Makin' some Illi-Noise about teacher pay structures.
As an Illinois native and graduate of Oak Park and River Forest High School, the list below leaves me with a lot of questions.
I received an outstanding education at OPRF. I am fortunate to have had outstanding teachers, teachers that taught me how to think, how to write, and exposed me to ideas that still impact me today. Mr. Gonzalez, who made learning Spanish fun and. Mr. Mertz, who taught me how to discuss and argue historical interpretations, with his background as a lawyer. Mrs. Young, who taught me everything I know about world and European history, who demanded excellence in writing, who inspired everyone in her classes to stretch themselves intellectually.
Mrs. Redmond was not one of those teachers. I had Mrs. Redmond for one quarter of badminton class. She did not make an impact on my life, nor any of the others in my gym class. With all due respect to her, my strongest memory of her was that she wore a fanny pack and sometimes used a microphone because she had voice problems. Nothing wrong with that.
But according to the Illinois Department of Education data reported below, she was paid $160,000 last year, tops at OPRF and 30th in the state. That’s good for her, I don’t fault her at all. And I don’t know all the details. Maybe she’s the brain trust behind this piece of gold.
But how is that good for students? What is this pay structure based on? If it were based on educational excellence, then why so many gym and drivers-ed teachers on this top-salary list? What are we rewarding? Seniority? What kind of effect does that have on the good teachers? How many good teachers leave (or never teach) out of frustration for how schools are run?
I’m thankful for the education I received at OPRF. But how much better could we be doing? Something needs to change in our education system.
If you ran a school, what would you to evaluate and reward the teachers who are really making a difference?
Source: Bill Zettler, ChampionNews.net