Should US governments pay ECE teachers like medical doctors?

I mean, I don’t really know what I mean. The system is broken but the fix is at the preK-3 level, not university admissions.

I do have a backlog of peer-reviewed journals to go through that indicate that quality education for everyone increases quality of life for everyone, but I have more important peer-reviewed journals to read right now as I contemplate whether it’d be worth it for me to apply for a phd program and spend another 4+ years in school. The irony, given the topic at hand.

I think of my own upbringing that included really good public high school having to face stupid parents of friends who went to private high schools. Nothing but “my child is better than you because…” but obviously not those words, just more subtle jabs at me for being “lower” than “everyone else” for going to a public high school (10/10 on good schools! 98% college or military rate) and then a really good university, but not the one everyone else goes to, therefore “not a good school”. Even a mom who sent her kids to a US$30k/yr K-12 school (those are todays dollars, I just looked up their 23-24 tuition) who went on at me about how “professional” their school’s theater production was because they used the performing arts center that’s “just a short walk” from their school, “it’s basically ours”. Yeah, the one that’s a city park, funded in large part by the fundraising of the public schools arts programs and also TAX DOLLARS? Yeah, sure, your private school put on a better theater performance than ours IN THE SAME SPACE because the use of THE SAME SPACE made yours more professional than anyone else, even better than Idina Menzel when she performed there, because that’s how amazing your school is! The dick measuring is obnoxious. Worse is how my own parents talk about how they still meet up with my friends from elementary school’s parents. “The my child is more successful than your child dinner”, they call it. Dude, if you hate them so much, why do you bother meeting up with them? Lily Tomlin sums up my feelings nicely: “The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.“

So yeah, my feelings on education across the board? No one, no matter their means, should have the right to use those means to be “better” than others or be allowed to get ahead just because they have wealth. There shouldn’t be a situation where quiet and polite high school me takes verbal punches from adult rich people about why they and their children are superior to me in every way, because they shouldn’t be superior to me in any way. Education should be equally accessible to everyone. That starts with preschool. No preschool on the planet should cost US$20k/year. But where do those preschoolers who attended US$20/yr schools end up? Qualified for Harvard based on “merit”. What merit? The opportunities for education you got since before you were born? That’s not merit. That’s birth lottery winnings. And the only people who benefit are the people who won the birth lottery. And because of how the system is set up, people who manage to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” also seek to make sure they and their children are on top so they can spit on the “poor” people who can’t afford to pay multiple mortgages on houses for their children’s education.

But where would Harvard be if every child in America was literate by age 7 and truly understood math and had professional performing arts centers and state of the art makerspaces and functioning science labs and quality teachers? How are you going to weed out the unqualified if everyone is given the opportunities that only the children of the elite were afforded? Cuz that’s where I find this fight against affirmative action to be a funny political joke. Who cares if more black people get into Harvard than Asians if there’s such a bad literacy problem in America, the military can’t even find literate recruits? Until we fix public (not private/magnet/charter. Public) education, there is no place to talk about what is “fair” in college admissions.

There are plenty of excellent schools out there. And it depends what one is studying. No need to go to Northeastern, for example, to become a public school teacher. The numbers don’t work out.

Well, the numbers don’t work out because we don’t value teachers. We don’t value teachers because we don’t value education for everyone. As i said above, as a society we think there are supposed to be winners and losers in education, not equity — only people who “deserve” it, aka are rich or fit a diversity criteria to boost the school’s image — should get a good education. Working in an expensive private school is supposed to be a “privilege”, so being paid minimum wage while holding a PhD is often expected. Rarely, I see private schools with TAS level wages, but those are nearly impossible to be hired into. Often, rich people volunteer to teach a class or two in their field unpaid in private schools so it “doesn’t bump them into the next tax bracket”. (On second thought, should this person really be teaching economics? Doesn’t seem to understand basic US tax code…) Working in a public school comes with better though not good pay, but it’s a toss up as to whether or not it’s combat pay, since the government won’t invest in poor communities, only rich ones. Not to mention in most states, public school teacher benefits, which were supposed to offset the terrible wages, have been slashed. Change school districts after 35 years of teaching and you might very well be fucked out of any retirement benefits beyond SS. New district benefits from your experience for a few years, you get screwed over for the rest of your life. Can you imagine if doctors or engineers were treated that way? Who is it that taught those doctors and engineers everything they needed to know? Hint: it wasn’t Havard. My favorite is all this news about which states offer the best student loan relief. Doctors and nurses and other healthcare workers? No problem! We’ll pay off your student loans. Teachers? Go eat shit. You’re supposed to do this because you love it, not so you can have quality of life.

There are too many levels of irony to unpack here.

Stop. The numbers don’t work because NE is very expensive and teaching in public schools is a government job that doesn’t that pay well until you’ve put in a decade of work. It’s simple financial intelligence, not some grand social boohoo waaaa systemic blahblahblah.

I have told my students for years that they should think about where they want to work, what they want to do and know what that pays, and that should determine the best colleges for them. Let the rich go to Harvard. They don’t have student loans and if they do, mumsie and papa can pay it off with their bloated 529s. Essentially, know who and where you are at the get go and don’t compete out of your weight class. A good education is a good education. You can catch up to whatever you think you missed at some swankier place than SUNY New Paltz; you have the whole rest of your life and libraries are free. :idunno:


You’re missing the point.

