Some groups are making teachers into scapegoats to justify opposition to unions, taxes, or facing problems in low income neighborhood schools. In a 20014 speech, U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan claimed that academically, our teachers were in the bottom third of their college class. He argues that new teachers are underprepared, and low-income students get short changed. Somehow better qualified teachers would improve our ranking on international tests.
A New York Times article by Daniel Willingham Teachers Aren’t Dumb takes a different view and gives facts to back it up.