By Mimi Myers
The new girl walks into her first day at high school. With her father’s new job, she was forced to switch her surroundings from the country to the city. The cars in the teacher parking lot are of the more expensive kind; Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Lexus. She imagines a school unlike her last one where teachers and students alike drove rundown cars and wore old shoes. She hoped her new school would be full of adults and kids who are committed to education, as they were at her old school. When she reached her first class, she realized her fantasy was not realistic. At this school, the teachers had brand new shoes but the students still wore old ones. Throughout the class, five students got up and left the class, with unsuccessful persuasion from the teacher. When teaching, the teacher was knowledgable and informative, but the teenagers didn’t care. At her new school, she couldn’t escape the careless students she was surrounded with. She then realized that her old school’s teachers weren’t paid much but they didn’t need to be, the students listened. Here, the teachers were paid so much but although they taught well, they were not listened to.
For school districts in central Ohio, a teacher’s salary does not determine the education their students receive. In the records of the Ohio Department of Education, performance is not proved to be based on teachers’ salaries. However, achievement gaps and other factors may affect a student’s performance.
In central Ohio, most of the teachers’ salaries remain in the same range, between $43,000 to $30,000. The bachelor’s degree minimum is the smallest amount of money a district will pay a teacher(s) with a bachelor’s degree. The lowest salary teachers will earn is $30,844 at North Fork Local. North Fork Local is a small town, where the number of residents is not very much. The highest salary that teachers will earn is $43,322 at Upper Arlington City Schools. Dublin City Schools closely follows Upper Arlington City Schools at $42,628. Both Upper Arlington City Schools and Dublin City Schools are large, wealthy suburbs, giving the district a better opportunity to pay their teachers more. The quantitative residents typically have a higher income than those from the inner city or countryside. The midsection of the districts’ salaries remain between $33,000 and $39,000. This set of data is difficult to judge because this is the pay of teachers with a bachelor’s degree with little to no experience of teaching.
Upper Arlington City is a school district with residents who, for the most part, have high paying jobs. Taxes can be higher due to the incomes of the adults in Upper Arlington City. The Upper Arlington School Board can get more leeway to create a higher budget to pay teachers. Also, the education status of Upper Arlington School District is very high. If teachers were not paid well and the students did not perform well, perhaps the belief that teachers’ salaries effect students’ performance would arise.
In central Ohio, the teachers’ salaries vary, from $52,000 to $92,000. The master’s degree maximum is the largest amount of money a district will pay a teacher(s) with a master’s degree. The lowest salary teachers will earn is $52,104 at Johnston-Monroe Local. Johnston-Monroe Local is a small town, meaning that the population is smaller. The highest salary that teachers will earn is $91,224 at Dublin City Schools. Upper Arlington City Schools closely follows Dublin City Schools at $90,977. Both Upper Arlington City Schools and Dublin City Schools are large, wealthy suburbs, giving the district a better opportunity to pay their teachers more. The residents typically have a higher income than those from the inner city or countryside. The midsection of the districts’ salaries remain between $65,000 and $80,000. Besides residents’ income, factors such as city budget and number of teachers may go into teachers salaries. A school district with many teachers will be unlikely to pay all of their teachers large salaries.
The minimum amount of money the district allows to pay teachers with a bachelor’s degree does not correlate with district performance index. The highest district performance index out of the 46 Central Ohio school districts is Granville Exempted Village, at 87. Granville Exempted Village performs the highest but is the 28th highest paid school. On the contrary, Whitehall City is the 5th highest paid school in Central Ohio but their performance index is 52.9, the 2nd lowest performance index. This proves that although distrists may pay teachers more, it doesn’t mean the students will perform higher.
The maximum amount of money the district allows to pay teachers with a master’s degree does not correlate with district performance index. In Central Ohio, Johnston-Monroe Local performs the 13th highest at 76.5 but is the lowest paid school. On the contrary, Columbus City is the 15th highest paid school in Central Ohio but their performance index is 50.4, the lowest performance index. The two highest paid schools, Dublin City and Upper Arlington City perform high, at 5th and 4th but are not the best. This is not disproving that salaries do not directly effect students’ performance, it is just an exception. In addition, the highest performance index rate is Whitehall City, which is not the highest paid school.
Graduation rates in central Ohio are typically above 80%. This bar graph shows the 4-year graduation rates from 2015 by district. There is one outlier in this set of data, which is Columbus City Schools at 73.7%. Many factors can contribute to this, two of which are location and achievement gaps. In this case, Columbus City Schools is located in the inner city of Columbus. In cities, crimes are more common than in a suburb or countryside. The highest graduation rate, 98.5%, is Olentangy Local Schools which is a wealthy suburb. An economic factor is also added by cities. Usually, cities have a broader economic scale, which tips to the lower end. Achievement gaps are when one group of people performs higher than another group of people and play a role in graduation rates as well. The economic difference between Columbus City Schools and school districts in the suburbs makes a significance difference. The students home life majorly affects children. When a parent(s) are struggling to make ends meet, a child may become stressed or forced to have job. Having a job may distract from schoolwork in this way. The amount of money parent(s) make also can open or close opportunities for a child pertaining college and life experiences.
In central Ohio, teachers’ salaries do not seem to have a direct impact on students’ performance. The bachelor’s degree minimum salaries between districts are all very close. The master’s degree maximum salaries between districts are all dispersed. The graduation rates between districts are all very similar as well. However, other factors can go into performance of students. Home life factors into the way a student works and learns in school. According to Ocala Star-Banner, family income can effect children’s learning. Students from middle or high class families typically score higher on standardized tests than students from low-income families. The districts where teachers get paid the most don’t necessarily have the students who perform the best; and districts where teachers get paid the least don’t have the students who perform the worst. In the Ontario Star, David Johnson wrote, “Paying teachers well attracts good people to teaching but doesn’t mean better test results.” Salaries do not directly affect students. Other factors, like achievement gaps and location, affect students