Key Coverage

Teachers in America: No Matter Where They Work, They Feel Disrespect

It’s shortly after dawn when Edward Lawson, one of America’s 3.2 million public school teachers, pulls his car into the parking lot of Thomas Elementary in Racine, Wisconsin. He cuts the engine, pulls out his cell phone and calls his principal. They begin to pray.

Lawson is a full-time substitute based at a school with full-time problems: only 1 in 10 students is proficient in reading and math.

That may be explained by the fact that 87 percent of the students are poor and 1 in 5 has a diagnosed disability. Blame for such test scores, however, often settles on the people who are any school’s single-most-important influence on academic achievement – teachers.