Talk about a poor investment in our future... My sister teaches in the NYC Public High Schools. Coming from a long line of educators, I have forever been shocked at how little teachers are paid in this country. If salaries are evidence of how our culture values something, it's clear no one is really concerned about education. It only makes sense to put our greatest emphasis on education.
The film blog Thompson On Hollywood, hipped me to a new doc that David Eggers and Vanessa Roth are working on that will hopefully wake us up to this situation. There is also a good related website called theteachersalaryproject.com that points out many things, like half the teachers have to hold down a second job to survive on the starting salary and teachers make 88 cents on the dollar to comparable positions.
Evidently, a lot of this is collected in the book: Teachers Have It Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America's Teachers, that Eggers co-authored.