Press Release

Others on this panel will talk with you today about the pressing need to dramatically increase the effectiveness of America’s teaching force. I could not agree more. For the record, though, I want to emphasize that much more is at stake than simply meeting the goals and timelines of No Child Left Behind. Literally, mountains of research now tell us that our efforts to maintain world leadership in any number of spheres are fundamentally dependent on whether or not we have the courage to confront the issue of teacher effectiveness and to do what it takes to provide every student with quality teaching in every subject, every year.

As pressing as the overall teacher effectiveness issues are, however, my job this morning isn’t to talk with you about the general problem, but rather about the very specific problem of teacher effectiveness in our high-poverty schools. For the sorry fact is that the American system of education is rigged to all but ensure that low-income children—the very children who need the most effective teachers to help them achieve their potential and catch up with their peers— don’t get the teachers they need.