Education is the single most important factor for a society advancing. If you look at civilizations throughout history, the ones that flourished knew the importance of educating their youth. Since that is the case, you would believe that teachers should be cherished and treated with the utmost respect and paid well, considering they are in charge of how future generations develop. There is an ongoing debate in American society on whether teachers are underpaid, overpaid, or are perfectly fine the way they are. Stephen Sawchuk, the associate editor for Education Weekly, specializing in teacher issues takes a firm stance by saying that American teachers are definitely underpaid, even those with years of tenure. His article Even Mid-Career Teachers Underpaid uses a variety of rhetoric provides a very convincing article.
Sawchuk uses mostly logos in trying to convince the reader. Logos is defined by Dictionary.com as “the reason or the rational principle expressed in words and things, argument, or justification” He uses many statistics and specific numbers to show his case. For example, he says; “In 11 states, the average base salary for a teacher with 10 years of experience and a bachelor’s degree is merely $39,673—less than a carpenter’s national average salary.” He uses different studies and research, in one case, showing the reader how the US salary for teachers compares to other countries.
Every now and then, he does use pathos to convey his message. Pathos is, according to dictionary.com, “the quality or power in an actual life experience or in literature, music, speech, or other forms of expression, of evoking a feeling of pity, or of sympathetic and kindly sorrow or compassion.” The following is an excerpt from the article: “South Dakota pays its mid-career teachers the worst of any state, the authors found, with an average 10-year salary of just $33,100, and the salary schedule maxes out at the lowest of any state, too, at $43,600. The state’s median household income? $49,000. Even adjusting for cost of living, it’s low.” By saying how low teachers’ salaries are, he is trying to make the reader feel bad for them and get them to think they should be paid more.
Since this article was written on http://blogs.edweek.org/ we can assume that his intended audience was teachers. He also, is a teacher himself so he is able to empathize with his audience. One thing that he does not mention is if there is a pay discrepancy between men and women teachers. In the article we read in class Wikipedia’s Art & Feminism Edit-A-Thon and the Gender Gap it discussed the gaps between men and women in different opportunity fields, while this article that I read about teachers didn’t discuss anything of the sort. Sawchuk would also probably agree with the author of the article Guerilla Open Access Manifesto since he is a teacher. He would probably agree that information should be easily accessible to everyone, and not be limited to the elite and rich. The only way a society can evolve is with education and knowledge.
The most used words in the article: