I would like to see teaching become a more trained, higher paying, and ultimately more respected profession -- because that's the way to attract the most talented people to the job.
When I taught abroad for a while in Asia, I was able to do an informal assessment of the differences between the American and Korean/Japanese system (while there are a lot of differeces between K/J systems, they have much more in common with each other than they do with the US public system). Some immediately jumped out, like the fact that my students started class at 8am and didn't finish until 8pm, including a mandatory 2-hour study hall--and then a lot of them attended after-school academies to brush up anywhere they were behind. They also had school 6 days/week, including Saturday classes, and usually a Sunday night study hall. Those long hours are a double-edged sword, though, because they increase class time, but students often practically sleepwalk through class because they're so tuckered out from the day before.
Along with the longer schedule, which is a pretty obvious difference, I also noticed something subtler --most of the teachers had MA degrees, and most of them had graduated in the top 10% of their undergraduate class. These kids were getting teachers who were both skilled in pedagogy and had been outstanding students themselves in their specific subject. One of the science teachers was even doing laboratory research at a nearby technical university in his time off, and he discussed his research and findings as part of class time.
The best way to get better teachers is to pay teachers as much as we pay other highly skilled, highly educated people. If you're a math major, and you can choose to apply for a teaching job where you'd make $35,000/year or a job as a wall street analyst where you could start out making $125,000/year, you're likely to choose the second option. That means that a lot of the time, people use teaching as a back-up option.
That's not to say that all teachers would prefer a different career. In fact, most of the teachers I know absolutely love teaching! But it can be frustrating to hear about a lack of qualified teachers in underfunded schools. That kind of thing just isn't fair to kids--kids who want to learn deserve to learn from the best, no matter where they live.