With states and cities going through hard times, teachers, their pensions and their unions have become big targets for budget cutters, says the New York Times. Lawmakers in some states are trying to change teacher tenure rules and school districts are laying off teachers by the thousands. In public debate and private conversations, teachers have come under increasing criticism for being ineffective and overpaid. Yet not long ago, education reform efforts sought to elevate the prestige and pay of teachers as a key to improving achievement in the classrooms…

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