American children returning to school this fall face uncertain prospects: recent research shows that excellent teaching is critically important, but America has too few excellent teachers. In a new Cato Institute Policy Analysis, Marie Gryphon argues that public school hiring practices systematically fail to separate good from bad teaching applicants, particularly in math and science. Making a bad situation worse, the quality of the education labor force also declines over time because rigid compensation schemes drive top teachers out of the profession, leaving behind their less‐capable counterparts. Contrary to popular belief, across‐the‐board pay increases may actually lower average teacher quality by attracting larger numbers of poor‐quality applicants to teaching, applicants whom the current system cannot screen out. Gryphon concludes that only market forces can separate the wheat from the chaff in the teaching profession.,/p>
Featuring Marie Gryphon, Cato Adjunct Scholar, Cato Institute; with comments by Arthur Wise, President, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.