Re: Re: Do teachers make enough money?

The question here is just what sort of fulcrum one chooses to use to push the idea of higher teacher compensation.  There is a tendency to talk about how poorly some teachers are paid, but for the mass of citizens who will vote to approve higher taxes for schools, that may not be the best sort of emphasis.  I think one needs to focus over and over again on the costs associated with poor schooling: high dropout rates, low productivity of school graduates, possibly higher costs of social programs that attempt to make up for better schooling in the first place, and so on.  The message should be:  All of us are going to pay, in one way or another, for bringing kids into adulthood and into society, or- even more expensively - for failing to do it.  So just suck it up and support good schools NOW.  And supporting good schools means paying salaries to teachers that are high enough to attract AND KEEP capable, dedicated people. 

We need powerful new metaphors for what community schools mean to each and every community, ones that attract attention and compel a response.  I find some of them in local newspaper stories of teachers that have gone the extra distance to help their students, who work long hours and give a lot of themselves emotionally.  Those stories need to motivate citizens, especially parents, but also older citizens, to get out and advocate when important votes associated with schools and teachers are immanent.  It is not primarily the responsibility of teachers to do this advocating, in fact they cannot do it with as much moral authority as ordinary citizens.

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