Experience doesn't mean talent

September 5, 2009

With all due respect to Paul Barada’s article (“What’s wrong with this picture”) in the Aug. 31 issue, there are a few things still wrong in his picture.

His argument that teachers with 30 years of teaching experience making $50,000-plus a year are underpaid is flawed. Yes, those excellent teachers that literally take 30 years of teaching experiences into the classroom and are masters of their trade are horribly underpaid even at $70,000-plus a year. But there are quite a few teachers in classrooms all over the state and the country that have one year of experience that they have repeated 30 times over. They offer their students little in the way of teaching excellence, motivation and innovation and are grossly overpaid at $50,000 a year.

Education must commit itself to the same knowledge, skills and performance-based pay that is found in all other segments of society if it wishes to truly see advances in teaching and learning. Are there obstacles in creating this compensation structure for teachers? Yes. Are these obstacles being overcome in other schools and school systems in our country? Yes.

The results are significant and the winners are the students in the classrooms who are benefitting from motivated, improvement-driven, results-driven teachers.

Chuck Weisenbach
Principal, Roncalli High School

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