For one thing, teaching is not a federal government job, which would come with some seriously cushy benefits. It’s a local government job, which is up to the whims of the local and state governments, too many of which are hell bent on destroying public education.

Being a public school teacher who went to an expensive university doesn’t pan out well because we decided as a society that teachers shouldn’t be paid well. Everyone is told “become a lawyer” “become a doctor” “focus on STEM” and if you decide you want to study early childhood education or something, people roll their eyes and tell you you’ve wasted your brain. Yeah, well, children learn the most between the ages of 0-6. At no other stage in human development do we go from functionally incapable to linguistically competent and able to move around independently and with ease. Preschool teachers should be on the same level as doctors, both in pay and expected qualifications, because the job they do is critical for the development of society. Yet they make below minimum wage in most cases. Elementary teachers are a close second. The vast majority of people in juvenile detention centers are illiterate. That’s a failing of society investing in teachers so they can provide a good education to all. We’re supposed to worship and praise doctors and engineers for being brilliant minds. Teach school children that those are the careers to aspire towards. But once again, it was their K-12 teachers, emphasis on the earlier years, that prepared them to even be able to consider applying for college. So why aren’t we paying the qualified teachers?

No, I’m not.

Did I say federal government? I did not. I am a state employee, like all other public school teachers in their states.

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It used to be if you can’t do, teach. Now it’s if can’t do or teach and you want to make a shedload of money, teach woke. I’m not sure if I blame them. I wouldn’t do it.

I’m sorry, this sounds dumb.

A 2 year old just needs some toys and some socialization with other kids. Like most of us, we turned out just fine. I wouldn’t pay an early education teacher very much to teach a 1 year old. And I’m guessing most people feel the same.

You really lost me on they should be paid the same as a doctor :joy:

It’s clear these posts are driven by emotions at this point.


I’m sorry you don’t know a thing about human development. Children from the age of 0-6 learn far more than humans from the age of 6-100. A quality preschool education is far more important for getting a child off on the right start than any other age. College professors don’t teach, they throw information out to students who, if capable of succeeding, do so because of the foundations that were laid in childhood. It’s why preschool is mandatory in so many places and it’s why Sesame Street was created…

It’s a lot more discrete than that. 0-18 months is the real biggie, phonemes are learnt, attachment bonds are formed, motor skills, sensory awareness etc. It’s all being absorbed at such an incredible rate. How much influence can an external practitioner have at that point? A lot of the learning is done by the baby itself. 18-36 months there’s a bit of a dip and then a surge. More Motor skills, walking, talking etc kicking in. Here children definitely benefit from early intervention schemes because they can learn directly. By 3 - 6 years you are already learning less, by definition, because so much has already been done. The rest is about improving language and ways of thinking. The core motor and language stuff is already done.

I would therefore say that most learning is done by 18 months, with an another shorter burst from 18-36 months. And then it’s all downhill from there. :hugs:

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If you’re going to accuse others of not knowing things, you should be very careful what you say. True, many people who teach at colleges and universities are horrible educators (hence the quality of graduates is highly variable, and certified teachers for example may not know as much as they think they do), but there are also many who are incredible educators despite having no training.


I understand this. I’m not deny it.

This is where you’re going to have a hard time selling to people. Most people, including myself, while agreeing that early education has important, will not believe spending a bunch of money on a school for 1-6 year olds is necessary for them to develop.


Well, regardless of the quality of teaching skills in a college professor, students cannot succeed at the undergraduate level if they don’t come in already competent in high level reading and writing and math skills. The foundation of those skills starts at birth. If a child has not gotten a solid grasp and show progress in the developing of these skills by the time they reach the age of 7, only intensive interventions can get them to a level where they will be able to get through college. If you are supported in developing literacy and math skills through your childhood, college is simply a way to have someone prepare the information that you want to learn that you already have the capacity to read and learn about on your own. Great college professors can only support this if they have literate students with numeracy skills, aka, students who could and would learn well regardless of their teacher’s ability to teach.

Well, thankfully 19 states plus DC have recognized the importance of early childhood education and, at minimum, require kindergarten attendance. This does nothing to address the crap quality of so many preschools, but at least it draws attention to the reality that enough people understand the need.

At least that and maybe not much more. I’m not convinced. Be nice if parents did a bit of child rearing, especially as you point out, many preschools and certainly more than many inner city preschools suck.


But that doesn’t address my point against yours. You said you believed early childhood education teachers should be paid like doctors. As I’ve said most people would not see this as reasonable. No one is denying kindergarten is important but I doubt many would spend a huge sum like paying kindergarten teachers like a doctor.


And what would these high paid preschool teachers teach? Little kids can and do learn a lot proportionally compared to fossils like myself, however not all of them learn much of anything. So what is it you think these high paid hopefully highly qualified preschool teachers will succeed in teaching these kids? Reading? Math? It surely can be done. Are you willing to raise the bar or are you focused on some other set of skills that need honing?

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My mom who didn’t finish high school taught me to read before the teachers got started. Math was never my strong suit but I still got through undergrad despite having mostly crap profs. My lived experience so thoroughly disputes her opinion on this I’m not even going to bother with a full reply

Does it? You learned to read early and succeeded. If parents are doing this that’s great (and they should) but what about those who don’t or can’t?

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It still isn’t brain surgery

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That’s true but more could be done I’m sure.