What should really be troubling the public is not how teachers are earning these advanced degrees, but the fact that they are being encouraged to do so at all. Time and time again, research
has shown that master's degrees in education, whether earned online or on campus, have absolutely no impact on how well teachers teach. Why not use the money spent incentivizing teachers to get these degrees to pay effective teachers more?
There are signs that policymakers are beginning to get the message. Florida
, and Indiana
have passed legislation that makes districts count teacher performance more than advanced degrees when it comes to teacher pay (districts in these states can still set their own salary schedules as long as they meet this criterion). At the district-level, Harrison County
in Colorado is paying teachers solely based on merit, and Baltimore
's new salary schedule takes teacher performance into consideration and doesn't just pay teachers more for experience and advanced degrees.
If this trend takes hold, don't be surprised if the online ed degree rocket falls back to earth.