There has been a lot of talk in the media about cutting the salary of public school teachers who have a bonus added on for having a Master’s Degree. You can read the Associated Press article that started all of the discussion here. It’s interesting that Bill Gates has any say in this matter considering that he didn’t finish college. According to the article, $8.6 million are paid to teachers with Master’s bonuses a year by schools and almost 50% of teachers have this advanced degree.
New York State teachers are required to get their Master’s Degree, so what about them? Getting rid of teacher’s bonuses not only hurts teachers salaries, but it also makes their extra education (and student loan debt) seem worthless. Some of the studies indicated in the article have said that the extra education for teachers has no impact on how good their students perform in the classroom. This may just be another plan for economists to cut back without any concern for our children’s welfare.
If this matter is addressed and the bonuses are taken away, then teachers in New York shouldn’t be required to get a Master’s Degree. In fact, no teacher should be required. Since the degree does not seem to mean anything to anyone, it’s simply just a piece of paper anyway, then it should not matter if a teacher has one. This is the message that these people are sending while trying to cut these bonuses.
College education teaches many things, one of the most important being reasoning skills. Teaching students all they need to know to pass a test is simply a matter of repetition and trying to get through to them. Teaching students all they need to know to get through life is a different thing completely, but higher education gives people a broader scope to look through. It helps them think in different way which allows them to reach people better. Arne Duncan says we need to make drastic improvements within the educational system, yet he thinks that teachers getting less education is a good thing.