Are Teachers Underpaid?

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It is often said that nation does not properly value teaching. Is this true?

By Education Next

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Summer 2003 / Vol. 3, No. 3

It is often said that the nation does not properly value teaching. Is this true?
Illustrations by Gordon Studer.

As the nation continues to search for ways to upgrade the public school system, much attention has focused on how to improve the quality of K–12 teachers. The focus makes perfect sense: nothing in education is more important than what happens once the classroom door closes. The question is how to draw more high-caliber candidates to the profession. Raising salaries is one option, but it depends on whether one thinks teachers actually are underpaid. Our authors examine this widely held assumption.

Peter Temin in “Low Pay, Low Quality” finds a rare market failure

Richard Vedder in “Comparable Worth” wants pay to respond to market forces

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