“Hi, Tom. How’s the world treating you?” Andrea Martinez asks, as she drops a load of books on the desk in the teachers’ lounge. “I think I’m in the wrong job,” Tom replies, looking down at the newspaper he was reading. “We got a lousy 2 percent pay increase this year. That, combined with the 1 1/2 percent last year, puts us behind even inflation. Maybe I’ll need to get a third job to make ends meet.” “I know what you mean. We’re struggling, too, but the economy is tight—a lot of people are unemployed. I don’t know what to do myself.” “Maybe I should run for the state legislature,” Tom says. “I could tell those people what it’s really like to live on a teacher’s salary.” “Why the legislature? Why not our school board? They’re the ones who actually decide our pay raises.” “Aw, I’m probably not cut out to be a politician anyways. I’m too honest,” Tom replies with a cynical grin. “I have actually thought about going back to school and becoming a principal. Their salaries beat ours.” “But so do their headaches,” Andrea counters. “If big bucks are what you’re after, why stop there? Why not become a superintendent? Ours makes over $150,000.” “Yeah, I heard that. But I also heard he’s looking for a new job. They can’t seem to keep people in that job. This one’s been with us 2 years. The other one lasted 3. Maybe my job isn’t so bad after all. At least I know there’ll be a job waiting for me next year.”
Questions and Feedback___________________________________
1.How would you respond to Tom and Andrea’s comments about who actually determines teachers’ salaries?
2.How accurate was Tom’s comment that principals’ salaries “beat” teachers’ salaries? (You may wish to refer to Table 1.2 in Chapter 1, which lists teachers’ salaries across the nation.)
3.Is the experience of Tom and Andrea’s superintendent unusual? What factors lead to superintendents’ short tenures?...