June 07, 2006

DE teacher salaries

The now-back in action Delavoice notes how the News Journal's methodology regarding a recent report on Delaware teachers' salaries was fundamentally flawed:

It seems the News Journal, in putting together the salary data, didn't work from the actual annual salary of employees. Instead, it used data from a current pay period, then extrapolated out the salary from there. (For those of you who went to Christina school, extrapolate means to predict or estimate a value from a known value set.) Basically, they took one payroll check and multiplied by the number of pay periods in the year.

And, as DV states, this leads to very misleading results: Teachers who coach, are sponsors of school activities (like yearbook) and/or do "extra pay for extra responsibility" (otherwise known as EPER) usually get these payments in a lump sum either all at one time, or in a few payments throughout the year. If the News Journal just took a "snapshot" -- especially at a coach's paycheck -- they're giving their readers a hugely distorted picture of state teacher salaries. I mean, check 'em:

  • German teacher, Newark High, 6 years experience: $86,442
  • Math teacher, Newark High, 11 years experience: $105,036
  • English teacher, Newark High, 1 year experience: $83,304
  • Driver's Ed teacher, Newark High, 35 years experience: $75,413
  • Student Advisor, Newark High, 1 year experience: $105,036
  • Agriculture(?!) teacher, Christiana High, 32 years experience: $82,302

A German teacher making over $85K?? With only 6 years experience? $83K for an English teacher with one year experience?? Like, since when??

If the WNJ wants to examine teachers' standard of living, what they ought to do is factor in the overall cost of the benefits that the state (and districts) offer them. Then, I could imagine that overall teacher compensation might approach somewhere around the faux salaries seen above.

Posted by Hube at June 7, 2006 04:40 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Hey, Hube...I'm unable to access your trackback info for this post...I'll try again later.

Posted by: Mike M. at June 7, 2006 05:11 PM

It's probably just a momentary spam attack. As you say, try later. It usually clears up within a few moments.

Posted by: Hube at June 7, 2006 05:21 PM

This is great stuff. A veritable "wealth" of data. However, I don't know if it's fair or appropriate to have an individual's name included with the data -is the job title and school sufficeient? And I love to see this info for federal goivernment jobs- that would cause a revolt in the country.

Also, what does it mean where it had two components (state salary and loacl salary)?

Posted by: AJ Lynch at June 7, 2006 05:26 PM

AJ: the state pays approx. 70% of a teacher's salary, and the local district pays approx. the other 30%.

Posted by: Hube at June 7, 2006 06:21 PM

Here in Texas, that information is a matter of public record, and anyone can access it.

And in Illinois, I lived in a town where the salary of every certified employee of the district was published in the local paper each year. -- usually right around the time of the tax, bond, and school board election.

Like it or not, public school teachers work for the public -- and district spending is a matter that the people have a right to know about. If you don't want your salary to be a matter of public record, might I suggest the private sector?

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at June 7, 2006 10:02 PM

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