On the first day of Education Nation, we talked a great deal about the lack of reasonable compensation that is paid to teachers, the need to promote greater respect for our teachers in our communities, and the effect that these two factors will have on recruiting our future teachers... these are big issues! So when the State Superintendent of Schools from Idaho spoke proudly of creating a system of merit-based pay in his state, where teachers have the ability to earn additional bonuses based on all kinds of opportunities including improving student performance or taking on a more challenging teaching position in a difficult classroom or at a lower-performing school, I wanted to cheer for him. That was until he shared that the sum total of all of these bonus possibilities was $8000/year. $8000? Are you kidding me? It shows me that while we are starting to slowly move in the right direction... we have a long way to go before teaching is a profession that college kids -- with all of their serious college tuition debt -- are going to pursue for life.