Advancing a Free Society

Are Experienced Teachers Really That Much Better?

Friday, April 8, 2011

How valuable is the experienced teacher?  In the view of the school committee of my hometown, Wellesley Massachusetts, it seems to be quite valuable, as they just raised the salaries of the most senior teachers by 1 percent for next year, while holding all other teacher salaries constant.

Nor is Wellesley an oddball in this regard. In Florida, the average school district, in 2010, paid 10 percent more for a teacher with 8 years of experience as it paid a first-year teacher. But after a teacher has been around for nearly a decade, salaries to climb more rapidly.  A teacher with 22 years of experience is earning 26 percent more than an eighth-year teacher.

Florida does not allow collective bargaining between teachers and school districts.  In Denver, where such bargaining does take place, salaries rise even more steeply. In 2007, the average teacher in the eighth year of teaching was collecting 18 percent more than a beginning teacher, and thateighth- year teacher would get another 24 percent increment five years later.

Continue reading Paul Peterson at EducationNext

(photo credit: Don O'Brien)