Teacher Pay and Teacher Quality

Teacher Pay and Teacher Quality

Teacher Pay and Teacher Quality

Teacher Pay and Teacher Quality


In 1983, the National Commission on Excellence in Education, a panel of distinguished educators appointed by Secretary of Education Terence Bell, released a report on the condition of American education entitled A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform. The provocative message of the report—that if a foreign power had tried to impose on America the mediocre educational performance of our schools, we might well have regarded it as an act of war—set off a debate about the nation's schools that continues today.

Not the least of the commission's concerns centered on the quality of teaching. Among their claims were the following:

1. Too many teachers had been poor students themselves.

2. Programs of teacher education placed too much emphasis on courses in educational methods, too little on the subjects to be taught.

3. There were severe shortages of qualified teachers in certain subject areas, such as mathematics and science.

4. Too many newly employed teachers were not qualified to teach the subjects they were assigned.

These concerns were not new. In 1963 the president of the Council for Basic Education described teacher education . . .

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