Teachers in America are poorly paid relative to their peers elsewhere in the advanced world.
Jim Simons, the legendary founder of hedge fund Renaissance Technologies and a renowned mathematician, is now doing something about it.
Simons has been channeling money to deserving maths and science teachers through his philanthropic organisation, Maths for America.
“We give them extra money, $US15,000 a year. We have 800 maths and science teachers in New York City in public schools today, as part of a core,” said the founder of $US22 billion Renaissance Technologies during a rare interview with Chris Anderson.
“There’s a great morale among them. They’re staying in the field. Next year, it will be 1,000 and that will be 10 per cent of the maths and science teachers in New York [City] public schools.”
Teachers in the US are paid about $US56,383 annually — down 1.3% on average from 13 years ago, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Simons started Maths for America nearly 20 years ago, with his wife, Marilyn Simons. He left Renaissance about six years ago to work with the foundation — though he still has an active role in the hedge fund.
“Yeah — instead of beating up the bad teachers, which has created morale problems all through the educational community, in particular in maths and science, we focus on celebrating the good ones and giving them status,” Simons said.
To read the full transcript of the video click here.
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