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The Teaching Profession

Teaching is one of the hardest jobs in America, and it's only getting harder. Concerns about COVID, violence, and political dynamics are now layered upon the challenge of helping children learn. Teaching is a skilled job, but it’s so much more. Teaching is a profession; one unlike most others.


Trades are usually paid equally based on years worked. Professions often require degrees, and pay is based primarily on performance.


To teach most grades in California, a bachelor's degree and certification are required. That’s similar to professions like attorneys or engineers. Then why doesn’t society value teachers in the same way? They certainly aren’t paid nearly as much.


The answer lies with the push to make teaching a trade with seniority-based pay and a last in, first out policy. When crossing a bridge, you’re likely more concerned with whether it was designed by a good engineer rather than how long they’d been with the company. The same should be true for the professionals ensuring the next generation has the skills to succeed.


At 21CA, we want to see teachers paid well, with the support they need to educate their students. But that is just half the story. The other half is fostering a culture of excellence: raising standards, basing advancement on performance, and removing those who can’t do the job—just like any other profession.


Many legislators already know this but aren’t willing to cast tough votes on education reform that might risk their jobs. Someone needs to have these legislators' backs. That's what we do, and we hope you'll help.


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