Research also connects individual content knowledge with increased reading comprehension, making the capacity of the teacher to infuse all instruction with content of particular importance for student achievement. See Willingham, D. T., "How knowledge helps: It speeds and strengthens comprehension, learning—and thinking,"
For the importance of teachers' general academic ability, see R. Ferguson, "Paying for Public Education: New Evidence on How and Why Money Matters," Harvard Journal on Legislation
28 (1991), 465-498; R. Greenwald, L. Hedges, and R. Laine, "Does Money Matter? A Meta-Analysis of Studies of the Effects of Differential School Inputs on Students' Outcomes," Educational Researcher
23, no. 3 (1994), 5-14; E. Hanushek, "Teacher Characteristics and Gains in Student Achievement: Estimation Using Micro-Data," American Economic Review
61, no. 2 (1971), 280-288; E. Hanushek, "A More Complete Picture of School Resource Policies," Review of Educational Research
66 (1996), 397-409; H. Levin, Concepts of Economic Efficiency and Educational Production," in Education as an Industry
, ed. J. Froomkin, D. Jamison, and R. Radner (Cambridge, MA: Ballinger, 1976); D. Monk and J.R. King, "Subject Area Preparation of Secondary Mathematics and Science Teachers and Student Achievement," Economics of Education Review
12, no. 2 (1994), 125-145; R. Murnane, "Understanding the Sources of Teaching Competence: Choices, Skills, and the Limits of Training," Teachers College Record
84, no. 3 (1983) R. Murnane and B. Phillips, Effective Teachers of Inner City Children: Who They Are and What Are They?
(Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research, 1978); R. Murnane and B. Phillips, "What Do Effective Teachers of Inner City Children Have in Common?" Social Science Research
10 (1981), 83-100; M. McLaughlin and D. Marsh, "Staff Development and School Change," Teachers College Record
80, no. 1 (1978), 69-94; R. Strauss and E. Sawyer, "Some New Evidence on Teacher and Student Competencies," Economics of Education Review
5 (1986), 41; A. A. Summers and B.L. Wolfe, "Which School Resources Help Learning? Efficiency and Equity in Philadelphia Public Schools," Business Review
(Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, February 1975).
Sandra Stotsky has documented the fact that teacher candidates often make inappropriate or irrelevant coursework choices that nonetheless satisfy state requirements. See S. Stotsky, "Can a State Department of Education Increase Teacher Quality? Lessons Learned in Massachusetts," in Brookings Papers on Education Policy
, ed. Diane Ravitch (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2004).
On the need for colleges and universities to improve their general education coursework requirements, see The Hollow Core: Failure of the General Education Curriculum
(Washington, D.C.: American Council of Trustees and Alumni, 2004). For a subject-specific example of institutions' failure to deliver solid liberal arts preparation see, The Coming Crisis in Citizenship: Higher Education's Failure to Teach America's History and Institutions
(Wilmington, DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2006).
For information on teacher licensing tests, see The Academic Quality of Prospective Teachers: The Impact of Admissions and Licensure Testing
(Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service, 1999). A study by C. Clotfelter, H. Ladd, and J.Vigdor of elementary teachers in North Carolina also found that teachers with test scores one standard deviation above the mean on the Elementary Education Test as well as a test of content was associated with increased student achievement of 0.011 to 0.015 standard deviations. "How and Why Do Teacher Credentials Matter for Student Achievement?" The Calder Institute (2007).
For information on where states set passing scores on teacher licensing tests across the U.S., see chart on p. 13 of NCTQ "Recommendations for the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Removing the Roadblocks: How Federal Policy Can Cultivate Effective Teachers," (2011).