You are one of the few conservative-leaning authors out there that seem to really understand what that world is about. Before a career in corporate management, followed by a return to B-school and a third career in academics, I did a stint as a teacher in a public elementary school.
Although they will not generally say so publicly, every reasonably aware public-school teacher knows the operative rules. Urban teaching jobs suck, rural jobs suck a little less, and the suburban jobs in prosperous areas are where you want to work. In prosperous areas the patrons usually love the schools their kids attend and they like the teachers and administrators. There really are schools out there with little dysfunction, low levels of violence, and where kids really do learn something.
This is why I find it ironic that many conservatives lump the entire structure together and make [public] education the enemy. The advocated solutions seem to involve some form of economic starvation combined with higher (and universal) performance standards, and additional requirements to track and report performance data. This while complaining about the greater number of administrators required to meet these mandates. I think conservatives are making a huge mistake here. It's analogous to the phenomenon of everyone professing to hate congress while reelecting the same congressman they have had for 30 years. They like their congressman, its all the others that they hate.
It might also be important to note that every state is not like New York, Wisconsin, or California. Not every teacher is a communist, lazy, a union member, or possessor of a gigantic pension. There is real risk, especially in more conservative states, of alienating people that are in these professions but generally conservative. I tell this to my state legislators all time time, but they ignore me.