Retired IBM Exec Assembles Panel to Study Teacher Retention
Louis V. Gerstner Jr., who recently retired as chairman of I.B.M., has convened a special panel to study how to recruit and retain excellent teachers. Gerstner has chosen educators, corporate executives and politicians to study the problem with him. President Bush's educational plan calls for every classroom to have a "highly qualified" teacher by the 2005 school year, but 22% of high school students have teachers with neither a major nor a minor in the subject they teach, and 17% of high school students have teachers who are not certified. Mr. Gerstner's commission will study the problem for up to 14 months before deciding on a plan of action. The commission is being funded by corporate and foundation donations, and Mr. Gerstner's own money. Gerstner said, "Our objective is to drive this topic to a level of political commitment that we see real change." Arthur Levine, president of Teachers College, questioned the need for the commission. "We have had a cornucopia of study commissions on teacher education in America," he said. "I sort of shrug my shoulders and say, `Why not just act and do this?' Isn't this exactly what academia and government gets criticized for? We don't need this problem studied again. We need action."
The article, entitled "A Quest to Upgrade Teaching" appeared in the January 22nd edition of the New York Times.
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