Improving Education Would Improve Upward Mobility

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from NCPA,

Education is critical to future economic success, write Lindsey Burke and Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation, yet too many American students are placed in schools with low-quality teachers. The authors explain that teacher quality is especially important to a child’s future:

– Research from Eric Hanushek of Stanford University indicates that, compared to an average teacher, an above average teacher (84th percentile) will increase a classroom’s earnings by more than $400,000.
– A very poor teacher (16th percentile), however, will reduce a classroom’s earnings by $400,000.
– If the United States replaced just the worst-performing 5 to 7 percent of teachers with average teachers, American students would be able to rise to the education level of students in the nations that currently outrank the United States.

According to Burke and Butler, to improve students’ access to good teachers, incentives must change. Tenure and pay based on time served must be replaced with pay based on quality of instruction, and instructors should be evaluated based on student performance.

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