Terry Moran: How much fucking money do you make a year?

10 Sep

This morning, I had the following little Twitter exchange with Nightline host Terry Moran about the Chicago teachers strike.


In our exchange, Moran links to this New York Times article to justify his claim that “teachers make an average of $74,000/school-year in Chicago and most were offered a 19 percent raise.”

A few points, in no particular order.

First, the Times piece doesn’t say the teachers were offered a 19 percent raise. It says:

Late Sunday, Mr. Emanuel told reporters that school district officials had presented a strong offer to the union, including what some officials described as what would amount to a 16 percent raise for many teachers over four years.

I’m not sure how Moran went from 16 to 19. Perhaps he read this tweet last night from Bloomberg journalist and self-described “coastal elitist” Josh Barro, which was making the rounds, and mistook management for the union. Barro, like Moran, was also operating on the wrong information, and later had to walk back the claim.

In any event, a 16 percent raise over 4 years works out, at best, to a four percent annual raise.

Except that…

Second, as Doug Henwood points out, Chicago is also asking the teachers for a 20 percent longer school day.  Once you take that and inflation into account, the four percent annual raise works out to be a cut, not a raise.

Third, according to the Chicago affiliate of ABC News—Moran’s network—David Vitale, head of the Chicago School District, says that the city is offering a 3 percent raise the first year, and 2 percent raises for the remaining three years of the contract. That hardly works out to a 16 percent raise. 9 percent at best. As Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, a Chicago resident and history grad student at Northwestern, explains to me, the city hasn’t revealed how it came up with that 16 percent figure, but the best guess is that it includes other things like step increases, which are based on seniority. Contrary to what Moran suggests, it is in no way is an increase in base pay.

Fourth, as Doug also points out, BLS statistics indicate that the average pay for Chicago teachers is $55-60 thousand, not $74,000.

And fifth, the Times takes great pains to stress that it is citing management numbers. Setting aside the fact that those numbers appear to be wrong, how hard is it for Moran—a journalist—to take that into account in his statements? Even the most simpleminded definition of objectivity—report both sides of the story—would suggest a certain degree of skepticism on his part.

Okay, that’s all that the level of the facts. But let’s assume for the sake of the argument that Moran had his facts right. There still remains this question, which I posed to Moran in a followup tweet and never got an answer to.

Just in case I wasn’t clear enough in my tweet, let me re-ask it here: Terry Moran, how much fucking money do you make a year?

Update (9:30 pm)

Doug Henwood just reminded me that his tweet about the BLS figure for average teacher salaries emphasized “Chicago metro area.” I left off “metro area.” That was my mistake. Should have caught that because it does make a difference.

Update (10:30 pm)

Washington Post blogger Dylan Matthews pointed me to various news reports and union fact sheets that state that the 20 percent increase in the school day for teachers never ultimately came to pass. The school day has been increased, but teachers’ hours haven’t, at least not significantly. It’s curious though how it is that a mere 500 additional teachers could cover the lengthened school day, as these reports suggest. Also the union fact sheet says that two holidays have been eliminated.  If anyone has any leads on any of this, please let me know. In any event, the 9 (ish) percent raise, over a four year period, works out to be…just about nada. As the commenter says, “So, to sum up, Mr Moron has managed to report a raise of under 2.25% [per year] for “many teachers” as a 19% raise for “most teachers.”

48 Responses to “Terry Moran: How much fucking money do you make a year?”

  1. PhilPerspective September 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    Terry Moran is an idiot. Plain and simple.

    • SKC September 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

      Looks like Terry Moran deleted those tweets?

  2. Price Sicard September 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    Good work. Keep it up and thank you.

  3. iconoclast September 10, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    you say Moran I say moron……..

  4. James Hoff September 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    Nice one Corey. From what I can tell, however, this is not only about wages. In fact what’s most heartening to me about this strike is that it seems to be about education, that is pushing back against Duncan and Emanuel’s attempts to impose a testing regime and increas the power of charter schools. Inspiring.

  5. jonnybutter September 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    ‘[to Moran] Is what you do more valuable than what a teacher does?’

    The answer to that question depends on who, other than Moran, you ask, Corey! For some people, whatever he makes is a stone bargain.

  6. Brahmski September 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    Like.

    • Blinkenlights der Gutenberg September 10, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

      I just had to point out that a 16% raise over four years is a 3.780% raise each year for four years. Not 4%. (100 * 1.16^(1/4) – 100)

      A 4% raise every year for four years is a 16.986% raise after four years. (100*1.04^4-100)

      The article also says “many teachers,” which Moran renders “most teachers.”

