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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 25, 2010 / 15 Elul, 5770

The myth of the underpaid teacher

By Betsy Hart



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "One of the most consistent complaints among teachers is that they don't get paid enough," CNNMoney.com reports.

Of course, that's the perception of educators. And the popular culture. The Hollywood version of the overworked, underpaid teacher is the mother's milk of the teachers' unions. "Low teacher pay comes at a high cost for schools and kids," the National Education Association declares on its website as if it's discussing a law of physics.

Wow, do they get their message out.

Look. I have four kids who will head off to various public schools next week. I'm glad for the good, responsive and caring teachers I know they'll have. Of course, I expect such things since I pay for them through high property taxes and school fees. But the overworked, underpaid variety? Yes, some teachers fit that description. But on the whole, it's a myth, and perpetuating the myth degrades teachers, their profession and our kids.

Let's start with the ABCs of teacher compensation. My own state of Illinois is on the high end of average teacher pay, but it's instructive nonetheless. Here the average teacher makes more than $60,000 a year, according to the NEA. In Chicago, it's higher: $70,000. Some, particularly in the Chicago suburbs, make over $100,000 a year.

And compared to their peers? A 2007 report from the Manhattan Institute looked at Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data and found that when comparing pay for workers on an hourly basis across the United States, "The average public-school teacher was paid 36 percent more per hour than the average non-sales white-collar worker and 11 percent more than the average professional specialty and technical worker." For example, architects or chemists.

On average, teachers also work fewer hours per week, in the weeks they work, than their professional peers. BLS statistics are designed to take into account all hours worked by teachers, including those spent grading papers and preparing for class and any hours spent on required extracurricular activities.

But the base pay is just part of the compensation package. Educator health benefits are gold-plated, and the pensions are staggering. Illinois is one of many states being nearly bankrupted by them. Fully vested career teachers in Illinois, for example, can retire with up to 65 percent of their average career salaries for the rest of their lives, and get regular "cost of living" increases, too.

And, of course, along the way, teachers have several months off work each year to work elsewhere or not at all. Priceless.

Moreover, the teachers' unions make it almost impossible to get fired for being a lousy teacher. Scott Reeder, an experienced investigative journalist in Springfield, Ill., showed in his 2005 series, "The Hidden Costs of Tenure," that as of that year, on average, two of 95,000 tenured teachers across Illinois were outright fired each year due to poor performance. Two. It's hard to imagine that Illinois is somehow different from the rest of the country on this one, either.

Back to how all this hurts teachers. Collin Hitt, director of education policy at the Illinois Policy Institute, pointed out to me that we don't "celebrate" Father's Day, for example, by declaring how awful it is to be a father. Just the opposite! And so perpetuating the mythology that teachers typically have a raw deal doesn't honor them at all, but only denigrates their profession and status.

Worst of all, this agenda dishonors our kids by telling them they are not a public priority, when nothing could or should be further from the truth.

While there are exceptions, of course, most teachers, and certainly in comparison with other professions, have well-compensated, comfortable, meaningful, secure jobs precisely because we value teachers. There are lots of problems with our education system. But the lesson here is that not taking good care of our teachers sure isn't one of them.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Betsy Hart, a frequent commentator on CNN and the Fox News Channel, can be reached by clicking here.

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