US schools need to look to top talent for effective teaching

Carol’s Summary:

In other countries around the world and in some of the best school systems that exist, 100 percent of teachers are in the top third of their graduating class from college.  In the U.S. only 23 percent come from the top third and 14 percent of that number teach in our most needy, low-come and often urban schools.

First, to attract and retain the best minds to teaching, we have to esteem teaching and let more top talent from other fields into teaching.  The George W. Bush Institute is opening a model of hiring experienced principals who have proven themselves as leaders in other realms of life.  There are models for teaching that are similar to this, but the barriers to entry remain steep.   Second, we need to revamp the schools of education to be places where the brightest minds can grow, contribute, and thrive so that our teachers come out of college with the thinking and problem-solving skills to motivate and inspire the most disengaged students while keeping the brightest challenged to the fullest.  Third, we need to strengthen the ability of all teachers to see their job and their world in increasingly broad terms so that they are bringing in current events, world challenges and other meaningful applications to their classes every day.

There are some amazing teachers who are in our classrooms.  To recruit more  talented and bright minds of all ages, into teaching over the arc of their careers, we need students to see the best teachers in front of them every day facilitating, asking-questions, maintaining strong participation and providing courageous feedback for growth.

Article: Attracting and retaining top talent in US teaching
Helping teachers to lift student achievement more effectively has become a major theme in US education. Most efforts that are now in their early stages or being planned focus either on building the skills of teachers already in the classroom or on retaining the best and dismissing the least effective performers. The question of who should actually teach and how the nation’s schools might attract more young people from the top tier of college graduates, as part of a systematic effort to improve teaching in the United States, has received comparatively little attention.

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