Yes, American Teachers Are Underpaid

At least among wealthy countries.

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Reuters

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, U.S. teachers make less than a comparably educated peers in the private sector:

Teacher-salary-to-full-year-pay-for-a-college-educated-full-time-worker-Secondary-school-teacher-salary-ratio_chartbuilder (4)

For the sake of fairness, we'll note that a right-leaning think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, recently argued that U.S. 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.

This post originally appeared on Quartz. More from our partner site:

About the Author

  • Matt Phillips is a reporter at Quartz, where he writes about finance, markets, and economics.