On one level, I understand his anger. I don't make this type of wage. Doubtful that I will anytime soon. I don't have the benefits that teachers enjoy now, or upon retirement. I don't have a job where my child can be at my place of work for at least a few years. I don't have summers off (although many teachers will tell you that this is a myth). If someone says I have to work weekends or late into the evening, I have to work weekends and late into the evening.
But what is the value of a good teacher, like so many of the ones that I had? Someone who:
- lights a fire under you to pursue your passion
- teaches you critical thinking skills that you use to excel in your job
- drives you to work harder in high school, so that those four (or more) years of college are not wasted
- teaches you to write persuasively so that you can get that new job, or achieve in your current one
- teaches you concepts of science that drive your discovery of something beneficial to the world later
- encourages you to make the world a better place than you found it
I agree that we should strive to hire and retain only the best teachers. But attacking all public teachers solely on their income strikes me as a bit ridiculous. An excellent teacher SHOULD make more than I do. What they contribute to the world is too important to place a low value on it.