I don’t disagree with any of this. Things have gotten pretty sad in the world of education from how educators are “educated” to what happens after they are hired. As Arizona does not have “unions” per se, it may have been somewhat easier for me to begin the process of dismissing those who did not perform well, and I did that when I thought it necessary. But there are remarkable teachers, teachers born to do that job and who can be trained to do it very effectively despite the dumbing down and “test mania” that reigns supreme in many districts. If we want more people to take that chance, we’ll have to pay better than we do. Those who can teach and teach well…leave to use those talents outside of the public schools. We need them desperately.

Award-winning former features reporter for the Chicago Sun Times and Arizona Daily Star, HuffPo contributor and author.

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