We Should Be Praising Teachers

New York Times op-ed writer Charles M. Blow celebrates teachers at a time when, he says, they are often maligned.

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New York Times op-ed columnist Charles M. Blow celebrates teachers during this back-to-school season. He asks how the best and brightest can be expected to enter the profession when its workers are repeatedly torn down.

Like so many others, it was a teacher who changed the direction of my life, and to whom I'm forever indebted.

A Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll released this week found that 76 percent of Americans believed that high-achieving high school students should later be recruited to become teachers, and 67 percent of respondents said that they would like to have a child of their own take up teaching in the public schools as a career.

But how do we expect to entice the best and brightest to become teachers when we keep tearing the profession down? We take the people who so desperately want to make a difference that they enter a field where they know that they’ll be overworked and underpaid, and we scapegoat them as the cause of a societywide failure.

A March report by the McGraw-Hill Research Foundation and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that one of the differences between the United States and countries with high-performing school systems was: "The teaching profession in the U.S. does not have the same high status as it once did, nor does it compare with the status teachers enjoy in the world's best-performing economies."

Read Charles M. Blow's entire column at the New York Times.

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Sept. 19 2014 8:34 AM