Chamber: Teacher quality key in improving schools

Nashville Business Journal:

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce released its 16th annual education report card Thursday, saying teacher quality is one of the most important factors in raising student achievement.
The chamber brings together business people and citizens each year to assess the school system.
Metro schools has missed the required No Child Left Behind benchmarks five times in the past six years. That moved the school system into “restructuring” from “corrective action” under the federal act, one year away from a possible state takeover.
The Education Report Card Committee said it was encouraged to see Metro offering a modest incentive pay plan to help recruit teachers in hard-to-staff subjects, as well as Mayor Karl Dean’s recruitment of two national nonprofits, The New Teacher Project and Teach for America, to bring new talent into the classrooms.
While there were some improvements in 2008, the committee said the city cannot have another year of waiting for a common vision for the standards the schools want to reach.
The chambers recommendations include: