Are We Short-Changing our Future? The Economic Imperative of Attracting Great Teachers

Great teachers have the ability to transform and enrich the lives and living standards of Americans. According to recent research, a student’s kindergarten teacher has long-lasting influence on important lifetime outcomes, such as future earnings. These effects are so important that the difference between having an above-average kindergarten teacher and a below-average kindergarten teacher could translate into a difference of more than $300,000 in future earnings for a classroom of 20 students (Chetty et al. 2010). Therefore, continuing to attract and retain the most effective teachers is a necessary step in raising the achievement of American students. But attracting highly-effective teachers is an increasing challenge as today’s teachers are asked to do more than ever before and because the most salient form of teacher pay—salaries—has been in relative decline.

É muito complicado atraírem-se os melhores quando se lhes explica que a carreira é aos solavancos e que a avaliação para superar os estrangulamentos é arbitrária, os concursos se transformam em psicodramas na opinião dos que estão fora a observar e que defender os direitos dos professores a boas condições para trabalharem é algo corporativo e anacrónico.