McKinsey: US should channel top talent to teaching profession

McKinsey & Co. argue that one of the factors responsible for the decline of US education in international rankings is the education system’s failure to attract and retain top talent:

McKinsey’s experience with school systems in more than 50 countries suggests that this is an important gap in the US debate. In a new report, Closing the talent gap: Attracting and retaining top-third graduates to careers in teaching, we review the experiences of the world’s top-performing systems, in Finland, Singapore, and South Korea. These countries recruit 100 percent of their teacher corps from the top third of the academic cohort. Along with strong training and good working conditions, this extraordinary selectivity is part of an integrated system that promotes the prestige of teaching—and has achieved extraordinary results. In the United States, by contrast, only 23 percent of new teachers come from the top third, and just 14 percent of new teachers who come from the top third work in high-poverty schools, where attracting and retaining talented people is particularly difficult.

You can download the full report here.

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