Home State News Maryland Is 2023’s 6th Best State for Teachers – WalletHub Study

Maryland Is 2023’s 6th Best State for Teachers – WalletHub Study

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Information from WalletHub:

With World Teachers’ Day around the corner but teachers making an average of $3,644 less per year than they did 10 years ago when adjusted for inflation, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2023’s Best & Worst States for Teachers, as well as expert commentary.

In order to help educators find the best opportunities and teaching environments in the U.S., WalletHub analyzed the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 24 key metrics, ranging from teachers’ income growth potential to the pupil-teacher ratio to public-school spending per student.

Teacher-Friendliness of Maryland (1=Best; 25=Avg.):

  • Overall rank for Maryland: 6th
  • 18th – Avg. Salary for Teachers (Adjusted for Cost of Living)
  • 8th – Quality of School System
  • 25th – Pupil-Teacher Ratio
  • 18th – Public-School Spending per Student
  • 11th – Teachers’ Income Growth Potential
  • 29th – Projected Competition in Year 2030
  • 14th – 10-Year Change in Teacher Salaries
  • 1st – Existence of Digital Learning Plan

For the full report, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/best-and-worst-states-for-teachers/7159

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The top 5 states (above Maryland) include:

  • Virginia
  • New York
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Florida

Expert Commentary

What are the biggest issues teachers face today?

“I think some of the biggest issues facing teachers today center around the idea that they must do more with fewer resources. For example, it has been discussed heavily in recent years how teachers remain underpaid despite the most important role they have in developing our next cadre of leaders, doctors, lawyers, and scientists. Along with this teachers are still supporting students dealing with crises including the impact of COVID-19 which has dramatically shaped how schools run.”
Ramon Goings – Associate Professor, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

“When I chat with college students about why they do not want to become a teacher, the top reasons they give me are actually quite similar to what I hear from practicing teachers. Teacher pay…has historically been low and has not kept up with inflation…The COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted the work ethic of an entire generation of K-12 students. For many years before the pandemic, there had been a steady decline in our country’s ‘culture for learning’ – the extent to which we as a culture, as a population, value education, and demand that our children do their homework, study, and cooperate with their teachers. During the pandemic, our ‘culture for learning’ took a huge hit. More students than before do not take homework or deadlines seriously. More students than ever think they should be able to redo any assignment as many times as they want. More students than ever do not want to study and work hard.”
Mark T. Haynal – Professor and Chair, Teacher Education and Mathematics Division, Lewis-Clark State College

What tips can you offer young teachers looking for a place to settle?

“If possible, talk to the parents whose children attend the school (or district) you are looking to apply to so you can understand their experiences with the schools. Parents have a lot of great insight that could help prospective teachers. Don’t base your decision on a particular school solely based on hearsay/reputation of the school or district. As a former teacher, I will say the experience you have will vary greatly from school to school even within a school district that has a stellar reputation. My advice would be to find schools with great leaders as they make an extreme difference in your experience. Lastly, when looking for schools also consider the communities that you want to live in. For example, can you find a barbershop or hair salon within a 20-mile radius that can do your hair? Is there a spiritual community you can get involved with if you seek this? Are there opportunities outside of the school to get involved in various community activities? These are some important questions to consider.”
Ramon Goings – Associate Professor, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

“Do not settle for the first place that offers you a job. There is a teacher shortage. Be picky. Read WalletHub’s article Best & Worst States for Teachers. I assign that to my students each semester. Make sure you work for a school that has an outstanding principal and sufficient support staff. Work in a community that, as much as possible, mirrors your social/political/cultural values. Work in a community that has a history of supporting school levies, etc.”
Mark T. Haynal – Professor and Chair, Teacher Education and Mathematics Division, Lewis-Clark State College

Do you think performance-based compensation — e.g., providing teachers a bonus when their students meet or exceed expectations — is a promising strategy for improving student outcomes?

“While performance-based compensation sounds enticing, I think it sets some up for less pay because students are not a product. Students are people who come to us with learning needs and challenges. As people, students are impacted by life experiences. In other words, asking a teacher to go for performance-based compensation is akin to asking a doctor to do so with patients. I could see these presenting challenges for teachers who want honors scholars instead of struggling learners in order to make money. Most educators are not driven by dollars, but the light bulb moments students experience illuminate the way for a bright future. Money would through a shade of green, encouraging envy in the school environment. The issues teachers face are not just solved by simply throwing money at it. There are core societal, psychological, emotional, and cultural issues we must address along with fair compensation and benefits that will strengthen education.”
Anna B. Dowell – Doctoral Student, Maryville University

“Paying teachers for improving student academic performance is not a new idea and has not been especially effective in the states where it has been implemented. A better strategy is just increasing teacher base pay and then giving districts the flexibility to pay teachers off the salary scale to entice them to work with high-needs students or in hard-to-fill subjects. An even better strategy would be to compensate teachers through low-interest mortgages and by funding education savings accounts for teachers’ children to attend college and post-secondary education.”
Gary W. Houchens, Ph.D. – Director, Educational Leadership Doctoral Program; Professor, Western Kentucky University


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