Teachers in the US are horribly underpaid for what we expect them to do. So while they have unions in my mind their unions have not resulted in any kind of unfair pay situation. Yes there are horror stories about tenure issues, and buildings in NY where they house poor performers because they can't fire them. Those situations need to be fixed but we shouldn't use those examples to pillory the whole field when the vast majority are doing an incredibly hard job that is incredibly important for terribly low pay. I would actually consider teaching science and math as a second career-- I'm eligible to retire soon-- but the pay is too low to make it very tempting. When I was in high school (graduated 1980) it was possible for a family to have a solid middle class life with one parent teaching and the other parent being a stay home Mom or Dad. And so all of my science and math teachers had at least master's degrees, and often Ph.D.'s, from institutions like MIT, Purdue, Cornell, etc. Our AP calculus teacher knew calculus as well as I know how to add two numbers. It was child's play for her since she had a Ph.D. from MIT in mathematics. With this kind of deep knowledge she was able to teach it very clearly. But how many Ph.D.'s in mathematics would be willing to work for teacher pay today? Rather than blame the teachers, I blame the system. Bottom line for the USA is our K-12 system is really messed up. Our university system has issues but is still the envy of the world. Our K-12 system, not so much. Doubling teacher pay and doubling investment in school infrastructure and operating budgets would certainly be a good start, IMO.