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Monday, October 27, 2014

What Happens When A School Pays Teachers $125,000 A Year

A new study finds that higher teacher salaries may help students do better in school. (bunchesandbits/Flickr)

A new study finds that higher teacher salaries may help students do better in school. (bunchesandbits/Flickr)

Higher teacher salaries may help students do better in school, according to a study by Mathmatica Policy Research. The Equity Project (TEP) Charter School in New York City pays its teachers $125,000 a year, plus bonuses.

The research, which was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, shows test scores at the charter school are higher in math, science and English.

The study was authored by Joshua Furgeson, Moira McCullough, Clare Wolfendale, Brian Gill.

“We found that after four years of being enrolled in TEP, that students achieved about an additional 1.6 years of school in math, about 0.6 years of school in science, about 0.4 years of schooling in English language arts,” Furgeson told Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

About one-third of new teachers at TEP charter school are not hired back for a second year.

“A lot of research has shown that teacher quality is the most important part in how much students learn,” said Ferguson.”The complete package at the TEP charter school does seem to have positive impacts on its student achievement.”

Ferguson noted the school wasn’t set up just to give teachers a high salary.

“It was setup to reward excellent teachers and give them what the principal felt was their fair value.”


  • Joshua Furgeson, senior researcher at Mathmatica Policy Research. He specializes in education research focused on charter schools.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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