Improving Teacher Quality in the United States

Dan Goldhaber and Joe Walch wrote recently on EducationNext an article entitled, "Gains in Teacher Quality". It highlights an apparent improvement in academic scores over the past few decades of individuals joining the teaching force in the United States. One item Goldhaber and Walch noted is the higher score in the scholastic assessment test (SAT):

Above figure copied from
"Gains in Teacher Quality"
The above trend has been shown about six years ago by a study released by the Education Testing Service (ETS):

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This ETS reports looks at the academic records of Praxis test takers. The Praxis Series ® assessments provide educational tests and other services that states use as part of their teaching licensing certification process. The ETS study also notes the increase in the academic performance (in terms of SAT and GPA) of Praxis test takers. The following figures are copied from "Teacher Quality in a Changing Policy Landscape: Improvements in the Teaching Pool":

Worth noting are the SAT scores of future teachers in math and science:

Of course, good academic scores do not guarantee effective teaching. It is likewise important to note as well that physical, special and elementary education teachers remain relatively weak compared to other teachers. But the trends are positive and are nonetheless promising.