Why Focus on Teacher Resources?

Why do we place so much attention on teacher resources? One reason is the cost. Teachers are the single largest investment in public education—with instructional salaries and benefits amounting to approximately half of the $400 billion spent each year on public K-12 education (see Table 1). Another major reason is that teachers are seen as most important to ensuring a high quality education for all students and improving student performance. The difficulty is that we are not entirely clear what makes high quality teachers or how to train, recruit, or retain them.


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Published in Insights on Educational Policy, Practice, and Research Number 17, September 2004, A Best-Fit Approach to Effective Teacher Policy