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Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:14 PM

What? You think our teachers are overpaid compared to, say, Mexico or Korea?

61 replies, 3539 views

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Reply What? You think our teachers are overpaid compared to, say, Mexico or Korea? (Original post)
Scuba Feb 2013 OP
Bay Boy Feb 2013 #1
Scuba Feb 2013 #2
LWolf Feb 2013 #3
Scuba Feb 2013 #4
LWolf Feb 2013 #5
Scuba Feb 2013 #6
jeff47 Feb 2013 #8
Scuba Feb 2013 #9
LWolf Feb 2013 #10
duffyduff Feb 2013 #14
LWolf Feb 2013 #31
duffyduff Feb 2013 #41
LWolf Feb 2013 #50
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #40
LWolf Feb 2013 #53
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #55
LWolf Feb 2013 #60
amandabeech Feb 2013 #47
LWolf Feb 2013 #54
amandabeech Feb 2013 #59
LWolf Feb 2013 #61
hfojvt Feb 2013 #7
LWolf Feb 2013 #11
loose wheel Feb 2013 #29
proud2BlibKansan Feb 2013 #32
loose wheel Feb 2013 #37
LWolf Feb 2013 #33
loose wheel Feb 2013 #38
LWolf Feb 2013 #43
loose wheel Feb 2013 #46
GaYellowDawg Feb 2013 #35
proud2BlibKansan Feb 2013 #39
Luminous Animal Feb 2013 #13
CreekDog Feb 2013 #19
Luminous Animal Feb 2013 #21
CreekDog Feb 2013 #22
Luminous Animal Feb 2013 #23
duffyduff Feb 2013 #15
hfojvt Feb 2013 #17
CreekDog Feb 2013 #20
duffyduff Feb 2013 #42
knitter4democracy Feb 2013 #45
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #44
amandabeech Feb 2013 #48
progressoid Feb 2013 #12
JVS Feb 2013 #16
Squinch Feb 2013 #27
maggiesfarmer Feb 2013 #18
JVS Feb 2013 #25
Nevernose Feb 2013 #30
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #24
pampango Feb 2013 #34
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #36
bhikkhu Feb 2013 #26
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #56
Pterodactyl Feb 2013 #28
Nanjing to Seoul Feb 2013 #49
Donald Ian Rankin Feb 2013 #51
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #57
davidpdx Feb 2013 #52
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #58

Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:21 PM

1. Looks like we are...

...getting our money's worth at least. Unlike Korea.

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Response to Bay Boy (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:38 PM

2. Who's to say the South Koreans aren't getting their money's worth? ...

http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_now/2011/01/obama_on_teachers_as_nation_builders.html


In South Korea, teachers are referred to a "nation builders." Here in America, it's time we treated the people who educate our children with the same level of respect. -- Barack Obama


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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:45 PM

3. I wonder what those "hours spent working"

are based on. Contractual hours, or actual hours?

In my 3 decades of work in the U.S. public ed system, large and small districts, large and small schools, 2 different states, I've never known a teacher, even the least interested or motivated, who can get all the duties listed in the contract done in the contractual work day.

Not one. And the U.S. is already at the top as far as hours worked.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:08 PM

4. Is "least" a typo?

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Response to Scuba (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:32 PM

5. No.

Even the VERY FEW teachers I've known that would like to arrive at the last minute and leave asap can't get the duties listed in the contract done in a contractual day. If they DO arrive and leave on time, they're taking work home with them.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:45 PM

6. How about those who arrive an hour early and leave two hours late? Can they get it done?

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Response to Scuba (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 05:02 PM

8. If they're arriving early and leaving late, they are working more than the contracted hours

That's kinda the point.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 05:06 PM

9. Color me slow. I get it now. Thanks.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 07:04 PM

10. That would be me.

I can usually get it done by adding 3 hours. Sometimes it takes a little longer. I did 53 hours at work last week, and about 3 hours at home this weekend.

I left about an hour of paperwork, another hour of lesson planning, and about 3 hours of filing undone Friday when I left, in addition to what I brought home.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:06 PM

14. The only way you can get everything done in a contracted day in education

is if you have taught many, many years and it becomes second nature to do the job (and, if you are an elementary teacher, you save many of your lesson plans and prep materials from year to year, or, if you are secondary, you have students or aides do a lot of the correcting of papers), or else you have a small class like I did in special education and only occasionally stayed much after hours. I had prep periods at the time I taught in public ed, so I got most of my work done during the day. Only working on IEPs would cause me to stay after hours.

