If you ask almost any parent what’s the most important aspect in their child’s development and success they’ll answer: obviously education.
Yet I’m sure you’ve all seen the headlines and quotes:
“U.S. Students Math Scores are Down.”
“Reading Scores are Down in U.S.”
“At Least 40% of kids aren’t ready for school ((Kindergarten).”
“Students Aren’t Prepared for College.”
“U.S. students continue to rank near the middle, and behind many other advanced industrial nations, in international math, science, and reading assessments.”
So, what does the richest and most powerful country on the globe do about an obvious problem? They cut funding for schools at the national level and then, subsequently, at the state level. Obviously our politicians are a product of their own lack of a quality education. They, apparently, haven’t learned the necessity of investing in our greatest resource – our children.
Obviously the greatest resource our students have (after their parents!!!) are teachers. So, what do we do to attract the highest quality, most dedicated teachers? Pay them less than other similarly degreed professionals, of course.
“Teachers make 20% less than other college graduates.” (So go get a Master’s Degree to increase your salary?)
“Teachers with Master’s Degrees make about 40% less than those with Master’s Degrees working in other professions.”
“Fulltime public school teachers (K through 12) are experiencing some of the worst wage stagnation of any profession earning less on average, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than they did in 1999.”
(Think this is just a problem in other less enlightened states?): “Most Licensed Minnesota Teachers are Turning to Other Careers.”
I did. Although I loved teaching, was considered a good teacher, directed plays, published the school’s literary magazine, and coached, I left halfway through a school year. I had started a part time career the summer before my thirteenth year and was making three times my teacher’s salary by mid-school year (even with a Master’s-plus degree). With my wife and I raising five children and living paycheck to paycheck for thirteen years, what would you have done? Obviously what I did, I’d venture?
Why did I take the time to write this? I have a dozen grandchildren. I believe there’s nothing more important in their lives (actually in the world) than education. Obviously the current people in power never learned this. You are not helpless. You have the power to vote. Listen to the people who you will be voting into power. If they are not strong advocates for your children and grandchildren, vote their butts out. I hope this is obvious to you.