Why Not Pay Teachers $100,000 a Year?

This is a reblog of an essay by Daniel Pink on Larry Cuban’s blog on School Reform and Classroom Practice which also appeared in the Washington Post.

Daniel Pink is the author of seven bestselling nonfiction books [including] New York Times bestsellers “The Power of Regret,” “A Whole New Mind” and “When” as well as the No. 1 New York Times bestsellers “Drive” and “To Sell is Human.”
This article appeared in the Washington Post, February 19, 2024

Adam DiPerna always had to hold it in.

As a Spanish teacher at Gerald G. Huesken Middle School in Lancaster, Pa., he’d arrive in his classroom at 7:10 a.m. each day and cannonball into a morning that left no time for a bathroom break. He’d teach back-to-back-to-back-to-back classes until his lunch period, 27 minutes during which he also had to heat and eat the food he’d brought from home, email parents about problems and absences, and field questions from students. After school, he coached wrestling, advised the student council and chaired the GHMS world language department. Work, from grading papers to preparing lessons, spilled into the evenings and weekends he wanted to spend with his wife and three kids.

For his efforts, DiPerna — with a Bucknell University diploma and a master’s degree in education — earned less than any college graduate he knew. So, last year, after a decade and a half in the classroom, he quit teaching to take a job as a sales representative at a large packaging company, trading a life of conjugated verbs for a new life of corrugated cardboard. “I wanted to be a public servant,” DiPerna, 42, told me. “I did not get into teaching to make a lot of money. But I also didn’t get into it to barely scrape by.”

He earned more in his first partial year as a paper salesman than in his 15th year as a top-rated teacher. “I get paid more money,” he said. “And I can listen to the call of nature.”

The whole blog by Daniel Pink can be found here.