The American School Board Journal has an indepth report on the obstacles facing getting highly qualified teachers into classrooms. The report looks at five obstacles in the path: Teacher salaries, teacher assignment, turnover and attrition, teacher training, and licensing and certification.
Readers who have been visiting this blog for a while, know that I have some pretty strong opinions on teacher quality (see here, here, here, there, there, and oh yeah, this one) just to name a few. While the ASBJ does a good job outlining the problems, it is a little light on concrete solutions.
One of the interesting delimmas of the teacher quality problem is that we still don't know what it means to be a quality teacher. Subject matter knowledge matters as does teaching skill, and we all know quality teachers exist in every state and usually in every school. But how can we take what we know works and pass it on to future teachers. That was the subject of this post by Jenny D and a follow-up post of mine. Sharing and institutionalizing knowledge is the key, but how do we develop that habit among teachers, who spend much of their time working independently.
Once you overcome that obstacle, I would guess that you would see teacher quality improve dramatically.