Tag Archives: teacher quality

Yes, There Can Be Such a Thing as Too Many Teachers

Over at Jay Greene’s blog, Greg Forster takes on the issue (via the extraordinary education investigator Mike Antonucci) of states with growing teacher workforces and flat – or even shrinking – student populations: Maryland, for example, expanded its teacher workforce 10 percent from 2001 to 2006, while enrollment grew less than 1 percent. California, which is still carrying around an extremely bloated teacher workforce from its apparently failed experiment in class size reduction, has just announced that it’s cancelling the large majority of its planned teacher layoffs. Greg goes on to point out that growing teacher-to-student ratios largely have not resulted in smaller class sizes – in part because teachers have their classroom time limited or some are working in non-classroom positions. So who gets the best of this arrangement? Well, the teachers’ unions make out like bandits. More teachers means bigger budgets without the hassle of selling the membership on dues hikes, and more political clout because the public school gravy train is larger. Jay Greene himself has made the point that to an extent more teachers in the system pushes down the overall quality of the teaching workforce, because there is a limited pool of talent. It’s just […]


Denver Should Go Forward in Rewarding the Best Teachers

The Denver Post says that the city’s teachers union is about ready to throw under the bus an innovative pay plan, including huge pay raises for newer teachers: Talks fell apart May 16, and teachers Monday petitioned the Colorado Department of Labor to take over negotiations — an initial step before a strike could be called. Perhaps the most contentious issue is ProComp — the system that has caught the eye of national education experts as a merit-pay plan embraced by the union…. Under the district proposal, a teacher would get $3,000 for working at a high-poverty school, choosing a hard-to-fill position such as special education or math, or teaching in a high-performing school. Sixty-three percent of teachers would get three or more incentives, DPS officials say. On average, teachers would receive $6,000 in incentives, said Tom Boasberg, DPS chief operations officer. Annual starting pay would rise from $35,000 to $44,000. District officials want to pay teachers more for good performance and to recruit top-notch teachers with higher salaries. Kids like me all over Colorado need high-quality teachers to give us the best educational advantages we can get. I hope the two sides can come to an agreement that benefits […]