We conclude that public-school teacher salaries are comparable to those paid to similarly skilled private sector workers, but that more generous fringe benefits for public-school teachers, including greater job security, make total compensation 52 percent greater than fair market levels, equivalent to more than $120 billion overcharged to taxpayers each year. Teacher compensation could therefore be reduced with only minor effects on recruitment and retention. Alternatively, teachers who are more effective at raising student achievement might be hired at comparable cost.
> From: Haim <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Assessing the Compensation of Public-School Teachers
> To: [hidden email] > Date: Wednesday, November 2, 2011, 9:55 PM
> http://www.aei.org/paper/100259 > Assessing the Compensation of Public-School Teachers
> We conclude that public-school teacher salaries are
> comparable to those paid to similarly skilled private sector
> workers, but that more generous fringe benefits for
> public-school teachers, including greater job security, make
> total compensation 52 percent greater than fair market
> levels, equivalent to more than $120 billion overcharged to
> taxpayers each year. Teacher compensation could therefore be
> reduced with only minor effects on recruitment and
> retention. Alternatively, teachers who are more effective at
> raising student achievement might be hired at comparable
All these comparisons by conservatives of present public sector
compensation of labor to private sector compensation of labor are just
more of the typical conservative anti-worker BS, where the economic
goal of conservatism is to turn the workforce of the US into a
permanent low wage labor force, where upward income mobility is
essentially utterly and permanently destroyed, and where nearly all
senior citizens are a near-poverty-stricken class with essentially no
health care, all for the sake of maximizing the profits of the
The conservatives are well on their well to this goal:
In the US in the 1960s, after years of laws that were friendly to the
existence of unions, about one third of the entire private sector
workforce was unionized, but now only about one tenth of the entire
workforce is unionized.
In 1980 just before Reagan was elected, roughly 100,000 companies
provided pensions to their workers. Just 20 years later in 2000, after
years of union-busting and the creating of laws unfriendly to the
existence of unions, only roughly 10,000 companies offered pensions.
That's a 90% drop in just 20 years. In a generation from now, that
number will probably be essentially 0.
Combine these two facts above with the fact that no other developed
country in the world has destroyed their unions and pensions for
And consider the fourth fact that it is still legal in the US for
companies to kill higher paying jobs in the US and ship these jobs
overseas to pay the workers much less for the same work, increasing
the profits of the companies, while it is illegal for companies in
other developed countries to do this.
Note that with lower pay for labor combined with having no pension to
retire on means having to rely only on what one can save in order to
have a retirement, which is quite low at best because of the low pay
of labor. Pensions, like Social Security, are in part pay-as-you-go
systems, making it so that everyone outside of the super-rich gets a
much better retirement in comparison to being entirely on one's own.
We see only the US of all developed countries doing this to their
workers, utterly destroying the pension-based based retirement system
along with turning the entire workforce into a low wage workforce.
Other countries are preserving their gains for their workers, while
the US is going back to the 1800s as to how it treats its workers.
And on top of that, this note of fact: Lending by banks to people to
start businesses is at the lowest rate in modern history - and it will
stay this way for the rest of the history of the US if we do not
reject conservative public policy and re-regulate the banks to force
them to start lending again to people to start new businesses.
And so we see the result: Upward income mobility in the US is already
now one of the worst in the developed world - it will soon be the
worst, and then still without end only get worse and worse from there.
The American dream of upward income mobility via better and better
paying jobs or by starting a business is now over because of
conservative public policy since Reagan.
What we now have with all these facts above is a situation such that
in one to two generations, the workforce of the US will be the poorest
in the entire developed world with nothing but low paying jobs for
just about everyone, In addition, if the conservatives get their way
with Social Security, then, because of no Social Security as we
presently know it and no pensions for those one to two generations,
the senior citizens of the US, because of trying to live on
essentially nothing but their own meager savings from low paying jobs,
will be by far the poorest in the entire developed world.
There are no important open questions in math pedagogy.
Prove me wrong by citing even one on-going discussion, anywhere.
(1) "Open question" means something more than simply someone not knowing the answer to a question, otherwise every question is open all the time because someone, somewhere may not yet know the answer---as in all the high school and college classrooms teaching their various subjects.
(2) "Important" must mean something other than "idle" or "artificial". That is, anyone can concoct a difficult, even unanswerable, question that no one cares about, but I hope we can all agree that the open question should be one that actually matters to at least a few people. And by "matters to", I mean that at least a few people are actively researching the question or, even if they have given up, they would be keen to learn the answer should someone be able to provide it.