As the debate over the state of America's public school system rages on, one thing everyone agrees on is the need for great teachers. Yet, while research proves that teachers are the most important school factor in a child's future success, America's teachers are so woefully underpaid that almost a third must divide their time between a second job in order to make a living. Chronicling the stories of four teachers in different areas of the country, American Teacher reveals the frustrating realities of today's educators, the difficulty of attracting talented new teachers, and why so many of our best teachers feel forced to leave the profession altogether. But this wake-up call to our system's failings also looks at possibilities for reform. Can we re-value teaching in the United States and turn it into a prestigious, financially attractive and competitive profession? With almost half of American teachers leaving the field in the next five years, now is the time to find out.
- Vanessa Roth
A heartfelt, bittersweet portrait of several teachers as they make the difficult decision of whether to stick with the profession.Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, 09.29.2011
As we watch the individuals in "American Teacher" struggle with the burdens the system places on them, it's hard not to feel like crying, both for them specifically and for our national culture.Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, 09.29.2011
Featuring a tedious procession of statistics, graphs and talking heads, American Teacher undercuts the forcefulness of its arguments with its underwhelming presentation.Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter, 09.29.2011
What's made powerfully clear is that we've reached a dire point of crisis that, while largely rooted in economics, is about so much more than dollars and cents.Ernest Hardy, Village Voice, 09.27.2011