Recognizing the importance of teacher quality in transforming underperforming schools, Education Secretary Arne Duncan has made retaining and rewarding effective teachers a cornerstone of his school reform agenda. But a recent report that suggests 40 percent of U.S. teachers are disheartened with their profession indicates how difficult these challenges will be.

The report is based on a nationwide study, "Teaching for a Living: How Teachers See the Profession Today," and was conducted by Public Agenda, a New York City-based nonprofit research organization, and by Learning Point Associates, a nonprofit education research and consulting organization based in Chicago, Ill., in partnership with


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