      Clearly, Mr. Moran’s tweets will not be dictated by fact checkers.

      • Blinkenlights der Gutenberg September 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

        While I’m at it, I might as well correct Professor Robin as well: a 3% raise followed by three 2% raises is slightly better than 9%. Specifically, it is 9.304424% — over four years. A 9.304424% raise per four years works out to the equivalent of a 2.2490861035741% raise per year.

        So, to sum up, Mr Moron has managed to report a raise of under 2.25% for “many teachers” as a 19% raise for “most teachers.”

      • MattC September 10, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

        While your maths is no doubt right, please, significant figures! “2.2490861035741%”
        The last number there is about a cent on the total US GDP.

      • Chuck Dohety September 11, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

        This is correct math but none of the discussion about the percentage raise is relevant. The question is what school boards should pay teachers based on market rates and based on budget constraints. Note that no one is giving up teaching and that people are desperate to get into the teacher’s union. This implies that teachers are overpaid. Further, public school teachers make MORE than private school teachers. Why should this be? Further, given that every private employee in America would give their left arm for a “Defined Benefit” pension plan, this implies that the teachers have a better deal. And who would not want three months of holiday every year? Who cares how much Mr. Moran makes? I have worked in the investment banking business for many years and would gladly take a job in the Chicago school system with the current salary and benefits. Just an anecdote to be sure, but the math says that unionized teachers are currently overpaid.

      • Blinkenlights der Gutenberg September 16, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

        Mr. Doherty, I’m afraid you’re mistaken — the issue here is Moran’s dishonesty.

        I will also add that your conclusion that teachers *must* be adequately compensated since they’re not “leaving teaching” requires, not just one, but several deeply flawed — and actually disturbing — assumptions. You seem to be revealing yourself as a “sweatshops are good for workers” neo-liberal here. (Correct me if I’m wrong.)

        Yet even ignoring the deeper issues, your point seems quite invalidated by the fact that, actually, the teachers are striking…

      • n September 18, 2012 at 9:38 am #

        Doherty:”public school teachers make MORE than private school teachers. Why should this be?”
        As you rhetorically suggest, ‘this’ shouldn’t be but it is. The reason ‘this’ is, is because private school teachers refuse to unionize to avail themselves of representative bargaining. They should, because their employer(s) uses representative bargaining against employees.

      • GiT September 18, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

        If working conditions in public schools are worse than those in private schools, then one might expect that disparity to show up in pay. Since public school teachers have to teach everyone, and private schools get to hand pick their student body… One can fill in the rest.

  7. megan mcturdhead September 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    go corey!

  8. Blue Meme September 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    When I read this I immediately thought of the dim-bulb Tea Party protester who might not have been such a dim bulb after all..

    http://www.caption-of-the-day.com/morans.htm

  9. Matthew September 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    Hey Corey, seen this? Unrelated to the current post here, but reminded me instantly of your ideas regarding private-regimes-of-power : “Maryland politician and minister Emmett C. Burns Jr., in a letter obtained by Yahoo! Sports on Thursday, has demanded that the Baltimore Ravens halt linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo from publicly expressing his support for gay marriage.”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nfl–maryland-politician’s-letter-denouncing-brendon-ayanbadejo’s-support-of-gay-marriage.html;_ylt=AnKGJ_4ZZlaJPpFIIrAZDW1N7Ox_;_ylu=X3oDMTFycW9yNjU4BG1pdANBUlRJQ0xFIEFydGljbGUgQm9keQRwb3MDNgRzZWMDTWVkaWFBcnRpY2xlQm9keUFzc2VtYmx5;_ylg=X3oDMTJ2YjUxdGhhBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDYmEyYTgxMzgtNmJiMC0zNjhhLWJiYTYtOTQwODc1YWE1MmRmBHBzdGNhdANob21lfGV4cGVydHMEcHQDc3RvcnlwYWdl;_ylv=3

  10. Pliggett Darcy September 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    I’ve read that under the district’s plan, about 500 new teachers would be hired so that the longer school day would not actually increase hours worked. If that’s true, then the 20% longer school day (by itself) wouldn’t seem to be an argument in favor a pay raise. Obviously there may be other good arguments, though.

    “A week after the arbitrator’s report, CPS and the union brokered a deal that appeared to remove the biggest obstacle in the labor fight. In exchange for the longer school day — an additional half-hour in high schools and 75 minutes in elementary schools — CPS agreed to rehire nearly 500 teachers in non-core subjects from a pool of teachers who had been laid off. That kept the hours in the work week the same for full-time teachers.”

    http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2012/09/10/when-a-strike-is-called-students-are-the-ones-out-was-there-no-other-choice-in-chicago/?cxntfid=blogs_get_schooled_blog

    • Patrick September 11, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

      That has created more problems as the city has not followed through. When Rahm talks about not forcing principals to hire anyone, he is saying the city negotiated in bad faith and have no intention of following that agreement.

