How Should Teachers Salaries Be Evaluated?

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Throughout our education we have all encountered teachers that have inspired us to learn and those who have made the learning experience seem never ending. A great teacher can be remembered for a lifetime. They can impact the choices that we make to further our education or encourage a desire in us toward a future career. We remember these teachers and often hope that we will encounter more teachers like them along our educational journey.

The discussion of teacher tenure and salary has been in news headlines for the past decade. It has stimulated several political debates, but the question remains: Is this an efficient way to retain effective teachers in an education system that some might say is failing our children?

Teacher tenure is said to be a form of job security for teachers that have sustained a probationary period. This period, of about two to four years, is where the teacher is scrutinized on their job performance. They must prove to be competent and skillful in their teaching abilities. After this period is complete a teacher can feel secure in their position as an educator for many years to come.

The security that is generated in tenure also creates a sense of protection for a set salary. The current system for teacher’s salary has been in place for nearly a century. In 1921, the position-automatic or single salary schedule for teachers was introduced. In this system, the teacher's salary was constructed on two valued areas: degree held and years of teaching experience. This system was endorsed by the National Education Association in 1944. In as few as six years (1950) 97% of all schools had adopted the single salary schedule. By the 1999-00 school year, nearly 100% of teachers were paid according to the singl...

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...alary system will endure another century since it seems to be a topic that continues to generate rhetoric. But whether these changes occur or not, there will always be a hope that the teachers who impact students in a positive way will know that they truly made a difference in these lives and maybe that will outweigh any high paying career.

Works Cited

Springer, Matthew G., and Catherine D. Gardner. "Teacher Pay For Performance Context,

Status, And Direction." Phi Delta Kappan 91.8 (2010): 8-15. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 17 Feb. 2012.

Wilson, Suzanne M. "How can we improve teacher quality? Recruit the right candidates, retain

teachers who do well, and ensure strong preparation, good working conditions, and quality professional development." Phi Delta Kappan 93.2 (2011): 64+. Educators 200 Collection. Web. 17 Feb. 2012.

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