Beyond the Big Bucks

See all posts
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made headlines last week for saying that teachers should be paid as much as $150,000 per year. We couldn't agree more - great teachers should get the high salaries they deserve.

But a less publicized nugget from Secretary Duncan's speech is just as important for raising the status of the teaching profession — ensuring that teachers get the preparation they need to help their students succeed:

"In 1910, medicine was in disarray. Medical schools didn't even require a high school diploma. Medical preparation consisted of two years of guest lecturers with virtually no hospital experience. The schools varied wildly in quality. Almost any applicant who could pay the tuition was accepted. Medical schools were cash cows for universities—and doesn't that sound familiar. Along came an educator named Abraham Flexner who visited all 155 medical schools and published his findings. He called for higher standards for people charged with saving lives—and helped launch a new era in the field of medicine. He told the truth and the world changed."

Flexner's landmark report serves as the inspiration for our own national review of teacher preparation programs. We're working to make sure that history does repeat itself.

Priya Varghese