A New York City charter school set to open in 2009 plans to pay its teachers $125,000, while the principal’s starting salary will be $90,000, according to The New York Times. The school’s creator and first principal, Zeke M. Vanderhoek, believes that teacher quality—not accomplished principals or the latest technology—makes a school successful.

Ernest A. Logan, president of the city principals’ union, called the idea of paying the principal less than the teachers “the craziest think I’ve ever heard. ... If you cheapen the role of the school leader, you’re going to have anarchy and chaos.”

All eyes will be on the school when it opens to see if Vanderhoek’s experiment of paying teachers nearly 2.5 times the national average teacher salary—and apparently trivializing the role of principals—will actually work. What do you think?

re: Pay Teachers More than Principals?

I agree with Ernest. That is the craziest thing I ever heard. How about we pay the cook more than the head chef? Better yet, why don't we just start paying the children. We will bribe the kids to improve their education. Administrators take on a much larger leadership role than teachers, and therefore take a greater risk. If there is not a pay increase, and in this case a decrease, what would encourage someone to take that position. Maybe someone who just loves working more hours and having more headaches for less money. Sign me up!

re: Pay Teachers More than Principals?

Now with the buzz of creating highly qualified principals, I can not see a highly qualified principal accepting that position. It would be better to be a teacher and have less accountability then what is mandated from an administrator. An administrator has accountablity over their students, staff, and school and has more responsibilities than a teacher. The staff would lose respect for their administrator and their pay would make them feel that they have all the decision making power. The principal would become inferior. It is a great administrator that creates a great school. This is a joke. I can't wait to find out how their school works out.

re: Pay Teachers More than Principals?

The idea of paying a teacher significantly more than the teachers in the same school is a disaster waiting to happen. I believe strongly in one's income being based on one's responsibilities. As a teacher, your responsibilities are great; the education and care of 25 or so young students. However, as a principal, you are not only responsible for all of the students in the school, but also the professional well-being and safety of the staff, as well. Principals have more responsibility therefore, they should receive more pay.

re: Pay Teachers More than Principals?

I think this is just another attempt of a school to get very qualified and experienced teachers to come to their school. There is no way that school districts across America will start this trend. Yes, it's the teachers in that classroom everyday that prepare our students for the future, but having a quality leader in your school is also imporant. This is just a rule of business, in a business who get paid the most, the CEO, why? Because he is the boss, everything falls on his whether it's good or bad. Same in education, everything in the district falls on the Superintendent. So because he has the most responsibility in the district he gets paid the most. For your school to be successful, yes you need quality teachers and administrators, but you also need a positive environment, and with this idea, bad blood will soon be boiling.

re: Pay Teachers More than Principals?

Not so fast. I would love to be an administrator at a school were teachers get paid $125. Ideally - you should be able to recruit top talent and expect them to do and spend whatever they need to on their classroom in order to make it top notch. The Principal should have extremely high expectations for the staff and not feel unreasonable when asking the staff to give extra time, volunteer on committees, attend workshops, etc. Professional athletes are frequently paid more than their managers yet they are usually able to coexist. Granted, there are ego conflicts at times, but managers have no qualms about stating their expectations for well paid talent.

re: Pay Teachers More than Principals?

I agree that this may seem a little crazy at first sight but take into consideration that the $125K teacher salary is probably for a teacher that has over 20 years experience with a doctorate. Most teachers at that level would have more years experience and education than most principals.

I also agree with Aron B. that I would love to be an administrator in a district that pays their teachers a professional salary, expecially if the district is hiring highly-qualified, talented teachers. Accountability wouldn't be an issue and their job would be a lot easier.

re: Pay Teachers More than Principals?

I agree that highly qualified teachers should get results from their students, but they are responsible for just their classroom. A highly qualified principal is in charge of keeping the whole ship afloat, not just one room. The accountability for the school ultimately rests on the principal's shoulders. He/she should earn a salary that reflects that.

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