Sir Michael Barber's recent book, “Instruction to Deliver,” is a British import on strategies to improve schools.
In England, the biggest change was hiring the cream of the crop and keeping staff, unlike in the states where some teachers are burnt out by year 5 and switch careers:
“What have all the great school systems of the world got in common?” he said, ticking off four systems that he said deserved to be called great, in Finland, Singapore, South Korea and Alberta, Canada. “Four systems, three continents — what do they have in common?
“They all select their teachers from the top third of their college graduates, whereas the U.S. selects its teachers from the bottom third of graduates. This is one of the big challenges for the U.S. education system: What are you going to do over the next 15 to 20 years to recruit ever better people into teaching?”
South Korea pays its teachers much more than England and America, and has accepted larger class sizes as a trade-off, he said.
Finland, by contrast, draws top-tier college graduates to the profession not with huge paychecks, but by fostering exceptionally high public respect for teachers, he said."
Perhaps we should start a book chat on this book.