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  •  it is not just pay (7+ / 0-)

    there are nations where teacher pay is higher within the range of occupations in the country - S. Korea for example.

    The pay is decent.

    Teachers do not enter the profession with debts from their education, since all education through a doctorate is free.  

    Teachers are treated as professionals.

    Teachers have a fair amount of control over how they teach.

    The profession is greatly respected.

    You are unlikely in Finland to hear variants of those who can do, those who can't teach.  

    Working conditions are far better than they are in most American public schools.

    Administrators have to be qualified to teach in the schools they run, and many still teach part-time.

    Teachers and their unions are not targeted by outside forces the way they are here.

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Thu Dec 29, 2011 at 06:37:35 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  All that plus... (0+ / 0-)

      Sure. All that is important; I certainly don't disagree. But I don't think we can rule out paying people more as a way to attract better people, either.

      That's not at all a slam at current US teachers. My family is full of current and retired elementary, middle, and high school teachers. But counting on altruism to attract enough of the best and brightest is not a plan that's likely to work on a large scale.

      Completely coincidentally, I ran across this great graph a few minutes ago, showing a strong correlation between teacher pay and student performance. The correlation is not 1-to-1 because (a) it omits all those other factors you cite, and (b) because it omits the relative-pay factor I cited. But even so, the correlation is pretty strong:
      http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/...

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Thu Dec 29, 2011 at 09:56:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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