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July 1, 2022

Episode 110: Pause to Ponder - The NY Yankees and Teacher Retention

Episode 110: Pause to Ponder - The NY Yankees and Teacher Retention

Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations.

I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office.


This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students.


What do the New York Yankees and teacher retention have to do in common? Well, consider that in the past 25 years, 44% of the championship teams also fell into the top 3 salary spendings for their respective years. In fact, the average winning team had a payroll that was nearly one standard deviation higher than the average. And the Yankees? Well their five championships during the past 25 years can be attributed to having a payroll that was 2 standard deviations higher than the average. 

What does this mean?

One of my favorite players, Anthony Rizzo, former first basemen for the Chicago Cubs, recently joined the Yankees and has not been quiet about his dissatisfaction with the teams reluctance to pay him or others what they were worth. In short, he said to invest in your people. 

While I understand that MLB salary caps and educational funding are vastly different models, the point of this discussion still holds true. How is it possible that there are teachers who are making a liveable wage (or higher) while others are required to work additional jobs to survive? Furthermore, how can we expect the same level of performance from these same groups of teachers? Or even, what are we saying about how much we value their contributions to our organizations?

In short, if you value your people, you need to invest in your people. Yes, it may be costly up front, but the results speak for themselves. 


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