Recently Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke concerning the fact that there is no evidence that having a master’s (or other graduate) degree results in greater teacher effectiveness. He suggested that money-strapped districts should consider not giving higher pay for such degrees as they are not proven effective.

The citation above connects to a blog for the Chronicle of Higher Education which contains some discussion of this issue. There are other similar sites readily accessible on the internet. Other educators have spoken on the issue as well.

For our discussion this month, I would like for you to consider this issue, especially since you are all directly affected by such decisions which might be made by various districts.

I would ask you first to read about this issue on the net, consulting the site listed above and others which you might find yourself. Let us know what you find.

Then, I would ask that you post a well thought out response to the following questions:

Does having a graduate degree make for more effective teaching? If yes, then give examples of how this happens citing your own experience or the experience and expertise of others?

If no, then is it justifiable for districts to remove pay incentives for such degrees? Why or why not?

I hope to generate some well thought out discussion here. Try to avoid simply relying on your own personal biases. Instead, provide specific examples of teacher effectiveness or lack thereof to support your position.

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