It was a pleasant surprise to hear Hayden hit the nail on the head. I agree with Hayden, we must restore the importance of teaching and educating our young people. I realize California is in the process of raising starting pay for teachers, but this is nominal, considering the time and effort teachers put into their jobs. The fact of the matter is that teachers are still underpaid in most areas.
I have just graduated from college and have been involved in the business world. I am currently considering entering the teaching profession, but I find that I am second-guessing myself because the incentive is just not there, yet. I feel it would be rewarding and gratifying to educate our young people and be a part of the teaching profession. But let's face it $18,000 a year, along with less than adequate working conditions in some areas, does not sound to attractive.
My point is that teaching should be thought of as a professional skill that should be compensated just like all other professionals such as doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. In this way we will have better teachers and therefore, better educated young people who will have a better chance to achieve the American Dream.