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ERIC Number: EJ1124061
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0148-432X
In Defense of Educators: The Problem of Idea Quality, Not "Teacher Quality"
Hirsch, E. D., Jr.
American Educator, v40 n4 p30-33 Win 2016-2017
People who emphasize teaching quality and the central importance of teachers are right to do so. Where some go wrong is in thinking that teacher quality is an innate characteristic. The effectiveness of a teacher is not some inherent competence, as the phrase "teacher quality" suggests. Teacher effectiveness is contextual. Why has the topic of teacher quality suddenly reached such a crescendo? Education reform has been on the national agenda since 1983, the year of "A Nation at Risk." Only in the last few years has the teacher quality issue risen to the top. The author suggests it may be reform fatigue, possibly desperation. We are blaming teachers because of our disappointments with the results of our reforms. This article discusses the history of misguided school reforms and the problem with value-added teacher evaluation. The author has witnessed over and over that in a coherent school, most teachers can become highly effective.
American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A