Look I understand that perspective. Anecdotally, a lot of teachers feel very underappreciated and a lot of these stories have been passed around by big news outlets as fact. But when you look at actual peer-reviewed research on this, most of that is not true.

No matter what I will always trust peer-reviewed research over anecdote.

Let’s take your comment about teacher spending on school supplies. Yes, there are some teachers who spend a lot of their own money on school supplies. On average, teachers spend about $479 a year on school supplies (2018 survey by Department of Education). But teachers also get a $250 tax credit on school supply spending each year. So the actual teacher spending per year is only $229 . This is .3% of the average teachers salary. Compared to many other professions, on average, that probably isn’t significant at all.

What about salary and having a masters degree. As I mentioned in the article (with linked studies), there is no evidence that having a masters degree makes you a better teacher. It’s sad and I wish it did, but it looks like it’s just a weight on the system. In terms of mid-career pay, making just below $80,000 is not unusual at all. It still puts you in the 79th percentile of incomes in the US. In other words, not only are you richer than 99th percent of the world (that cut off is only $33.4k), you’re richer than almost 80% of all people in the US. And once again being underpaid isn’t about what you feel you should be paid, it’s about time, stress, benefits, and what the labor market will actually pay for you. On average, most teachers are paid through their vacation. Teachers work about 40 hours a week. And teacher stress, although overreported by unions, is middle of the line in most professions.

And once again, if you had actually read the post and looked at the linked sources, you’d see that the research does account for “ hours of grading, planning, conferencing” and it still shows that teachers don’t work considerably more than most professions.

And yes “ Charter Schools are taught by uncredited teachers who teach [Common] Core Curriculum.” That is true. And our students do test higher on standardized tests. There is no research I can find that credibly shows that students from non-charter schools have higher critical thinking. But there is research that some charter schools do increase student college enrollment and early college persistence.

I understand the frustration. As a teacher I often feel underappreciated. I would like to be better paid. But at the same time the education system is not doing a good job. If we want to actually improve it we have to be honest about what peer-reviewed research is telling us, and we have to stop relying on anecdote to drive our policy decisions.

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