From the article:
"What have all the great school systems of the world got in common?” he said, ticking off four systems that he said deserved to be called great, in Finland, Singapore, South Korea and Alberta, Canada. “Four systems, three continents — what do they have in common?
“They all select their teachers from the top third of their college graduates, whereas the U.S. selects its teachers from the bottom third of graduates. This is one of the big challenges for the U.S. education system: What are you going to do over the next 15 to 20 years to recruit ever better people into teaching?”
South Korea pays its teachers much more than England and America, and has accepted larger class sizes as a trade-off, he said.
Finland, by contrast, draws top-tier college graduates to the profession not with huge paychecks, but by fostering exceptionally high public respect for teachers, he said."He is fair in assessing that Great Britain has far fewer students than the U.S. but also acknowledges the power that states have over the federal government in education.
He did a report for the state of Ohio:
"In Ohio, for instance, Sir Michael led a McKinsey team last year that helped produce a 102-page report recommending new education policies based on the best practices in Britain and other countries.
(The report can be seen at www.achieve.org/files.)
About failing schools:"When it comes to failing schools, Sir Michael expresses impatience. When a public school is failing — not just going through a rough patch, but also systematically failing to educate its students — he says there is only one question the authorities should consider: “How do I get these children a good education as fast as possible?” "
His reaction to NCLB:
"Sir Michael said that he considers No Child Left Behind to be an outstanding law, perhaps one of the most important pieces of education legislation in American history, he said. But the law is not without its flaws, he said, which include its methodology for identifying underperforming schools on the basis of student test scores alone.
“It depends much too often on quite crude tests and one year’s data,” he said.
The world’s best school rating systems, including England’s, he said, not only consider test results, but also send government inspectors directly into schools to search for causes of poor performance. McKinsey’s report on Ohio recommended that the state create a corps of inspectors like England’s, which reviews every school at least once every three years, examining the teaching environment and the caliber of school leadership, and suggesting changes, he said."Lots of interesting ideas here. A question for the teachers; do you feel respected by the public at large? Would you feel as good or better about your work if you were treated like a firefighter? Would more pay balance a larger classroom? What would make a teacher's life better?