As the mother of two teenage daughters, I would be thrilled if either of them decided to become a teacher. I can't think of a more important way to contribute to the community.
For the past half-century, most American parents agreed with me. But this year, for the first time, the tide has turned. In PDK's recent annual poll of American attitudes about education, a majority of parents said they don't want their children to become teachers — the first such finding in the 50 years since the poll launched.
Parents cited low pay as the reason for their reluctance. They are right: Teacher pay is too low, and the problem is especially dire in states that have failed to invest in education for the past decade. In 30 states, average teacher pay is less than the living wage for a family of four. In fact, inflation-adjusted teacher salaries have actually declined since 2010.