PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In the United States, about a third of beginning teachers leave the profession within five years, mostly because they feel ineffective or unsupported, costing districts $7.3 billion annually.

With diverse populations like ours, Finland, Ontario and Singapore are among the highest-performing jurisdictions in the world. Acknowledging the relationship of teachers to student achievement, each of those places has a system for recruiting, developing and retaining talented individuals as teachers and leaders. Policies are in place on their preparation, induction, professional development, evaluation and retention.

Entry into teacher education programs is selective. Prospective teachers are carefully screened, spend a third of their time in the classroom and even in elementary school, demonstrate mastery in a content area. Most are expected to earn graduate degrees.

Teaching in high-performing areas is regarded as an attractive profession, elevating it like medicine and law. Awards are given for excellence and salary ranges are good. Teachers have time to collaborate, set goals and develop their own assessments.

A new report by the Alliance for Excellent Education provides models of these systems that clearly work.

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

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