      One thing on the agreement was to give teachers more prep time which teachers love. Thus there odd less classroom time but they still are required to be there just preparing for class not teaching one. However of CPS isn’t following through onthe teachers end why should teachers believe they will on this.

  11. Jimmy Reefercake (@JimmyReefercake) September 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    terry moran, host of nightline and lying sack of shit.

  12. William Rogers September 10, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    Pay doesn’t seem to be a major issue. According to a CTU media statement, “we (CTU and the board of education) are not far apart on compensation.” The strike is more about the quality of education in Chicago’s public schools. The board and Mayor Emanuel want a narrow curriculum that prepares student’s to take standardized tests and ties teacher evaluations to test scores. Teachers want a broader curriculum, more student services, and a fair evaluation system that recognizes the importance of a broader curriculum.

  13. casino implosion September 10, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    GMTA. I was snarling the exact same question today at the TV screen when a CNN talking head was whining to a teacher’s union rep about “shared sacrifice”.

  14. jillsmo (@jillsmo) September 10, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    Good stuff

  15. Sarah September 10, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    The “more money for more time” is a gambit that’s worked in NY, both for public school teaches and in the CUNY system. In the most recent negotiations for both groups, we’ve achieved small raises but had to agree to teach more days (and teachers more hours).

  16. Lollard September 10, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Clearly Mr. Robin is unaware of Worthington’s law of value. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aF8wLg5Asgo

  17. gailnrGail September 10, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    It’s always seemed interesting that many people who seek to portray teachers as overpaid would never ever even dream of working for that salary themselves.

  18. JW Mason (@JWMason1) September 10, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    16% for many = 19% for most? Terry Moran is a liar, straight-up.

    More generally, my understanding is IL law allows teachers to strike only over pay. So if that’s the official strike demand, blame the legislature. All the communications from the teachers union make it clear that their concern is as much over conditions of classroom instruction (restore art & music!) as anything else.

  19. kalifani6 (@kalifani6) September 10, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    Thanks for teaching ‘Lip Service’ how to do his job better than he does. I suppose you owe a teacher for that.

  20. gelboak September 10, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

    The $74k average seems to be coming from here

    http://www.cps.edu/about_cps/at-a-glance/pages/stats_and_facts.aspx

    with employee level detail here

    http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/At-a-glance/Documents/CompensationReport.pdf

    That data, in turn, seems to come from the the IL State dept of education,
    in particular this page

    http://www.isbe.net/research/htmls/teacher_service_record.htm

    I download the “2010-2011, Instructional Staff Only” file
    (http://www.isbe.net/research/xls/2011_tsr_public_dataset_admin.xlsx)
    selected the “City of Chicago SD 299″ records, scaled the volumes in the
    “Salary” column by the inverse of the “fte” column, took the average, and
    got $71,310, $75,410 for ee-s with Masters and $63,440 with ee-s with
    Bachelors.

    • beckett September 11, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

      I think other relevant information was left out Corey’s post. Chicago teachers make a lot more on average than other teachers in the US, and the district is below average in number of instructional hours per day. So even if it’s 55-60k, that doesn’t mean they’re underpaid. I think there are a lot of reasons to be angry about the conditions that CPS teachers work in — no air conditioning in whole school buildings?? — but salary is not one of them.

      • Corey Robin September 11, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

        Most salaries in Chicago are probably higher than elsewhere in the US. The cost of living in Chicago is a lot higher than elsewhere in the US. That’s how cities work. But I never said the teachers were underpaid. I was reacting to Terry Moran’s false claims about their salaries and the irony of someone who makes a shitload of money telling people who make much less to pipe down. In any event, as almost every fair-minded observer has pointed out, salary is really not the issue in this strike. Not for management and not for the teachers.

      • Sean September 11, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

        I never went to a school with A/C growing up. Does that happen?

  21. gelboak September 10, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    But really, I agree that the MSM is ignoring the fundamental issues involving
    approaches to schooling and the deprofessionalization of teachers.
    For example, why isn’t their more discussion of how dubious the so called
    “value-added” measures of standarized test score changes are.
    See (a) http://mathbabe.org/2012/03/06/the-value-added-teacher-model-sucks/
    (b) http://en.scientificcommons.org/38293888
    (c) http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/PDFs/education/error_rates.pdf

  22. GoodTimeFrog (@GoodTimeFrog) September 10, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

    Good for you, Corey. It’s amazing. And I would think that in 2012, $74k would be the LEAST a good, professional teacher would be making in any school district….

