Let the Market Decide
Podgursky, Michael John
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By thoroughly standardizing teacher pay, the single salary schedule suffers from a major flaw: It deprives the managers of public schools of the authority to adjust an individual teacher's pay to reflect both his performance and market realities. For instance, many schools have trouble recruiting teachers in fields that command high salaries outside of education, such as mathematics and the sciences. The rigidities of the single salary schedule prevent them from addressing this shortage in the obvious way—by raising pay in these specialties. The result: Public schools are often forced to hire unqualified candidates to teach math and science courses. Likewise, few school systems provide extra compensation to teachers who work with the most severely disadvantaged students. Without pay incentives to keep them in the toughest jobs, veteran teachers often use their seniority to transfer to the most attractive schools in the system, leaving the neediest children to be taught by the youngest and most inexperienced teachers.
Economics publications (MU)
D. Ballou and M. Podgursky. 2001. “Teacher Compensation: Let the Market Decide. A Symposium” Education Next Vol. 1 No. 1.