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Yes, American teachers are underpaid, at least among wealthy countries

AP Photo/Andres Kudacki
Nobody said it was easy teaching in Spain, by the way.
By Matt Phillips
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

American teacher pay is always politicized, not the least of which is because teachers’ unions are part of the bedrock of the Democratic party’s political base.

But America’s chalk-dusted corps of educators doesn’t look especially over-paid by international standards. In fact, according to this dataset from the OECD, US teachers make less than a comparably educated peers in the private sector:

For the sake of fairness, we’ll note that a right-leaning think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, recently argued that US teachers are overpaid, if compared with people who do just as well on “standardized tests that measure cognitive skill.” That sounds like cherry picking a benchmark to us—and to others.


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