Madison's Spring Harbor Middle School
Six months ago, before Governor Walker's recent initiatives had Sconnies questioning the level of pay of teachers and other public servants, McKinsey and Company, the international management consulting company, published a report on whether the United States was falling behind other industrialized nations in attracting and retaining the best possible teachers for its K-12 systems. The report was entitled: Closing the Talent Gap, Attracting and Retaining Top-Third Graduates to a Career in Teaching. One aspect that the report noted was that pay for public school teachers in the United States is too low to attract candidates from the top one-third of university graduating classes, and pay over teachers' careers does not rise as fast as that of teachers in other industrialized countries.
Here is a chart from the Report that shows how primary teachers in industrialized countries are paid as a percentage of per capita gross domestic product at the point of starting and at fifteen years into their careers. As you will see, starting U.S. teachers do not stack up well, and fall even farther behind teachers of most of the industrialized countries covered by the report at the fifteen year level of service.
I wonder if Governor Walker and the GOP legislators think the demise of collective bargaining will enhance or diminish the ability of Wisconsin school districts to attract and retain high quality teachers? Any of you educators out there want to hazard a guess? Actually, any of you fifth graders out there want to hazard a guess?