Schools are perennially recognized as essential to a civilized society, and the faculty is the heart of the school; in order for schools to thrive, teachers need to be respected in their craft, and paid well.

"If that sounds good to you, it doesn’t to many teachers, who say that what they really need isn’t free food and a once-a-year exercise in flattery. What they want, they say, is for their profession to be respected in a way that accepts educators as experts in their field. They want adequate funding for schools, decent pay, valid assessment, job protections and a true voice in policy making.

"In recent years, polls have shown teacher morale to be dropping, and teacher shortages are common in state after state. Many educators say that corporate school reformers have targeted teachers as the “problem” with low-performing schools and have attempted to remove teacher autonomy. The Obama administration is seen, by many teachers, as being a big part of the problem, having promoted teacher evaluation systems that teachers say are unfair, and supported groups that they think do a disservice to the profession by placing teachers in classrooms with little training, such as Teach For America."--Valerie Strauss, The Washington Post