This report treats the current status of the teaching profession at a time when renewed efforts to improve the quality of American education are occurring at the federal, state, and local levels. The report demonstrates that dramatic changes in our nation's teaching force will soon lead to serious shortages of qualified teachers unless policies that restructure the teaching profession are pursued. The report analyzes recent data indicating changes in the recruitment and retention patterns of the American teaching force, in the quality of teachers, and in the attractiveness of teaching as a profession. The author concludes that if we are serious about improving the quality of education, we will have to make more than marginal changes in the attractiveness of the teaching profession. The search for excellence as it is being conducted in most states will not solve the problem. Fundamental reform of the teaching profession will be required.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.
This research in the public interest was supported by RAND, using discretionary funds made possible by the generosity of RAND's donors, the fees earned on client-funded research, and independent research and development (IR&D) funds provided by the Department of Defense.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.