Peter Temin argues that teacher pay is too low. He says that in the past, limitied opportunities for women meant that schools were supplied with a pool of high-quality teachers willing to work for low pay. Today, however, talented women have other opportunities that pay better than teaching. He concludes,
The implication of this analysis is that it will be very hard to improve the quality
of American schools. We will need a concerted effort to break out of this stable
equilibrium, attract a new breed of teachers, and settle into a new higher paying
equilibrium. None of the current reforms even comes close to making that attempt. They are doomed to failure as a result, and the available empirical evidence suggests that they are in fact failing.
I once put together a back-of-the-envelope business model for a school in which teacher pay would be $90,000 a year. However, it requires trimming back on overhead.
For Discussion. If schooling were privatized, with a voucher system, do you think that competitive forces would lead to higher or lower teacher quality and pay?