For most teachers, however, it's a grind, and they aren't compensated for the extra time put in.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #14)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:32 AM

31. I have taught many, many years.

Teaching is 2nd nature to me.

I still don't get the job done in the contractual day. I'm as efficient about time use, and planning use of time, as they come.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #31)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:28 PM

41. I've known some who have gotten it done, but they were extremely organized

Not saying you aren't, but I know of at least one who had almost a military-like ability to organize. She was my supervising teacher when I did my student teaching.

I was able to do it, too, but I didn't have the classroom load like most other teachers, plus I had assistants.

What I despise are teachers who play the martyr and claim their colleagues don't work as hard as they do because they don't stay all of the extra hours. They need to mind their own business and do their own jobs.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #41)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:04 AM

50. If teachers aren't staying as long,

they're taking it home.

They're still putting in the time.

I'm extremely organized. The only way to spend less time is to teach less. Fewer lessons, fewer assignments, less to plan, score, etc.. I don't do that. We have to much to learn in too little time.

In the last decade, we have had so many other duties added to what is expected outside of class time, without any extension of non-student contact time, that there is simply no way to get it done. Some of those duties have to do with data and "data teams." Crunching test scores. Some have to do with the new teacher evaluation system that requires much more time, and paperwork, on our end. More specialty meetings have been added; there are not just general staff meetings, SSTs and IEPs; there are regular meetings with the admin to discuss performance, there are various committee meetings, and yes, we all have to take on a committee or two. Or three, for the masochists. Much of that time outside the class that should be spent grading, planning lessons, adjusting lessons based on student response, etc.. is spent in meetings, which leaves the real prep outside of the contractual work day.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:18 PM

40. It's hours spent teaching

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #40)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:50 AM

53. That's an interesting chart.

I notice that the hours of "compulsory instruction time" for students is close, but not exact, compared to "number of hours teaching time" for teachers. That may be because it's standard practice to offer students more than the minimum amount of time required. At least in the states I've worked in, that's how we were able to avoid adding days to the end of the school year when schools were closed for snow, etc..

"Teaching time" is not the only time required of teachers, however. There are a vast number of things we are required to do outside of the students' instructional time.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #53)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:04 AM

55. It will also depend if there are specialist teachers for certain subjects

or if a class basically gets the same teacher for everything. In my experience (in Britain), you'll start off with one teacher for the whole of the day, but, by the end of primary education (up to age 11, as far as we're concerned), you'll have specialists for music, perhaps art, French, science ...

As far as the other time teachers spend at their jobs goes, you can compare that here:

http://www.oecd.org/edu/educationataglance2012oecdindicators-chapterdthelearningenvironmentandorganisationofschools-indicators.htm

Indicator D4 is a spreadsheet of all countries, which includes (table D4.1) hours net teaching time, working time required at school, and total statutory working time. The US is well above the OECD average for the latter 2 as well, though not by quite as much as it is for net teaching time.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #55)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:32 AM

60. So according to those charts,

U.S. teachers spend more time teaching than anyone else on the chart except for Chili, and that teaching amounts to just under 60% of their time spent working.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:59 PM

47. Don't forget to count the busy work some teachers farm out to family members.

My Mom taught third grade when I was in middle school and high school. I was an honor student throughout those years.

I corrected a LOT of spelling books over those years, and I don't think that I was the only older child who pitched in.

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #47)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:54 AM

54. I think that was more common

in the past. I generally don't have ANY assignments that I allow others to correct. Most of my assignments are more than just a list of correct answers; those simple kinds of things we correct together in class and get immediate feedback. My hours are spent looking at their ability to infer, interpret, analyze, connect, etc.; things that there are no answer keys for.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #54)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:55 AM

59. Those were the items that my mother corrected exclusively for herself.

She would never allow me to do that higher order work.

She chose not to use her time with her students for group correction, unlike many teachers like you.

She was, however, cited as the best teacher in her school many times.

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #59)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:34 AM

61. Our group correction

is part of the learning process. It works. They like it.

