Review of An Opportunity Culture for All: Making Teaching a Highly Paid, High-Impact Profession

This report from a think tank called Public Impact begins with two unsupported premises: that only one in four teachers is good enough to help close achievement gaps, and that current efforts to recruit and retain excellent teachers are inadequate. To allow existing excellent teachers to reach more students and to develop excellence in their colleagues, it proposes a model for restructuring teaching. Hierarchically arranged teaching teams would rely on fewer teachers but more paraprofessionals, more digital instruction, longer work hours, and some larger classes. Teacher salaries would increase. However, while the report targets teacher excellence, it offers no specific means of identifying and assessing that quality. In addition, the report does not take into account relevant research literature in key areas, including teacher assessment, multiple influences on student achievement, digital instruction, teacher burnout, and teacher attrition. Overall, the proposal is based on unsupported assumptions, assertions and projections—wishes and beliefs that if the approach were put into practice, it would somehow play out to the benefit of students. Lacking an empirical base, the report is not a useful guide for policy.

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