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Michael Podgursky on Reforming the Compensation of Educators

February 13, 2014 1 minute Read by William McKenzie

In this video, Michael Podgursky takes his expertise in the economics of education and applies it to how educators are compensated. Podgursky, who teaches economics at the University of Missouri, contends that teacher payment systems have unintentionally become dysfunctional.

Podgursky is the author of one of the series of scholarly papers that the Bush Institute commissioned to examine how schools can work more productively.  His paper doesn’t stop with explaining the problems, however. He shows how school districts can operate more efficiently. As Podgursky explains in this video, that starts with something as basic as deciding how many teachers a district actually needs.

Of course, it won’t be easy getting districts to change their practices. But changes in how they compensate teachers are one way districts can start to operate more efficiently.


Author

William McKenzie
William McKenzie

William McKenzie is editorial director for the George W. Bush Institute, where he also serves as editor of The Catalyst: A Journal of Ideas from the Bush Institute.

Active in education issues, he co-teaches an education policy class at SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development. He also participates in the Bush Institute’s school accountability project.

Before joining the Bush Institute, the Fort Worth native served 22 years as an editorial columnist for the Dallas Morning News and led the newspaper’s Texas Faith blog. The University of Texas graduate’s columns appeared nationwide and he has won a Pulitzer Prize and commentary awards from the Education Writers Association, the American Academy of Religion, and the Texas Headliners Foundation, among other organizations. He still contributes columns and essays for the Morning News and The Weekly Standard.

Before joining the News in 1991, he earned a master’s degree in political science from the University of Texas at Arlington and spent a dozen years in Washington, D.C. During that time, he edited the Ripon Forum.

McKenzie has served as a Pulitzer Prize juror, on the board of a homeless organization, and on governing committees of a Dallas public school. He also is an elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Dallas, where he lives with his wife and their twin children.

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