Teachers who demonstrate mastery of their subjects should be compensated like professionals.
Talent must be wooed, especially to places like White Center, WA. Ideally, all teachers statewide should be excellent. Their teaching credentials say they are highly qualified, why not sit them down with a scantron and see how they stack up, then compensate them according to their demonstrated proficiencies? (At least partially,that is - the calculus should account too for subjective measures like instructional fluency, adaptability, ability to establish rapport and to motivate, cultural competency, and tenure should also be factored in.)
Teachers should be respected instead of sniffed at as underachieving presumptive pederasts (if one can't do, teach, many say; why else would one with other options choose such a poorly paid position?).
We should thank teachers every time we encounter them for their sacrifice, like we do soldiers.
Unfortunately, even for those who derive significant satisfaction simply from seeing the lightbulb pop on, the sacrifice is often too much. The bureaucracy which keeps educators-by-calling from ever earning a decent wage, yet pays dinosaurs who ignore the individual requirements of their charges and deliver the same material year after year passionlessly by rote (Buhler... Buhler...?) far more than they're worth, is enough to discourage most would-be-careerists.
Pay young (especially minority) rock star teachers who are willing to live and work in the neediest neighborhoods the six figures they're worth! Replace all mailers-in whose professional skills are are covered in moss! Or else let the whole system go private-charter.
Let the schools themselves compete, like businesses.
Forget the smaller class size argument (result: more mediocre-at-best mentors - albeit a perfect union outcome [unions are, of course, dominated by greyhairs - no wonder so many talented energetic young instructors wash out]) because one excellent mentor can enlighten 200 kids at a time. Especially in this digital age.
PAY GOOD TEACHERS GOOD!
Unions are anti-progressive; they incentivise doing the bare minimum not to get fired.
Sorry if you're a teacher and got offended by this rant; if it makes any difference, if you're decent at your job I'm not dissing you I'm praising you, indeed I'm in awe.