Improving teacher quality is absolutely necessary to closing the achievement gap and attaining higher levels of achievement across the board, according to Linda Darling-Hammond in this Education Week Commentary.
While some studies have concluded that teacher quality is not linked to achievement, Darling-Hammond writes that without well-qualified teachers in all classrooms, we will never close the achievement gap or meet the requirements mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act.
Darling-Hammond calls for an aggressive national policy modeled after the federal government's intervention in the field of medicine. Just as subsidies, clinical programs, and training hospitals have helped to supply quality medical professionals to high-need areas, deliberate measures such as targeted recruitment incentives, service scholarships, and mentoring programs, would lower teacher-turnover rates and place well-qualified teachers in schools that need them.
What do you think? Is a national policy on teacher quality and supply needed? What should it include?