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Real Prestige

Teachers got high marks recently—54 percent of Americans classified the teaching profession as one of “very great” prestige, says a Harris Poll. Teachers ranked second only to firefighters (who came in at 61 percent) and ahead of doctors (52 percent). As a reader of this magazine, you know that rating is well deserved. So why is it that teachers like Louisiana’s Carole White had to struggle—file a grievance, in fact—to convince their own school board that the district’s IEP software didn’t work? And how can business executives rank so low (14 percent) on the Harris Poll’s prestige rating yet so high on the salary ranks—while teacher annual pay has fallen sharply over the past 60 years compared with others with college degrees? (For more, go to NEA's Professional Pay Site.) So, do you feel your profession is prestigious? Why or why not? What’s contributed to that? Send us an e-mail to Cindy Long  (putting “My Profession” on the subject line helps) or a letter.

NEA Today is developing spring coverage on what’s influenced the status of the American educator, and we need you to influence the story, too. 

Publisher Leona Hiraoka

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