Ned: Often, the gap between an OK and a great teacher can be mitigated with mentoring and coaching by great teachers. However, funding for those positions has been cut. Outsiders have no idea about the working conditions … no merit/step/cost of living increase (five-plus years in some school districts), hence you have first-year and sixth-year teachers making the same salary. Teaching is the only profession where we are made to feel the love of our craft should be enough and we should be willing to do it for free.
ProHuman: In a world of termination without due process, teachers would be susceptible to the ideological or personal whims of parents or administrators; let's say some parents don't like the teaching of evolution, or teachers who are homosexual, or certain books, or the fact that the teacher censures their child for bad behavior, or that the teacher grades their kid on a different scale on writing assignments because the teacher knows full well the kid is capable of more (this happened to me in high school; I was mad as heck then, but my parents were very happy, and so am I now these years later). Should school administration have free rein to fire those teachers to keep those parents appeased? Is that in service to education?