Consulting firm report: U.S. recruits fewer teachers from among top college graduates

Education Week reports:

Countries with the best-performing school systems largely recruit teachers from the top third of high school and college graduates, while the United States has difficulty attracting its top students to the profession, a new report finds.

Singapore, Finland, and South Korea draw 100 percent of their teachers from the top third of the academic pool, write the authors, Byron Auguste, Paul Kihn, and Matt Miller, of the management-consulting firm McKinsey & Co., based in Washington. But only 23 percent of U.S. teachers come from the top third of college graduates—and in high-poverty schools, that rate drops to 14 percent…

Yong Zhao, a professor at Michigan State University’s college of education and an international education expert, questioned the McKinsey report’s methodology. The authors make too many cross-cultural assumptions and fail to attribute much of their data, he charged…

For instance, Mr. Zhao said, the entry requirements for education school in Singapore are “all criteria-based, not norm-based,” though the report implies they are norm-based by stating that only the top third of students are accepted. “It’s misleading,” he said.

The full report is available here from McKinsey’s Web site for free (PDF).

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