Letter: Just paying teachers more won’t help

(Al Hartmann | Tribune file photo) A school bus drops off students at Valley High School on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017.

Whether rural or urban, the plight of our school children receiving a world-class education is not based simply on higher pay.

Look around the world at the highest scoring students. They all come from countries that regard an educator as highly as a skilled surgeon. In fact, many world nations regard teachers as highly as doctors and attorneys.

In these institutions, a teacher must test at the top 10% of their class before graduating with a degree in education. World-class education starts with world-class teachers. You simply cannot pay teachers more money and expect a different outcome. That has proven to be a common misconception.

Today in the United States, our teachers rank in the bottom third of their graduating class. There are always exceptions, but the trend of high academic achievement of teachers is the best indicator of a high quality education for our children. You hire teachers with the highest academic standards and the money will follow.

An article in NEAToday reports, “Researchers said 2018 data show a clear positive relationship between teacher status/respect and student achievement as measured by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) scores.”

Another approach suggests to consider merit pay before tenure.

David Erck, Midvale

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