I find the talking points about teachers’ salaries being higher than average salaries unconvincing. First of all, so what? The assertion that they get paid more than other people says nothing about whether or not their work is more valuable. A surgeon should get more compensation than a janitor because his/her skill is more unique and requires more investment. Second of all, there are high-paid teachers and there are low-paid teachers.
If you want to make the case that government teachers are overpaid, it would be more convincing to compare their pay to private school teachers or people in similar occupations than to the average salary. Or present metrics on time and money invested versus compensation. Or make an actual argument that involves the government distortion of market signals.
But the most important problem with government education and private education modeled on it isn’t that it’s too expensive; it’s that the system is a coercive monopoly where the young are forced into an institution that teaches obedience and statistical valuation of achievement over initiative and personal development. Talking down to teachers won’t change that.
As I said in Chris Christie Won’t Solve Public Education, people arguing for cheaper government schools,
still want a system that teaches people from before they can read until they reach voting age to salute the flag, follow the bell, and satisfy the demands of authority. They just want to implement what they consider a more cost-effective program of control.