Whatever your stereotypes about wealthy private schools, it doesn’t apply to their faculties. Private school teachers make way less money.

The gap is larger for some groups (like elementary teachers), and smaller for others (like teachers with Doctor’s). But at all levels of experience and education, the chasm persists.

Public v. Private - teacher salaries, selected groups

Explaining this gap isn’t so easy. The following causes all seem to play a role: Read the rest of this entry »


Apparently, 1981 was the winter of teachers’ discontent. Dissatisfaction among teachers climbed during the 1970s, peaked early in the 1980s, and then declined again, before leveling off in the early 1990s.

Would you be willing to teach again - over time Read the rest of this entry »

In the years after World War II, 1 in 3 kids dropped out of school by age 17. These days, that number is down to 1 in 20 kids.

14-17-year-old enrollment (since 1945) Read the rest of this entry »

Gather round, kids! Your teacher’s going to tell you a story about the historical fluctuations in his compensation package!

If we just adjust for inflation, teacher salaries look pretty flat. They climbed throughout the ’60s, dipped in the ’70s (not keeping pace with rapid inflation), rebounded in the ’80s, and haven’t changed much since.

Teacher salaries over time - adjusted for inflation

But “flat adjusted for inflation” doesn’t necessarily mean “flat.” Maybe other salaries have gone up, even after adjusting for inflation, while teacher pay has stayed the same. In that case, teacher pay is falling behind.

As a matter of fact, that’s what seems to be happening: Read the rest of this entry »

Do private schools hire fancier, PhD-toting teachers? Sometimes, yes.

But they’re more likely to employ teachers with little or no experience. At privates, 1 in 4 teachers are green, compared with 1 in 7 at publics. Teachers at privates are also 10 times as likely as their public-school counterparts to lack a Bachelor’s degree.

Public v. Private - teacher experience (revised)

Read the rest of this entry »

Remember back in 1870? No? Well, pretend you do.

Back then, it felt like you never heard about college kids. That’s because postsecondary students made up only 0.1% of the American population. These days, it’s 7%.

Postsecondary enrollment (since 1870)

Read the rest of this entry »