From the information I have received from current teachers as well as those who have given up on this profession, the number one change that must happen is to restore order in the classrooms. As it stands right now, children can do anything and everything to disrupt the class and the teacher has only one recourse - send him or her to the principal. And back they come once again disrespectful, loud and even more disrupting. Not to sound like an oldster (and of course I am) but if I had a disagreement with my teacher and was sent to the principal, there would be another punishment awaiting me at home. This is no longer true, and what a shame that is. Disrespectful students are not the only ones that cannot learn, the entire class suffers.
The second change that should be addressed is the fact we have more than our share of students who do not speak English as their first language. Perhaps a more intensive course in basic English could be installed for these students. Even if they are delayed in their grades, the students and their parents should look at it this way: When their children graduate, they will speak two languages fluently (something most of our other students cannot do).
Jean Ehlebracht, Scottsdale