There’s a lot of talk today about making our schools better and our teachers more effective. Researchers confirm that the right teachers can make a big difference in how much students learn, even in the most challenging schools, says Barnett Berry, founder and president of the Center for Teaching Quality, Inc. But scholars, educators, union leaders and policy wonks still disagree, sometimes vehemently, over what good teaching looks like. And it’s a high-stakes question. Political leaders at every level are demanding we evaluate and pay teachers based on student test scores and value-added statistical formulas. If that turns out to be a bad strategy, the long-term ramifications for the nation could be staggering…

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