To the editor:
In a letter published Sept. 8, Paul Stanley asks, “Why do the top graduates at universities around the country choose not to become teachers?”
I believe the answer may reside in the fact that the top graduates did not major in education — known as one of the easiest and least-demanding courses of study, not only at the undergraduate level but advanced degrees as well. I will not address the artificial entry barriers imposed by the teachers’ union.
One can infer from Mr. Stanley’s query that the best and the brightest are not school teachers. If the majority of educators do not fall into this realm, why do they expect to be paid at the same level? When one considers the job security, the 180-day school year, the retirement option in the mid-50s and the health care provided, teacher compensation is on the high end of white-collar employees.
Mr. Stanley seems to believe that educators deserve high compensation due to the noble nature of the calling. I think most taxpayers appreciate the nature of the job, but they want results for their taxes.
Without a doubt, it has been shown that higher compensation does not equate to higher performance.
Mr. Stanley also asks why 50 percent of new teachers leave the profession within five years. I expect most occupations experience high turnover in the early years.
Let’s ask why 50 percent stay if the conditions and pay are so horrible?
If a teacher is one of the best and brightest and is unhappy with his or her pay, why not go to the private sector, where life is — apparently — a bed of roses? Or, perhaps, the majority of the teachers do not want to or are unable to find a better package.