Rock star teacher pay for Rock Star teachers: Part 4

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

How do you get rock star teachers? Offer rock star wages of course! I coauthored a study for the Goldwater Institute laying out a model of achieving $100,000 teacher salaries based on Arizona charter school funding. You can read the previous posts on this here, here and here.

The New York Times features a new charter school that apparently had a similar idea: they are offering teacher salaries of $125k and merit bonuses of up to $25k.

What do you get for that? Well for starters, Kobe Bryant’s former personal trainer as your gym teacher.  “Developed Kobe from 185 lbs. to 225 lbs. of pure muscle over eight years,” his resume says.

The school, named the Equity Project, is located in a rough part of town and will have class sizes of 30 to pay for those rock star teacher salaries.

I don’t know whether the school will be tracking value-added learning gains over time as we recommend in our study.  I hope they will. I for one will be watching with great interest to see how they do over time.

9 Responses to Rock star teacher pay for Rock Star teachers: Part 4

  1. allen says:

    Hmm, well this is one way to get the unions on board with charters.

  2. educ8m says:

    Heck, you could come to Canada and work in Ontario public schools to get those figures.

  3. allen says:

    Not according to which puts Ontario public school teacher’s pay at C$49,335 which translates into USD$43,927.

  4. educ8m says:

    Payscale doesn’t have it right and talks about median rates. Today that is about the starting rate for a newly hired teacher in Ontario. The top pay rate (after 10 years of teaching) is now $85,000 CDN, which includes all benefits paid by the employer (with unused accumulated sick days (about 6 months) paid upon retirement and a very generous pension plan). Keep in mind we have socialized medicine in Canada as well so the benefit package pays for dental and eyeglasses for instance.

    The Ontario government just settled with all the public teachers in the province–3% per year over the next 4 years. That means by Sept 2011 teachers at the maximum scale will be making about $94,000 per year. That’s a pretty sweet deal.

    I agree about the charter schools and merit pay. In Alberta, the only Canadian jurisdiction to have them, charter schools can, and some do, offer merit pay. The teachers who work in them are very satisfied. (Alberta teachers are compensated similar to Ontario teachers)

  5. […] blog, Dr. Matt Ladner has written about the “rock star” teacher idea several times. The latest highlights a New York Times story about a Washington Heights school scheduled to open in the fall […]

  6. jane doe says:

    40% of teachers in my district earn $100K and above; 60% earn more than $90K.

    The result: my husband and I have decamped to a Catholic school where teachers are paid far less and work far harder.

    When you combine high pay with tenure, union protections, and no accountability you don’t get rock stars.

    You get people who know a sweet deal when they see it.

  7. matthewladner says:


  8. allen says:

    Any support for those rather lush salaries? Fair’s fair. I showed you mine now you show me yours.

  9. concerned says:

    I’m a teacher who, like many others, didn’t go into teaching for the money. I give it my all every day!

    What bothers me most is that planning time is given so little attention in this country. 13% here vs. 40% in Finland. (and check out their math scores)

    School officials must have not used their prep time when/if they were teaching because they really don’t value it. Taking it away for some stupid “activity” is commonplace.

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