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ERIC Number: EJ845835
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
How to Get the Teachers We Want
Hess, Frederick M.
Education Next, v9 n3 p34-39 Sum 2009
"Human capital" is quickly becoming the new site-based management. While few are sure what it means, everyone craves it, has a model to deliver it, and is quick to tout its restorative powers. It's trendy and impressive sounding, but too often settles for recycling familiar nostrums or half-baked ideas in the guise of new jargon. To improve schooling, the U.S. has adopted the peculiar policy of hiring ever more teachers and asking them each to do the same job in roughly the same way. This dilutes the talent pool while spreading training and salaries over ever more bodies. The author contends that there are smarter, better ways to approach the challenge at hand: (1) expand the hiring pool beyond recent college graduates; (2) staff schools in ways that squeeze more value out of talented teachers; and (3) use technology to make it easier for teachers to be highly effective. A 21st-century human-capital strategy for education should step back from the status quo and revisit existing assumptions. A teaching profession for the future would make better use of teachers' talents and skills by adopting a staffing model similar to those in law and health care. Law and medicine have weakened or even severed the link between an employee's formal place in an organizational hierarchy and expected compensation. By allowing pay to reflect perceived value, these fields have fostered norms whereby accomplished attorneys or doctors spend their careers making use of their skills and earn outsized compensation without ever moving into management or administration. That kind of a model in education would permit truly revolutionary approaches to recruiting and retaining quality educators.
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; 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
Identifiers - Location: United States