We don't, though, have too many things that are appropriate for group correction.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:49 PM

7. seriously?

Pay divided by GDP per capita?

Seriously?

US GDP per capita is about $48,000.

Almost nobody I know makes that kind of money. About 90% of households make less than $127,000. If they have three people in them, they are making less than per capita GDP.

So dividing an average teacher salary by an inflated baseline looks pretty dishonest to me - a way to deflat higher numbers and inflate lower numbers.

Consider this. According to that chart, a teacher makes about 80% of US GDP or $38,400. So a household comprised of two teachers would make $76,800. Well, 60% of US households make less than $53,000 a year. So they would be making at least 145% of what 60% of those paying their salary are making. And seemingly, according to that chart, for working far less than the 2,000 hours a year that many of the rest of us are working.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 07:24 PM

11. We work a contract.

We're paid by the day. Our contract specifies how many days, and how many hours.

We aren't paid beyond the number of days we're contracted to work. The daily hours in our contract, as mentioned above, don't cover what it takes to complete the duties listed in our contract. We work far beyond that number. School districts depend on us working for free, beyond the contract, to keep things running. The system would collapse if we all stuck to contractual hours. Of course, then they'd have us by the short hairs for not completing all the contractual duties, which can't be completed during a contractual day.

The bottom line? I don't work as many days as some people. Of course, I'm not paid for the days I don't work. I'm not even paid for many of the days and hours I do. I don't know anyone outside the teaching profession who works as long, or as tightly scheduled, day as we do.

I'm sure there are some other professions that DO work as much. I wonder what they get paid?

I also have to point out that there are plenty of us who do not live with another teacher, or ANYONE, providing a second income.

$48,000 a year is not too much money for a profession that requires a master's degree and constant updating of a license.


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Response to LWolf (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:15 PM

29. You should try my work then

 

I have to take a request for work from a customer and use it to create a contract for bid that specifies what I will and won't do. I don't get paid for that.

Customers don't pay up front for all the designing and planning that go on before I order material or send my crew out on a job. Quite frankly, I float all that, with cash if I can, with a credit card if I can't.

I can't remember the last fifty-three hour week I had. It would seem like a vacation. Right now, as a business owner, I don't even make minimum wage for the hours I work. My business could use a full time engineer, a project manager, and a receptionist/Admin type person. I can't afford them yet, so guess who does all that work.

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Response to loose wheel (Reply #29)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:34 AM

32. Oh yes. The 'I suffer more than you' argument!

Never works.

Suck it up. You made a choice. Live with it.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #32)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 03:09 PM

37. Same, same.

 

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Response to loose wheel (Reply #29)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:35 AM

33. You're welcome

to spend a week in my classroom and then make your comparison. Until then, it's not valid.

I don't own my own business. I work for a boss that offers me a contract. A contract that specifies work hours and duties. Do you expect your employees to work overtime without pay?

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Response to LWolf (Reply #33)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 03:31 PM

38. I don't know about that.

 

You see, I am a qualified trainer, basically a teacher among other things. Now granted I taught adults, but my method works with kids just as well. Information. Training. Task. Condition. Standard. Test. Retrain as necessary. Retest as necessary. I don't view failure as acceptable.

You say you that your product (the education of my children) is worth more than you are currently paid. Let's test that. Not pointed at you, but in general, based on a good bit of experience.

Thirty years ago, I was expected, by the school, to know my time tables to 12 by rote memory by the time I got out of third grade. Now, my daughter in advanced fourth grade math struggled with multiplication past 6 times until I made her memorize them. That means in comparison that particular product's current model is defective compared to the old model.

Thirty years ago in third grade, I read The Black Stallion without stopping and struggling over words. My daughter struggled with it in fourth grade. My elementary school pointedly taught phonetics, my daughter's teachers had no idea what that was or how to teach it, so I had to step in again and teach proven basics that the school should be using. Compared to the old model, the current model is, again, defective.

My daughter has more innate intelligence than me.

Those are two objective points.

I'm not the only parent that notices this. We talk and compare notes, and they aren't favorable. You expect better pay, I expect a superior product. The fact is public schools are not delivering that superior product.

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Response to loose wheel (Reply #38)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:34 PM

43. You don't know

if you ask your employees to work overtime without pay?

