NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Best Teachers in the World

November 14, 2012

Many schools of education are coming under fire as they fail to produce teachers that increase student achievement, says John E. Chubb, a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Many reform advocates argue that having such institutions for teacher certification are discouraging bright young students from pursuing a career in education.

  • In general, schools of education are becoming non-competitive, admitting students with below average SAT scores.
  • According to the National Council on Teacher Quality, teacher education programs fail to meet all standards.
  • Furthermore, statistical analysis has shown little difference in results from teachers with and without certification.

Instead of going through the lengthy process of going to school and getting a degree to teach, many students opt to go into Teach for America (TFA), which requires only five weeks of summer training and no degree in education. Research shows that teachers in TFA perform just as well than those that got a degree in teaching.

The United States should pursue a different strategy to make education competitive, starting with the teachers.

  • Teachers need to be attracted to the profession through better compensation and less menial work.
  • Teacher training should focus on increasing student achievement.
  • Provide leaders in schools that work to keep teachers accountable and make the best hiring decisions.

Together, the educational landscape can change to make the teaching profession more competitive and attractive to bright, young students.

Source: John E. Chubb, "The Best Teachers in the World," Hoover Institution, November 9, 2012.


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