I partially agree and my wife is a burned out ex-teacher.
Some teachers are there because they are not the brightes bulbs and school districts need teachers. Many, if not MOST teachers are there for dedication. If increasing pay substantially comes hand in hand with performance standards and quality standards in general I say Amen.
But also school resources must be increased, parents must be held accountable for the deplorable behaviour of their offspring. My wife says that elementary school is fine, high school is surprisingly fine because all the trouble makers have already dropped out or are clients of the, ehem, "criminal justice system." But middle school is hell. how more teachers don't go postal, I don't know. Teachers can't beat the crap out of the kids, not that I am advocating that anyway, but even the very best teachers are fighting a losing battle. Thus
REQUIRE under penalty of law that parents attend at least one parent-teacher conference/semester.
make parents CRIMINALLY responsible for their childrens' bad behavior in school. Fine the parents for their kids truancy. Fine the parents 100 dollars for every time (Maybe give two passes) per year that the kid gets sent to the principal's office.
Throw more resources so a smart enterprising kid who is willing to bust his butt but lives in the Bronx and goes to PS
whatever has the same chance to if not go to a tony private school, then to get into Bronx Science, or something similar.
Do the othe things, weed out the teachers that act like they were inspiration for the teachers on the Simpsons and I will gladly support paying them more.
I may be ugly. I may be an American. But don't call me an ugly American.