Some teachers are competent, others are not

The Jan. 6 editorial asks, “How much is a teacher worth?” It begs the more pertinent question: Which teacher?

The question assumes the teachers union fantasy that all teachers with equivalent training are equally competent. In fact, some teachers are very competent and may be underpaid but others are worthless and should not even be there.

Unfortunately, union contracts and tenure tend to concentrate the least capable into public education. People feeling undervalued tend to move on while those least capable will stay rooted because they cannot be fired, regardless of their performance.

Spending on public education has more than tripled in inflation-adjusted dollars since 1970. In that same period, student scores have not improved at all – they have gotten worse. Throwing more of our tax dollars at this broken system will not rescue our children’s future. Our ranking on international math scores has recently fallen to 31st in the world.

The U.S. recruits teachers from the bottom third of college graduates; the best systems recruit from the top third. The system needs complete reform. A start would be to eliminate the teachers unions and return control to parents and their local representatives.

Mal Johnson