Letter to the Editor
Certification, low pay drive teachers away
Saturday, September 7, 2002
To the editor:
In response to the editorial "Conclusions of teacher audit remain unclear": I find it disingenuous you think the results of the audit by State Auditor Claire McCaskill are due to our mobile society. Do you really think 80 percent of all people who graduate with a teaching degree quit after seven years because they moved? Or chose not to move? Or even had the wrong area of expertise? Why do you ignore the facts as they are laid before you?
Most teachers quit within the first seven years because the requirements put upon them by the conservative movement coupled with little pay makes any job look more appealing. The audit states the two reasons for leaving the profession are the stringent certification requirements and low salaries. As a teacher, I can tell you the auditor's findings are accurate.
This is a situation society cannot continue to ignore. As long as it continues, the best and the brightest teachers will wake up to a different profession.Who will be left to teach the future of our country? Only those married to spouses with high-paying jobs, or to whom teaching is extra income? How can they possibly understand the students that come into their classrooms with a myriad of problems they cannot even begin to relate to? Please stop ignoring the obvious. Better pay and better working conditions will keep those with the passion to teach in the classroom.
MARY HARRIET TALBUT