Review shoots down report’s claims that teachers are less intelligent and overpaid

Teachers are overpaid and are less intelligent than other college graduates.

Did that get your attention?

That’s exactly what two conservative think tanks are hoping to do via a recently released “study” asserting that teachers are overpaid when compared with other professionals with similar education and experience.

Of course, the report from the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute misrepresents the facts in order to reach a pre-determined conclusion, according to a review released by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice. Review author Jeffrey H. Keefe, a professor at Rutgers University’s School of Labor and Industrial Relations, found that the Heritage/AEI report is based on a series of biased assumptions and sloppy statistical analyses.

Central to the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute’s report is the claim that teachers are less intelligent than other workers of comparable education and experience, based on their scores from the Armed Forces Qualifications Test. Yet that improperly employs the AFQT as an intelligence test – which it’s not, according to Keefe. (And, according to common sense—I might add!)

Evaluating teachers’ credentials based on a military exam is like picking a doctor based on his barbecuing skills—it just doesn’t make sense. These wild claims that teachers are somehow less intelligent than other college graduates are based not on facts, but on vitriol and malice.

Other statistical missteps include Heritage and AEI’s erroneous calculations for benefits costs, both during employment and after retirement, which leads the authors to contend that benefit costs for teachers amount to more than 100 percent of their salary costs. The actual figure is no greater than 31.7 percent, and less for those who don’t receive retiree health care benefits, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

In reality, according to Keefe, “the salary and benefits for teachers show they are undercompensated by 19 percent compared to similarly credentialed professionals,” even after adjusting for a few weeks off in the summer.

Reality might be of no concern to the Heritage Foundation or the American Enterprise Institute—but it should be important to policymakers and the public.

All highlighted comments are my own.

It is certainly of great concern to our education professionals.

I borrowed this blog post from the good folks at Great Lakes–we regularly receive reports and analyses from them–they are a terrific resource. This post was too good to pass up. Why reinvent the wheel? 

What is it with these people?  Will it never end?  What on earth is the advantage of constant teacher bashing?  It’s just another version of the BIG LIE: if something is said over and over again, then common folks–and even some more than common folk–some VIP’s maybe–will begin to believe that it must be true.  YIKES! 

I know a hell of a lot of teachers and there seems to me to be the general distribution of those with extreme intelligence, above-average intelligence, normal intelligence, and some ditziness. Just like most other folks with college degrees and professional status.  Oh, that’s right–teachers in today’s world–at least in the Good Old U.S. of A.–seem to lack professional status.  Just saying.  Not deserved, but that’s how it seems to be on the fringes of edreform.   

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This entry was posted in "Reform Experts", Blogs and Blogging, Education Professionals, Education Reform, Faculty and Staff, Quality Teachers/Quality Teaching, Teachers and Teaching. Bookmark the permalink.

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