Why paying more for teachers in high-need subjects and high need schools is so important

Our education system is currently failing many students. We should continue working tirelessly to improve our system and turn it into a powerhouse for economic mobility, but our current conventional wisdom about improving the system is frequently at odds with the research.

However, oftentimes the most intuitive economic conclusions about good policy can frequently lead to solid results. Here I would like to talk about one of those ideas: differential teacher pay.

Teacher pay alone is one of the most contentious topics in education reform and I’ve written about it a few times before. To sum it up, teachers aren’t underpaid by the typical standards of how economists assess wage, however, if we want to retain and promote the best teachers across our most struggling districts, increasing teacher pay may still be worthwhile. …

The Opportunity Cost of Thought and Speech

With so many problems in the world it can be very hard to figure out where to spend your time in advocacy. I won’t pretend that I have any clear answers to that but I do want to push everyone on one important point →

This may seem really obvious to most of us, and that’s okay. What matters in this situation is how we let this idea influence our decisions about what we read, what we write, and how we spend our money. And depending on how you think about this, it could mean a total restructuring of how you approach your social media. …

Different approaches to education reform can be taxonomized by their answer to three questions. When assessing the causes for student success…

What influence does personal choice play?

What influence does natural ability play?

What influence does society play?

Now, obviously there are other questions, but a good deal of the variability can be quickly broken down around these ones alone because they quickly get at what we ultimately care about: who excels, who struggles, and why?

So even though there is a considerable amount of nuance to each part, a simplification of the three quickly corresponds to both our political affiliation and what we think will fix our system. …


Corey Keyser

Math Teacher writing on Philosophy and Policy and Science and Education and Other Things. coreykeyser@gmail.com

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