Are We Short-Changing our Future? The Economic Imperative of Attracting Great Teachers
Released: September 2011
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.
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