Teachers are quitting their jobs at the fastest rate on record (“Teachers Quit Jobs at Highest Rate on Record,” The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 29). Contrary to popular belief, low salaries are not the No. 1 reason.
According to a survey by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities that investigated unprecedented low enrollment in colleges of education, it is the lack of professional autonomy. When coupled with constant scapegoating, teaching is seen as an undesirable career.
The long summer vacations and alleged short working days may be enough to recruit the best and the brightest to the classroom, but they are not enough to retain them. That’s particularly the case with minority teachers who are leaving the profession the fastest. Attempts to show that teachers are fairly paid compared to other workers with similar education fail to change their minds.
The military has long understood the importance of morale. Unless the same attention is paid in education, I expect to see an acceleration of the exodus. Unfortunately, the situation is best summed up this way: The beatings will continue until morale improves.”
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