ON-Lion Letter
Public schools face the challenge of educating large numbers of students for whom learning does not come easily.  They are institutions with long-established practices, often protected by politics and therefore highly resistant to change.  John E. Chubb's new book The Best Teachers in the World: Why We Don't Have Them and How We Could explains why changing our traditional approach to improving our schools is critical and tells how to achieve such change.

Chubb is a distinguished visiting fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a member of Hoover's Koret Task Force on K-12 Education, which is supported by Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.  He also is interim chief executive officer of Education Sector, a research organization in Washington, D.C.

In The Best Teachers in the World, from Hoover Institution Press, Chubb shows how we can raise student achievement to levels comparable to those of the best nations in the world through a new strategy for raising teacher quality that is very different from the approach our country has historically followed.  He asserts that we must attract and retain high-caliber individuals to teaching, train teachers in institutions and programs that can demonstrate their efficacy in producing teachers who raise student achievement, and improve the quality of school leadership.

Chubb suggests moving beyond licensing and other regulatory approaches to teacher quality to focus on providing quality by measuring performance directly -- including direct measurement of both teacher effectiveness and training effectiveness -- with the success of each gauged by the ability of participants subsequently to raise student achievement. Given strong incentives to perform and the information to do so, he shows, the American educational system can improve teacher training and raise teacher quality to the highest levels in the world.
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