It is interesting scanning the discussions about teacher quality and qualifications. As usual, both extremes have it wrong and those of us in the middle are forced to hold our noses and pick a side. Let’s look at the issue from each angle. First, the Right. Understand that the far Right is anti-public education, regardless of any posturing. The far Right views education as an unfixable quagmire that is a waste of “their” tax dollars. Their solution, starve the beast and water down the quality of service providers so that they can claim that they are justified as they siphon off more and more tax dollars towards private entities. From the standpoint of the Far Right, any slightly trained monkey can teach. Don’t believe me? Let’s analyze their actions (which speak louder than any words). Watering down entrance requirements, reducing salary and benefits, and increasing class size all have the very real effect of making the field of education less desirable. More and more educators (both current and potential) that have other career opportunities are now exercising those options. Perhaps any trained monkey can cover content with 18 affluent students (though undeserving any student is reprehensible), but teaching 35+ at-risk students at high rigor, high relevance and high engagement requires an exceptional, highly trained and supported employee. To ensure that this person is attracted to, and then remains, in the profession requires an investment greater than the Far Right is willing to commit too. Over time, this Far Right agenda will lead to our classrooms being staffed with either the most altruistic of teachers or the college graduates with the fewest prospects. If anyone thinks that is a viable solution, visit the public defender’s office or legal aid clinic the next time you need a lawyer. Next week, we’ll talk about the Left. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn… Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on! Follow Sean Cain and LYS on Come visit us at the LYS Booth at the TASA/TASB Fall Conference