Free Technology For Teachers: Higher Teacher Pay Leads to Better Education?

Elissa Gootman has an article in today’s New York Times about a charter school in New York that plans to pay its teachers $125,000 while paying administrator’s $90,000. The idea for the school comes from Zeke Vanderhoek who built a very successful test prep/ tutoring company that paid its tutors $100/ hr. Vanderhoek believes that putting more resources into personnel will attract better teachers leading to improved student achievement. Here’s a quote from Mr. Vanderhoek defending his idea, “I would much rather put a phenomenal, great teacher in a field with 30 kids and nothing else than take the mediocre teacher and give them half the number of students and give them all the technology in the world.” Read the full article here.

The article makes a fairly good case for higher teacher pay. The shortcomings of the plan are a limited number of electives, a high student to teacher ratio, and limited technology spending. The limited technology spending is particularly troubling. How does the school teach students 21st century skills if it lacks the technology of the 21st century? The plan also excludes all but the top tier of students thereby creating classes of schools based on the desirability of students. How does Mr. Vanderhoek plan to attract teachers to schools filled with less desirable students? Will he pay the teachers at those schools even more money?

What do you think of this idea? Does Mr. Vanderhoek’s plan have a chance of working?


Thank You Readers for 14 Amazing Years!