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ERIC Number: ED506639
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jul
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
NCTQ Square-Off: Are Teachers Underpaid? Two Economists Tackle an Intractable Controversy
Podgursky, Michael; Mishel, Lawrence
National Council on Teacher Quality
Over the past year, two economists--Michael Podgursky, currently Middlebush Professor and Chairman in the Departmentof Economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and Lawrence Mishel, President of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.--have been debating whether or not teachers are adequately paid, at least compared to other professionals with comparable training. The debate heated up with an article that Podgursky wrote for "Education Next" in 2003, entitled "Fringe Benefits" (http://www.educationnext. org/20033/71.html), in which he argued that when one took into account teachers' shorter work year and workday, their average hourly pay was greater than that of comparable professionals. Podgursky also asserted that the most useful standard of comparison for public school teacher salaries--the salaries of private school teachers--was inexcusably left out of studies conducted by teachers' unions. In the fall of 2004, Mishel--along with his colleagues Sean Corcoran and Sylvia Allegretto--shot back with a study that vigorously disagreed with Podgursky's findings. In "How Does Teacher Pay Compare? Methodological Challenges and Answers," ( Mishel and his colleagues claimed that teachers earn less than workers in comparable fields. They also claimed that teachers do have more non-wage compensation than other professionals, but that the difference in benefits makes little difference in comparisons of total compensation. Mishel is joined here by his colleague Sean Corcoran in his responses to Podgursky.
National Council on Teacher Quality. 1420 New York Avenue NW Suite 800, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-393-0020; Fax: 202-393-0095; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council on Teacher Quality