Necessary and Insufficient: Resisting a Full Measure of Teacher Quality

January 2004

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For all the conflict generated by various K-12 education reform efforts, there is one principle everyone agrees on: teachers need to know the subject matter they teach. This principle makes sense to parents, educators, and policy makers alike. On the importance of a teacher's knowledge, the views range from those who believe subject knowledge to be of paramount importance to those who believe it to be a "necessary but not sufficient" condition for effective teaching.

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