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To Build a Better Teacher: The Emergence of a Competitive Education Industry

Recorded on May 12, 2004

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

In his new book, Robert Gray Holland proposes an alternative vision compatible with the emerging 21st Century paradigm of a competitive education industry: Lower unnecessary barriers to teaching so that bright persons of diverse background and disposition can become teachers. Set up an alternative track so that bright liberal arts graduates or persons with valuable real-world experience can be hired as teachers and put under the supervision of experienced mentors. Apply value-added assessment to these new teachers, and to veteran teachers as well, so that principals can see how much each teacher has helped each child progress academically - or not - from school year to school year. Holland's plan to break up the teacher-prep monopoly is bound to be controversial, and, as such, should be of great interest to all - from parents and administrators to teachers and policy makers - concerned with improving the state of American education.

In any survey conducted by policy analysts of those interested in the issues that are on the minds of the public, education is at the top of the list. . . Bob Holland makes the case, that in the absence of proof to the contrary, change has to occur if we want improvement in the product, the product being those children who have been entrusted to our care, instruction, and nurturing.
                                   - The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder