Not All Educators Are Impoverished

The other day I had a bit of a verbal dustup with a young lady at the gym regarding teachers and teaching in general. She overheard a friend of mine and I talking about how teachers only work nine months but get paid for 12 – not to mention their benefits and retirement.

As it turns out she was not merely a teacher, but a hard-line union advocate. She said that we were all wet. She actually was a bit more colorful, but that was the gist. She said that the “average” salary is severely skewed because of the amount of teachers who have been teaching for years. She claimed to know teachers who are forced to go on food stamps and other forms of assistance. She added that teachers work much harder than people think and it requires a lot of education.

Neither I nor my friend bothered to confront her. We were caught a bit flat-footed and simply didn’t feel like getting into it at the time. It also seemed to me that any confrontation would be fruitless, considering her attitude.

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I admit that teachers’ salaries do vary from state to state. Generally, the more liberal the state, the more a teacher makes. And why is this? Is it because liberals care more about “the children?” No – it’s because the teachers’ unions in liberal states are in bed with the very politicians that vote on their contracts. It’s a money laundering scheme. The politicians agree to a fat union contract, the teachers pay union dues, and the dues are funneled back to the politicians’ reelection campaign.

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Good teachers can never be paid what they’re worth because the system will not allow the cream to rise to the top. That’s the way unions work – all unions.

But what about the education she mentioned? That must count for something? Not really. In 2011, CBS Moneywatch posted an article entitled, “The Nation’s Easiest College Major.”

They write that, “Slackers wanting to earn the country’s easiest college major, should major in education. It’s easy to get A’s if you’re an education major. Maybe that’s why one out of 10 college graduates major in education. Research over the years has indicated that education majors, who enter college with the lowest average SAT scores, leave with the highest grades. Some of the academic evidence documenting easy A’s for future teachers goes back more than 50 years.”

But still, in order to “climb the ladder,” one must not only have a Bachelor’s degree, but must obtain a Master’s. That can’t be an easy feat?

Well, Mr. D writes about his experience obtaining his Master’s in education, coming out of a prestigious northeastern college. He says that, “Rigorous would not describe my teaching degree program. Papers that would’ve gotten belly laughs at the Georgetown sociology department were getting plaudits and A’s. I coasted through many of my classes without reading any of the books. By the last semester, I hadn’t bought a single book. Classroom discussion descended into bitching sessions about students, administrators, parents – definitely important, but not entirely suitable for a graduate classroom. Getting an education degree is entirely too easy.”

And there are many accounts and articles just like this. Many more than I care to count.

Yet, still, the refrain is that no one goes into teaching for the money. Well, that depends on where you teach.

The average public school teacher’s salary in Michigan in 2014 was $62,169, according to the state Department of Education. Whereas, the average salary in Michigan’s private sector was $48,043 in 2014, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the Troy city school district in Oakland County, Michigan, there were 96 teachers whose annual salary topped $100,000 in 2014. The highest-paid teacher made $133,647. And we’ve all heard many stories of California teachers making well over $100,000 a year. And this is just salary.

But if one really wishes to “cash in,” one must find something beyond merely teaching “the children.” Maybe you could be the next Chief Diversity Officer at Northern Illinois University (NIU).

The NIU spokesman, Joseph King, sent an e-mail to The College Fix, explaining the importance of this position. He wrote: “Northern Illinois University serves one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse regions in the country. We believe that there is great value in that diversity. By creating this position we are trying to ensure that all of our students will reap the benefits of living and learning on a campus filled with many cultures and points of view.” Except the conservative “point of view,” of course.

Well, Vernese Edghill-Walden, the current Chief Diversity Officer, had better be worth it. She gets paid $205,000 a year – “a $185,000 salary and $20,000 in allowances and expenses – collecting more than 99% of U.S. Congress members and all U.S. Governors.” In fact she is paid $204,999 more than Illinois Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, who pays himself one dollar a year.

So I guess the real key to success in education, is to find the most bankrupt state, carve out some phony job, convince liberals of its importance and get paid a king’s ransom for it.

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