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Volume 26, Number 3
May/June 2010

Solving the Teacher Quality Problem—And More

A visionary framework for human capital in education


Teacher evaluation and efforts to tie teacher performance to compensation are hot topics these days. But they are symptoms of a much more fundamental problem: the education sector does not have a human capital management system.

Schools and districts across the country are at the very beginning stages of envisioning and, in a few places, developing such a system—one that defines teaching excellence and that organizes teacher preparation, selection, induction, tenure decisions, career opportunities, performance management, compensation, and rewards based on that definition. And we are just beginning to fathom how creating such a system will redefine our work.

I have lived through phases of building such a system in Boston and helped shepherd the change process in several other large urban districts. With the benefit of hindsight, it seems there are lessons worth sharing to make this process more efficient in other districts as they come to this work.

This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Subscribers can click here to continue reading this article.


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