I have little to say that Freddie deBoer doesn’t say better here:
The reality is that you can’t be pro-education and anti-educator. Not just in the sense that you shouldn’t be, ethically, although I certainly believe that. I mean the notion that you can say that you care about education while working relentlessly to attack our actual teachers is nonsensical. If you want to attack our teachers as “overpaid,” OK. Go ahead. But you don’t get to pretend that you give a shit about education. If you don’t have a problem with celebrity dog trainers who make 7 figures or personal stylists who make $5,000 a consultation or people who sell artisanal moonshine for $400 a bottle, but you have a problem with teachers working in one of the most difficult teaching environments in the country making $75K a year, hey, alright. But save me the platitudes. Save me your chest-beating and your weeping for the children, the children. Quality health insurance, pensions, job security, a strong union to represent your self-interest: these are the only tools we have to attract people into this profession, when so many other educated professions make so much more. Advocate the end of those benefits and you declare yourself an enemy of education. You make it plain that you don’t actually value it with the only currency we care about in this culture, hard cash. You are saying that you don’t really value what you say you value. Period.
In this capitalist system of ours, what people make is a statement about how much society values what they do. Honey Boo Boo Child will make more this year than most Chicago teachers, and our friends in the media think they make too much. That’s all you need to know. If you think that people should be willing to teach for less, than shut your mouth and go apply to teach in Chicago yourself.
The entire post is well worth a read.