In his pathetic attempt at political activism at the recent and poorly named Save Our Schools rally in D. C., Matt Damon gave an interview to Think Progress in which he stated that “despite what you hear even the union teachers are underpaid.”
Some teachers are underpaid, and some are also highly overpaid. The problem is we don’t know which we’re paying too little and which we are paying too much. As I’ve noted before, absent a free market in education, we don’t know if teachers are underpaid or overpaid because, with fixed wages in a monopoly, we don’t know what teacher wages should be.
If teacher A has an efficacy rating of 85% and teacher B has a rating of 50% and they are both being paid $40k per year (and all other factors are equal), teacher A is being underpaid relative to teacher B. But they both may still be underpaid, or vice-versa, because we don’t know what each of them should be getting paid.