington State teacher with a bachelors and 6-10 years of experience in 2007-08 was $42,380. Estimated annual salary (not just base) was $49,884. That’s a difference, but not a huge one. I suspect part of the difference from the numbers you present is that some of the bonus items, being Board certified is an example, go to relatively few teachers.

      In all the research I’m familiar with, people try to use complete salaries rather than base pay. (Having said that, education finance data is lousy. I wouldn’t be shocked if some items get missed.)

      At a deeper level, whatever we’re paying teachers simply isn’t enough to attract as many top people as we need. That’s the real test.

      Having said that, Washington State is at this very moment talking about cutting out some of the very pay items you identify. The one I find most shocking is killing the bonus for Board certified teachers. So I wish that the state’s politicians would read your comment and be reminded of the crucial point that total compensation is definitely the thing to look at.

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