US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently proposed to redirect $15 billion from correctional facilities toward increasing teachers' salaries in high poverty schools. It is both practical and eminently plausible. And with the right kind of leadership and advocacy, it might even become probable.
As we commemorate Teacher Appreciation Week, it's a good time to reflect: if we depend on teachers to develop the future workforce and help turn our children into productive members of society, what can we do about this problem?
Talk to any LAUSD teacher and they will tell you they clearly want a fair, living wage and that a raise is long overdue. In fact, in my conversations with fellow teachers and health and human services professionals, I have yet to meet anyone who thinks a raise isn't long overdue.
Many countries have not been able to adjust staffing levels to a rapidly declining student population, so class sizes have declined and costs have risen, without automatically changing and improving the nature of teaching and learning.
Teachers aren't suggesting they not be held accountable. What they're saying is that we acknowledge the realities of the classroom, that we not gloss over the real problems, formidable as they may be, and pretend that the flaws in our education system are the fault of the teachers.
This is a question that is always up for debate. Of course, if you ask teachers and people in the educational world, they will say that teachers are not only NOT overpaid, they are drastically underpaid.
We are not amused by a school district that has squandered billions of dollars over the years. We are not amused by the education testing industry that keeps sucking dollars out of our schools and leaving us with less and less.
Share My Lesson is by teachers, for teachers, and it will become the largest online community for educators in the United States. It categorizes teacher-created resources by grade level, subject and type of resource.
The struggle to make sure a quality education is available to every child -- and not just a privilege for a few -- is the unfinished and critical business before the nation for it will determine America's future place on the global stage in a rapidly changing competitive world.
On January 1, 2012, educators nationwide lost an educational icon. Dr. Martin Haberman, long time researcher, educator, writer, and mentor to teachers, passed away in Milwaukee. And Dr. Haberman never wavered from his goal.
There's one perspective conspicuously missing from the teacher salary discussion: a teacher's. How do we feel about how we're compensated? In what direction would we like to see this conversation move?