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Why Teacher Quality Is a Good Campaign Issue

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Because respondents in a new Associated Press poll list it as the most significant problem facing their child's school.

Forty-seven percent think getting and keeping good teachers is a "very serious" or "somewhat serious" problem. Teachers are a bigger issue than overcrowding, lack of student discipline (which came in second), and school violence. Teacher quality also outranks the condition of school buildings, outdated textbooks, placing emphasis on the wrong subjects, low expectations of students, students not spending enough time in school, and thankfully, availability of athletic fields (26 percent think this is a serious problem!)

A good chunk of Barack Obama's education plan revolves around teachers—recruiting them, paying them better, and giving them mentors. We'll have to wait until the fall to hear what Sen. John McCain's plans are for improving the teaching ranks.

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I believe that improving the quality of teachers is a major step in the right direction for school districts around the country.

The trouble is, is that some teachers are reluctant to continue their education and receive their masters. As a 3rd year teacher beginning my masters, I fear not making tenure in my district. My district alone has avoided hiring experienced teachers who have earned their masters because the funding is not there. They have passed on excellent applicants for those with less experience and education because of money issues.

As educators it is important to be life long learners, but what we have learned is that finding a job after years of experience gets harder and harder.

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