Mike O'Loughlin 
Member since Feb 13, 2013


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Re: “Degrees of debt

Ps. I am also keenly aware of my typo in the first sentence. Didn't notice it until my edit-time ran out!

Posted by Mike O'Loughlin on 02/13/2013 at 12:42 PM

Re: “Degrees of debt

I am substitute teacher, so I can empathize with the struggle that Ms. Nicholson faces. While I do not see it as crippling, the debt load I carry from undergrad and masters level education is about $75,000. My family has made a fair amount of avant-garde choices in order to make those payments work and still have a lower middle class lifestyle. But when I show our numbers to friends, they are shocked we live on so little. And we do so because of student loan debt... the only debt we have.

Here's the real mystery to me: In order to be a teacher in NY state (or most other states for that matter), a student is required to earn their bachelors degree and then a masters degree within 5 years. So, presumably, by age 26 or so, a teacher in NY state will have managed a minimum of 6 years of higher education. And that's just to earn the certification. That does not earn the student a job. Often you have to choose a more prestigious school, or take on additional schooling, to stand out. Both options cost more money. How is it that the required schooling needed to earn certification and stand out in the flooded job market costs almost double the starting pay for the teaching position one is training for?

That game is not the fault of those who choose that line of work. One doesn't become a teacher because it's a cash-cow. But shouldn't there be some parity between the investment and the return? I'm not perscribing an answer or even pointing a finger... I'm more noticing that, based on a simple cost/benefit analysis, the cost of education for future educators makes the profession a poor investment. Seems ironic... especially in a climate where we are banging our fists on tables about wanting highly-qualified and competent teachers... and how education is the backbone of an informed citizenry.

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Posted by Mike O'Loughlin on 02/13/2013 at 12:35 PM

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