As far as the rest, I'm not sure that it relates to the topic.

I could spend reams explaining all the factors that have created the evolution of education we've experienced i my classroom. Thirty years ago I was in college, and well beyond high school. I'm well aware, not only of how things have changed, but of why.

That's a different topic, though. This one is about the working hours and pay of U.S. teachers in comparison to much of the rest of the developed world.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #43)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:34 PM

46. I intended to respond to a diferent post.

 

As far as your question...that would depend. If they are a salaried exempt professional then no, I wouldn't. On the other hand, that is something that should be anticipated by both sides during salary and compensation negotiation.

If they are not exempt hourly and not a professional rating, then yes, I will pay time and a half. I alert my clients when the schedule is going to cause me to bill overtime, but I always build in a small risk factor for that. All of my employees are currently hourly.

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Response to loose wheel (Reply #29)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:40 AM

35. Oh, horse balls.

If you were that busy, you wouldn't have time to find, read, and object to a post on an internet bulletin board.

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Response to GaYellowDawg (Reply #35)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 06:59 PM

39. +1

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:02 PM

13. The median income for those with bachelor's degrees is $50,360 a year...

So a teacher making $38,400 does not seem out of line.

http://www.alternet.org/economy/9-economic-facts-will-make-your-head-spin?page=0%2C1

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #13)


Response to CreekDog (Reply #19)


Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #21)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 08:01 PM

22. i'm sorry for the misundersanding, i appreciate you correcting hfojvt

i'll delete my post.

you were correcting him on his salary numbers not supporting that number with respect to a teacher's salary.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #22)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 08:03 PM

23. Thanks! I'll delete mine as well.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:11 PM

15. That isn't big money

I made more than 48k five years ago, and I barely got by. That's with experience as a teacher. I certainly couldn't buy a house on my salary, as real estate went through the roof at that time.

The only way anybody had a decent lifestyle in teaching is if they were married.

Plus I had and have far more education than most people.

Beginning salaries are nowhere that much nationwide, and beginning teachers work their asses off the first few years in the job. Not that veteran teachers don't work their asses off, but when you first start out it will absolutely drain the life out of you. It's literally a 24/7 job those first couple of years.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #15)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 03:41 PM

17. it is to me

I made less than 13K five years ago, and I got by okay

"decent lifestyle" depends on whose definition of "decent" is being used. I am looking at most of the country, and for most of the country, $38,000 for one job is better than many.

and I have more education than most.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #17)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 07:52 PM

20. Be honest with us and just demand that "Hamburger University" replace our educational system

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:32 PM

42. You also spend many thousands and thousands of dollars getting trained

and it is hard, hard work.

If you think it is so easy and overpaid, why don't YOU do it? Nobody is stopping you.

BTW, I am not making that now. I frankly don't believe you when you say you "got by okay" on 13k a year.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:07 PM

45. I teach, and I make in the $20K range.

The district is talking paycuts, too, and I have to start my master's this spring or endanger losing my certification and job. If I didn't get support from the ex, my kids and I would qualify for food stamps.

Something's wrong in a nation where teachers and their children qualify for the free and reduced lunch program.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:40 PM

44. You can compare it to the average for workers with a tertiary education in each country

http://www.oecd.org/edu/educationataglance2012oecdindicators-chapterdthelearningenvironmentandorganisationofschools-indicators.htm

Indicator D3: How much are teachers paid? - an XLS file, Table D3.1 cont gives the ratios for each country (column 17).

For primary teachers, the USA is 0.67 the national average; the OECD average is 0.82. Canada 1.05, England 0.99, France 0.73, Germany 0.88, Italy 0.57.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:02 PM

48. A better comparison might be of teachers to other workers whose jobs by law require

a college education and licensing.

A bachelor's does not come cheap, and many, many teaching programs now are 5 years, not 4.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 07:36 PM

12. Suck it Luxembourg!

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Response to progressoid (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:47 PM

16. lol. their gdp number is way out of whack due to tax haven status.

Their teachers are not getting screwed over.

