| Oct 18, 2010
A new report titled Closing the Talent Gap: Attracting and Retaining Top-Third Graduates to Careers in Teaching, issued by McKinsey & Co., examines some of the top-performing school systems in the world. It was found that countries with the best school systems recruit teachers from the top third of high school and college graduates, which is not something the United States is doing.
The report found that only 23 percent of U.S. teachers come from the top third of college graduates and that this number drops to 14 percent in high-poverty schools. Meanwhile, Singapore, Finland, and South Korea have 100 percent of their teachers coming from the top third of the academic pool.
The authors say the U.S. has this problem because of low teacher salaries, lack of academic prestige of becoming a teacher, and the non-competitiveness of getting into an education school. On the other hand, in Singapore they have more competitive salaries, and in Finland the process for becoming a teacher is “extremely competitive."
Read the article by Liana Heitin at Education Week online (registration required) or read the full report at the McKinsey & Co. website.