  23. jonnybutter September 11, 2012 at 7:23 am #

    I left off “metro area.”…..it does make a difference.

    Umm, it makes a very significant difference!

  24. Taryn Hart September 11, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    Only a small portion of the public sector still has unions. So yes, they have an above-the-poverty-line salary and health care. How is this an argument against them? You’re asking exactly the right question: How much do teachers make in comparison to Terry Moran? And one could add CEOs and Rahm Emanuel and Mitt Romney? The conservative outrage that teachers in Chicago live above the poverty line speaks volumes.

  25. Chuck Dohety September 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    The facts and figures are open to correction and they should be. However, the details of the offer/request are not relevant. The question is: What should school boards/cities pay teachers based on market rates and based on budget constraints?

    Note that no one is giving up teaching and that people are desperate to get into the teacher’s union. This implies that teachers are overpaid or at least fairly paid.

    Further, public school teachers make MORE than private school teachers. Why should this be?

    Given that every private employee in America would give their left arm for a “Defined Benefit” pension plan, this implies that the teachers have a better deal. And who would not want three months of holiday every year?

    Who cares how much Mr. Moran makes? I have worked in the investment banking business for many years and would gladly take a job in the Chicago school system with the current salary and benefits.

    Just an anecdote to be sure, but the math says that unionized teachers are currently overpaid. Given what most people in America have faced over the past four years with lower pay, longer hours, and job losses – would it really be that unreasonable to ask the teachers to sign on for four more years – even if the hours were increased?

    • DBake September 12, 2012 at 5:28 am #

      Math tells us who is an isn’t overpaid? That’s interesting. What branch of mathematics is this?

  26. Sophie Maele October 4, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    Well, dumbness reigns eternal among the room temp IQ lefties. Teachers in Chicago, as anywhere else, are free to leave their tenured jobs for greener pastures whenever they desire, as if anyone would pay a higher salary to these malcontents. In a free market (don’t cringe, Dracula), salaries rise or fall according to what that market will bear. If there were fewer teachers salaries would rise. But, they don’t because scads of good little leftists want to fuck up our kids even more than they want to get paid.

  27. Payroll Guy September 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    (1.03)x(1.02)x(1.02)x(1.02)=9.3% cumulative increase at the end of 4 years. (Had an extra year in originally)

    Your comment is awaiting moderation

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. NYT Gives Emanuel's Side on Chicago Strike | FAIR Blog - September 10, 2012

    [...] (Read this exchange between ABC host Terry Moran and political science professor Corey Robin and Doug Henwood of the Left Business Observer on whether these salary figures should be taken at face value. The short answer is no.) [...]

  2. NYT Gives Emanuel’s Side on Chicago Strike | Elm River Free Press - September 10, 2012

    [...] (Read this exchange between ABC host Terry Moran and political science professor Corey Robin and Doug Henwood of the Left Business Observer on whether these salary figures should be taken at face value. The short answer is no.) [...]

  3. Wife Beating, Union Thugs and an “old Soviet Union, Marxist-Socialist theme” « Sky Dancing - September 10, 2012

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  4. Wanker of the Day - Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money - September 11, 2012

    [...] (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}Terry Moran. I’m sure Moran would be thrilled to work for $70K a year for his much less socially useful [...]

  5. Every Time Terry Moran Speaks, a Butterfly Flaps Its Wings and a Chicago Teacher Makes 1/2 Her Salary « Corey Robin - September 11, 2012

    [...] Terry Moran makes $20-30 thousand every time he gives a talk on the East or West Coast. Two Terry talks = one Chicago teacher salary. Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrint [...]

  6. As Paul Ryan Lines Up Behind Rahm, the Scheme to Privatize Chicago Schools Becomes Clear | OccuWorld - September 11, 2012

    [...] It will be important for the teachers not to get distracted by the forces arrayed against them. This liar floated that they asked for a 35% raise, a complete fabrication made doubly disingenuous by the fact that the management figure of 16% is off by almost a factor of 2. [...]

  7. Shill Schools « riverrun - September 13, 2012

    [...] I want to try and make sense of the Chicago Teacher’s Union strike, because it seems like a big fucking deal. There’s a lot of debate going on about the efficacy of the union and the  motives underlying their action. Personally, I’m all about it (the union and the strike), and if you’re so inclined you can read some reasons why here and here and here. [...]

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