New Book: 'Teacher Quality 2.0' by Frederick M. Hess and Michael Q. McShane

  • Title:

    Teacher Quality 2.0: Toward a New Era in Education Reform
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  • 304 Paperback pages
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CONTACT: [email protected], 202.862.5829

Everyone talks about education reform, but systemic thinking about reform is lacking—until now. Teacher Quality 2.0 provides rich historical context, pulls together successful elements of current reforms, and then pioneers new, systemic ways of thinking about the third rail of education—teacher quality. A must-read for anyone serious about real and lasting reform for all kids.
—Rick Ogston, CEO, Carpe Diem Schools

Debates over teacher quality are among the most heated exchanges in the education reform arena.
This should come as no surprise given that research shows teachers are the single most important in-school factor affecting student achievement.

Solutions up until now have been fairly conventional, such as implementing teacher evaluation systems and increasing funding. However, as the education system in America evolves, the role of teachers is changing along with it. These changes require new and innovative strategies to improve teacher quality.

In Teacher Quality 2.0, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) education experts Frederick M. Hess and Michael Q. McShane convene a diverse array of contributors to examine fruitful innovations that promise to improve teacher quality in a more strategic way. Much of the cutting-edge work in teacher quality is happening in nontraditional environments, such as online or hybrid learning or charter schools that are exploring new approaches to staffing. The editors provide examples of schools that are experimenting with new models for recruiting, training, and supporting teachers, and that are using inventive strategies for deploying their talents through differentiated roles and the use of technology. Teacher Quality 2.0 also explores various policy options that could support these new practices.

Some of the innovative methods discussed include:

  • Teacher Staffing: Schools such as Merit Preparatory Charter School of Newark are experimenting with unique staffing models like multi-classroom leadership, where master teachers lead teacher teams. Other schools, like Washington D.C.’s Ingenuity Prep, have success with specialization in which elementary school teachers specialize in specific subjects and teach multiple grade levels, much like high school teachers.


  • Technological Resources for Teachers: Online schools like Carpe Diem Public Collegiate High School in Yuma, AZ have students spend the majority of their day learning through customized curricula on computers, which allows teachers to provide one-on-one assistance. Similarly, Rocketship, a network of public charter schools, divide student learning time between computer-based learning and traditional classroom learning.


  • Professionalization and Preparation: Washington DC Public Schools are changing the way teachers are compensated to improve teacher quality. Their teacher evaluation system, IMPACT, allows teachers to earn bonuses based on his/her evaluations not just degrees or experience. The University of Chicago’s urban teacher education program focusing on better preparing teachers by providing them with more clinical experience before beginning in a classroom.

By exploring these emerging practices and investigating how current research and policy initiatives may affect the next generation of innovation in teaching, this provocative volume provides a blueprint for what teacher quality will look like moving forward.

Frederick M. Hess is a resident scholar and director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Michael Q. McShane is a research fellow in education policy studies at AEI.

Additional related content:
VIDEO: Teacher Quality 2.0
COMMENTARY: The teacher evaluation confronts the future- Education Week
COMMENTARY: Union freakouts are hurting the hunt for good teachers- The Washington Post
COMMENTARY: A Mantra for k-12 philanthropy: First, do no harm- Education Week

For media inquiries, please contact AEI Media Services at [email protected] or 202.862.5829.

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About the Author


Frederick M.


Michael Q.

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