According to an article in USA Today this week, the average teacher in a US public school classroom is a white female in her earlier 40’s, not much different from a similar assessment in 1971. But the students in that same classroom look much different both from the teacher and from what they looked like thirty years ago.
Stating the situation is always much easier than trying to analyze it, of course. The article brings up the usual low-pay-driving-men-away argument but this is too complex an issue to explain so easily. I think a larger cause is the common view of society that teaching is a "part time" job, a second income for the family. After all, teachers only work nine months of the year, only work about six hours a day and how hard could it be to teach someone to multiply anyway.
But whatever the reason, I hope this "professor" is wrong:
The law [NCLB] requires that schools hire only "highly qualified" teachers, which means more coursework for thousands of teachers. "Many people just don’t want to go into teaching for that reason," says Evelyn Dandy, a professor of education at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Ga.
Anyone who is unwilling to continually update their skills by taking additional training shouldn’t be working in most professions, much less teaching. But this too is reflective of another prevalent attitude of many people. Teachers don’t need to learn any more once they’ve graduated from college, except maybe if they teach science.