From the American Enterprise Institute.
Mark Perry posts regarding the new AEI Education Outlook by University of Missouri economist Cory Koedel which shows Education to be by far the easiest course of study in most colleges. Mark finds additional evidence from Cornell University to back up Koedel’s claim. Education majors enter college with lower SAT scores than students majoring in other fields but leave college with higher GPAs.
[…]But, as a forthcoming paper that I have co-authored with Jason Richwine will show, the low standards applied in education degrees also complicate the task of determining whether public school teachers are fairly paid. Teachers claim to be underpaid because they receive lower average salaries than private sector workers with similar levels of education. (Our paper shows that, even if this is true, they more than make up the gap through generous benefits, but we’ll ignore that for now.) But note that the control variable here is the level of education — meaning, Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, and so on — and not the quality of education nor, more importantly, the ability or productivity of the worker.
[…]Put bluntly, public school teachers enter college with below-average SAT scores, major in the easiest undergraduate course of study, take Master’s degrees in education that have no appreciable impact on teaching quality, and then wonder why they’re not as well paid as someone who got a Master’s in chemical engineering. They shouldn’t.
Education is what you study when you can’t get into anything else, and you don’t learn anything in it. What we really need is to hire teachers with real degrees in math, science and business. There should not even be an education MAJOR.
Here’s a fun story about the Chicago Teacher Union (CTU).
Like many Illinois citizens, the CTU has seen reports that three out of four state high school graduates are not ready for college. And the union’s response has been, well … the CTU hasn’t really said anything about it.
You see, the fact that students are leaving Illinois’ K-12 public education system totally unprepared for college, the workplace or life in general – that’s not really the CTU’s thing.
Instead, the union is “upset” and feeling very “disrespected” because the Chicago Board of Education doesn’t have the money to pay CTU members the four percent pay raise they were promised in their contract.
The union is also steaming over the fact that more than 1,500 teachers have been laid off, some of which have been placed on a “secret” do-not-hire list, CTU President Karen Lewis told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Pay, benefits, working conditions – these are the things that the teachers unions are willing to strike over. If only 23 percent of Illinois high school grads pass a college-readiness test, well, what do you expect them to do about it? Lewis is quick to point out that union teachers are just simple “workers,” doing the best they can with the kids they are given. (It’s mostly the parents’ fault, anyway.)
Sure, some trouble making education reformers may suggest that kids are doing badly on the tests because their school days have been frittered away on silly social justice lessons, but the fact that the CTU is being stiffed on its four percent pay raise only underscores the need for such a curriculum.
Teachers don’t like it when you expect them to earn their salaries. They just go on strike.