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Response to progressoid (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 09:15 PM

27. "Suck it Luxembourg!" is my new favorite phrase. I'm going to try and slip it into conversations.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 07:40 PM

18. I hate this graphic.

Don't get me wrong, Scuba, I agree with your point, at least that teachers in the US should be better compensated. I'm not sure this graphic has enough information to draw a conclusion about hours worked. Further, I believe there may be good reasons to extend the school day or extend the school year and I would expect teacher's hours to increase if either of those happens.

This graphic raises so many questions it makes me question the point that I think we agree on:

1. The headline of both the OP and the graphic refer to 'teachers' in the general sense but the data is specific to primary school teachers. That doesn't necessarily mean the content is wrong but it does cause me to question if the headlines are intended to confuse the larger issue.

2. I had a teacher who taught me to never trust a graph whose axes weren't fully labeled. "hours worked" -- is that supposed to be annually? I'm curious, because the top seems just over 1000 which seems low, even for a 9 month a year job (40 hours/week * 39 weeks = 1560). A full time, year round worker (assume 40 hours/week and 50 weeks/year) works ~2000 hours annually and I'm shocked that some group of teachers don't average anywhere close to that per the graphic.

3. how are teachers in other countries with longer school years working significantly less than US teachers? If we believe the graphic, then none of those schools with longer school days and/or longer school years are working more (or even the same). that seems odd.

4. I agree with another poster that "teacher salary after 15 years / GDP per capita" as a measure of comparison isn't intuitive and at a minimum begs some explanation over why that metric was selected. The denominator "GDP per capita" is the mean value of goods and services produced by a single person in that country. Dividing a teacher's salary by that number tells us the ratio of the mean primary teacher's salary to mean GDP per capita, or the ratio of the teacher's salary to the value of goods and services provided by one average citizen. So, a ratio of 1 means that they are compensated an amount equal to the value of goods and services their home country produces annually. This metric is going to push countries with a higher GDP down the scale by virtue of a larger denominator (and push countries with higher populations up). I suspect that if countries like Qatar, Monaco, UAE, etc.. were on the list they should show up as outliers on the low end of the right axis. The data may be more meaningful if graphed on a scale where teacher's salaries are all converted to the same (relatively stable) currency instead of this metric. Another knock against this metric is that one would assume that if primary teachers are doing a good job, they'll be helping improve their country's "GDP per capita". However, the better the "GDP per capita" gets, the more it hurts them in that metric. .

5. Do we have any information regarding what criteria were necessary for a country to make this chart? Noting that China, India, Russia and Brazil are conspicuously absent from both of the lists and some countries are on one side but not the other makes me believe that lack of data didn't drive the exclusions.

6. A graph comparing conditions in different nations which lists a singular "Korea" without a directional modifier is rather suspect on it's face, IMO. This is showing my geographical ignorance, but what's the distinction between "Belgium (Fr.)" and "Belgium (Fl.)"? One Korea, two Belgiums.

7. I'd be interested in seeing teacher hours worked measured against some metric for "educational time" that factors in length of the school day and the school year and compares. What would be even more interesting is data comparing "teacher hours worked" to "student knowledge growth" but that would be damn difficult data to reliably measure.

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Response to maggiesfarmer (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 08:21 PM

25. About number 3 and 4

I don't have trouble believing this, as schools in the US seem to be treated as daycare facilities rather than schools. There are places where lessons are finished by mid-day. May Americans depend on the school to supervise their kids from before 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM or later (extracurriculars are a handy way to keep that kid inside for a full shift). As a result we rack up a lot of hours here even with a short school year.

Instead of conversion into a single currency, I suggest using purchasing power parity indexed comparisons. Or you could indicate where a teacher would be in the income percentiles of their country are given (telling us where teachers place within each country) but that runs the risk of confusing people by adding another statistical concept.

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Response to maggiesfarmer (Reply #18)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:27 AM

30. 5 and 6

I assume that there is only one Korea on the list because the Northern one is currently experiencing a rash of starvation-induced cannibalism, and even with food most serious people's initial response to a discussion of international educational system isn't, "Gosh, I wonder how Kim Jung Un is handling things up on Pyongyang."

Belgium has two administrative regions: one in the French speaking areas and one in the Flemish (Dutch) speaking areas, though I didn't realize that the difference was significant enough to warrant differentiation. Maybe the graph was created by a Francophile or a radical Belgian nationalist?

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 08:05 PM

24. Mexican teachers get better paid.........SNORT!!!!

Whoever got the data...chuckle...snort.

