Re "Teachers dropping out too," April 27
Teachers like Maurice Stephenson, who come from high-paying jobs in the industry they wish to teach, underestimate how difficult teaching truly is. Teacher retention is low, but those who cannot adapt to the needs of unmotivated students aren't the ones we want to keep.
When I applied to teach on an emergency credential nine years ago, the Los Angeles Unified School District was taking anything that moved with a college degree, educational training or not. By raising teacher salaries, and not by the 6% our union just agreed on but by about 20%, more young graduates from college would take teaching seriously as a profession. My fiance and I graduated from college with no loans to pay back, yet teaching in the Los Angeles area means the two of us could never own a house anywhere near where we teach on the Westside.
If salaries were competitive, public schools could pick and choose their workforce from the best and the brightest rather than struggling to fill positions and being stuck with what walks in the door.