The quality of education that students receive in public schools is becoming an increasing concern for parents, taxpayers, politicians, and business leaders. These stakeholders are asking for greater accountability as measured by actual results rather than by input and process variables. In response, researchers have recently measured the effects of numerous teacher variables on student knowledge and skills.
This paper reviews the literature on teacher education, certification, and hiring, showing that there are great differences in the effectiveness of teachers in public schools. Better teachers are not necessarily those with more education and more experience, the two traditional variables used when determining salaries. The paper recommends new policies that will potentially enhance the impact that teachers and school administrators have on the academic achievement of public school students.