What are teachers paid per hour? Are teachers overpaid? What is a good teacher worth?
Are teachers overpaid? What are good teachers worth? How much should we be paying teachers? Forbes recently attempted to answer this question just in terms of an hourly rate per student served.
But are teachers overpaid babysitters?
Let’s imagine for a moment that teachers were paid a baby-sitter’s salary. Let’s assume that they charge $3.00 an hour per kid. They “babysit” 25 children from 8AM to 3PM Monday through Friday. That’s eight hours a day, five days a week, for approximately nine months (or 36 weeks) a year. The math, very briefly:
* 8 hours x $3.00/hr = $24 a day per student.
* $24/student x 25 students = $600 a day per class
* 36 weeks x 5 days per week = 180 days
* $600 x 180 days = $108,000.00/year salary.
The average teacher in Wisconsin – where teachers are fighting the Republican governor, Scott Walker, for their right to collectively bargain – makes about $51,000 a year.
(Link) [Side note: even if you adjust the hours worked below 40, you would likely have to increase the amount paid per student. Further, the value in ensuring crime doesn’t occur…..along with the value of graduating kids to high school or college….can further be economically computed…although you would have to divide that by 13 based on the number of years from kindergardento 12. Admittedly this is the value….and its future projected value…..but is a start at estimating a year of teaching from a teacher].
Or you can base the value of a teacher on the quantitative impact on the economy:
Alternative valuation methods are based on the impact of increased achievement on individual earnings and on the impact of low teacher effectiveness on economic growth through aggregate achievement. A teacher one standard deviation above the mean effectiveness annually generates marginal gains of over $400,000 in present value of student future earnings with a class size of 20 and proportionately higher with larger class sizes. Replacing the bottom 5-8 percent of teachers with average teachers could move the U.S. near the top of international math and science rankings with a present value of $100 trillion.
Yet another calculation of teacher value based on the future earnings of students:
$25,000 X 30 years X 25 students= 18, 750, 000 …..divided by 13 is 1, 442, 307 of value in a given class.
This is a vast under-estimation because it doesn’t assume the value of graduating high school fully or the number of students who end up attending college.
It also doesn’t assume the character & avoiding crime impact played by school. Combined, that should push the number higher.