Georgia is looking to cut back on compensation for teachers with advanced degrees in areas not directly related to the core subjects, says Maureen Downey in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s “Get Schooled” blog. Last year’s bill for all advanced degrees was $880 million, she says. But only 10.4 percent of these degrees were in core subjects, and nearly three times that many (31 percent) were in Educational Leadership.
“Your colleagues are taking the path of least resistance to get a pay raise,” Kelly Henson, the director of Georgia’s Professional Standards Commission, told teachers earlier this year at a hearing attended by Downey. “They are not getting degrees in the areas in which they teach. They are getting the easiest and most convenient degrees. They are getting degrees for the raise and not for how much it will impact their performance.”
Downey points to a RAND study that looked at student performance in 44 states between 1990 and 1996 and found that attaining a master’s degree had no measurable effect, in terms of student performance, on teacher quality.