This is why teachers are striking for better pay like...constantly.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #24)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:30 AM

34. I believe they are only 'better paid' in comparison to the average national income.

Mexican teachers are 'better paid' only in the relative sense that their pay compares more favorably to that of other Mexican workers than the pay of American teachers compares to other American workers.

I think one point of the graph is to compare how much teachers are paid (as an indication of how much a country prioritizes the value of teachers and education?) to the average pay of other workers in each country. A poorer country is not going to pay its teachers as much as they make in the US, Germany or Japan but it is a good sign if that country respects its teachers and pays them a wage that is more comparable to other professionals in the country.

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Response to pampango (Reply #34)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:52 AM

36. I know the graph is wrong as far as pay

For teachers is concerned...serious.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 08:36 PM

26. In the UK, contracted hours is 1250, which should put it on the top of the list

http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6043075

I'm not sure where they are getting the information on all of these, but definitely wrong on the UK, and dubious on others as well.

And what is it supposed to mean where pay is "GDP per capita?"

My initial impression - useless graphic full of errors. Though the intention to highlight how US teachers are overworked and underpaid is good, a little more care in the presentation would be appreciated. D.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #26)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:11 AM

56. It's time spent teaching in front of pupils

See the link in reply #55 for a table which compares things like contracted hours. The information comes from an OECD study.

Comparing pay to GDP per capita is a quick way of comparing teachers' pay to how well off the country is, overall. You'd expect US teachers to be paid more than Mexican teachers - take any job, and it's normal for those in the US to get paid more than in Mexico. The idea is to see how much a teacher is valued in the country, compared to other work (or services/goods). Another way to do the comparison is compare the pay to what an average worker with a tertiary education gets in the country - which is what the OECD does in another table. See reply #44.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:10 PM

28. That's it. I'm moving to Mexico for better opportunities.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:47 AM

49. I can't complain about teaching HS in China. I teach 14 classes a week and make

 

23,000RMB a month (about 3700 a month). My fiancee makes 3000RMB.

Between us, we make apx. 4200 USD a month.

Korea was fun teaching too, except the rudeness and ingrained bigotry in the average Korean I met left a sour taste in my mouth.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:24 AM

51. I've found at least three attempts to mislead in this infographic without even trying.

Firstly, salary/GDP per capita is only a measure you'd choose if your goal was to get the USA as far down the bar on the right as possible, rather than to provide accurate and honest information. The best measure is probably either "salary" or "salary divided by cost of living.

Secondly, there's a false zero in the bar on the left, although you practically have to use a microscope to spot it. Add two more columns on, and the slope suddenly looks most dramatic.

Thirdly, and most damningly, at least some of the the numbers appear to be completely made up. I don't know who thinks that primary school teachers in the UK work just over 600 hours a year, but either they never actually met a primary school teacher or their research was badly misinterpreted by whoever drew this graph (there are a lot of part-time teachers in the UK, it's possible that the column on the left treats them as full-time, while the column on the right only measures full-time salary, but that's just a guess on my part). Whoever it was, their number isn't just wrong, it's out by at least a factor of two, and possibly more than a factor of three - no full-time primary school teacher in the UK could possibly work less than 35 hours a week for 35 weeks a year, for a total of 1200 hours - well above the value given for the US on this chart - and most probably work more like 1800 hours than 1200, I guess.

So please, don't take this chart as evidence that teachers in the USA are undervalued (which is not to say that they aren't, of course: a-> b and !a does not imply !b).

Take it as evidence that some of the people who want you to believe that they are are willing to deliberately mislead you to trick you into believing them. And never trust someone just because you want to believe that what they're saying is true.

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #51)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:15 AM

57. See reply #56 (nt)

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:36 AM

52. I honestly don't think the information for South Korea is accurate

I live in South Korea and my SIL is a public school teacher. I myself have also worked at a public school, though a foreign teacher is a bit different from a Korean teacher. In terms of hours worked, I'd put them up toward the top. They get 10 weeks off a year, but are often required to work some of the time on vacation. On the salary side, I'd say for a homeroom teacher that's pretty accurate. Non-homeroom teachers get paid less.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #52)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:16 AM

58. It's time spent teaching in front of pupils (nt)

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