I have to wonder if it is the cause/effect ratio of relatively low pay for new teachers that contributes to the glut of lower performing students entering the teaching profession. The so-called brightest students generally go for the higher paying careers such as physicians, engineers, etc. My daughter ALWAYS wanted to be a teacher--and she is an excellent one. Her scores were among the highest in her private high school, and she had even completed her first year of college through dual-enrollment classes before attending the University, where she was graduated with honors. Value the profession in the market place, and you'll see more academically-gifted teachers. Start with the voucher program--change will follow.
American education is in a sorry state of affairs, and there's enough blame for all participants to have their fair share. They include students who are hostile and alien to the education process, uninterested parents, teachers and administrators who either are incompetent or have been beaten down by the system, and politicians who've become handmaidens for teachers unions. There's another education issue that's neither flattering nor comfortable to confront and talk about. That's the low academic preparation of many teachers. That's an issue that must be confronted and dealt with if we're to improve the quality of education. Let's look at...
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