Originally Posted by Just2McFly
underpaid in terms of what? because they are job is important?
I think this is a good question to ask.
Are teachers underpaid? Yes, the skillset of a good teacher generally means he or she will get paid better elsewhere, most markedly in science. Last time we had this discussion, I think I posted a link where there was a severe shortage of qualified educators in the stem fields. I think the necessary qualification to be considered "qualified" was a subject specific major or higher education.
Are good teachers underpaid? Sure, but good teachers need to be qualified to teach their subject. How will you challenge bright students if you are not learned in your subject? Currently, in a significant portion of our classrooms, we have education majors without a science minor teaching high school science classes. This is unacceptable.
Meritocracy and giving financial incentive to subject specific majors or phd's to teach in high schools is necessary. Good, qualified teachers are an invaluable investment and there needs to be a major perceptual change in what it means and what is expected of an educator.