Will $125,000 Save American Education?

Zeke Vanderhoek will start one of the most progressive secondary education projects in American history in two months. His mandate: create a model of educational excellence for promising low-income students taught by (very) well-remunerated teachers.

Principal Vanderhoek sought out master educators for his 480-student middle school, The Equity Project, set to open in September in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan.

Teachers will be paid $125,000 a year, nearly quadruple the average New York City public school teacher salary.

Though it sounds like it could only be the the pet project of an altruistic philanthropist, Vanderhoek stressed that the Equity Project is no different from other city charter schools in their funding allocation.

"We do this on the public dollar," Vanderhoek said in a conversation with Big Think today. "We actually get less money than a traditional public charter school in New York City."

Though heralded in its advance billing, The Equity Project is not a guaranteed utopia and has had to make sacrifices to invest in its teachers.

Class sizes will stay the city norm of 30 students; many administrative duties will be assumed by teachers; and there will be no summer vacation.

Related Articles

To save us, half of Earth needs to be given to animals

We're more dependent on them than we realize.

(Photo Lily on Unsplash)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists says our survival depends on biodiversity.
  • A natural climate strategy we often forget.
  • Seeing our place among the Earth's living creatures.
Keep reading Show less

New infographics show how cigarette smokers are socially penalized

There's a high social cost that comes with lighting up.

Sex & Relationships
  • The home improvement company Porch recently polled 1,009 people on their feelings about smoking.
  • The company recently published the results as infographics.
  • In terms of dating, 80 percent of nonsmokers find the habit a turnoff
Keep reading Show less

The "catch" to being on the keto diet

While short-term results are positive, there is mounting evidence against staying in ketosis for too long.

Brendan Hoffman / Getty
Surprising Science
  • Recent studies showed volunteers lost equal or more weight on high-carb, calorie-restricted diets than low-carb, calorie restricted diets.
  • There might be positive benefits to short-term usage of a ketogenic diet.
  • One dietician warns that the ketogenic diet could put diabetics at risk for diabetic ketoacidosis.
Keep reading Show less