HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Pace of college tuition hikes outpacing incomes. “Georgia’s public colleges and universities say they have raised tuition to make up for the Georgia Legislature holding back on taxpayer funds. But even in years when the legislature has fully funded the University System of Georgia’s requests, the Board of Regents still boosts tuition.”
Related: UNH tuition: It’s about costs, not subsidies. “University of New Hampshire President Mark Huddleston last week blamed UNH’s rising tuition costs on declining state subsidies. That is the party line within the entire University System of New Hampshire. If it were true, then tuition would have been declining in the years before the last budget, the years when state subsidies to the university system were going up. Tuition then did not decline; it rose.”
In Florida, 97 percent of teachers were deemed effective or highly effective in the most recent evaluations. In Tennessee, 98 percent of teachers were judged to be “at expectations.”
In Michigan, 98 percent of teachers were rated effective or better.
Advocates of education reform concede that such rosy numbers, after many millions of dollars developing the new systems and thousands of hours of training, are worrisome.
Grover J. Whitehurst, director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution, said variations in teacher quality had been proven to affect student academic growth. If an evaluation system is not finding a wider distribution of effectiveness, “it is flawed,” he said.
“It would be an unusual profession that at least 5 percent are not deemed ineffective,” he added.
What would it take to systematically attract and retain top students to a teaching career in the United States?
Improving teacher effectiveness to lift student achievement has become a major theme in U.S. education. Most efforts focus on improving the effectiveness of teachers already in the classroom or on retaining the best performers and dismissing the least effective. Attracting more young people with stronger academic backgrounds to teaching has received comparatively little attention.
McKinsey’s experience with school systems in more than 50 countries suggests that this is an important gap in the U.S. debate. In a new report, “Closing the Talent Gap: Attracting and Retaining Top-Third Graduates to Careers in Teaching ,” we review the experiences of the top-performing systems in the world—Singapore, Finland, and South Korea. These countries recruit, develop, and retain the leading academic talent as one of their central education strategies, and they have achieved extraordinary results. In the United States, by contrast, only 23 percent of new teachers come from the top third, and just 14 percent in high poverty schools, where the difficulty of attracting and retaining talented teachers is particularly acute. The report asks what it would take to emulate nations that pursue this strategy if the United States decided it was worthwhile.
The paper explores several “cost-effective” strategies that are not “necessarily inexpensive”.
In one scenario, for example, the U.S. could more than doubled the portion of top-third+ new hires in high-need schools, from 14% today to 34%, without raising teacher salaries. In this scenario, the teachers would not pay for their initial training; high-need schools would have effective principals and offer ongoing training comparable to the best professional institutions; districts would improve shabby and sometimes unsafe working conditions; the highest-performing teachers would receive performance bonuses of 20%; and the district or state would benefit from a marketing campaign promoting teaching as a profession….
Simply raising all teacher salaries is not the solution.