This paper nails the issues surrounding teacher quality in America and defines the steps we as a nation can and must take to ensure every child receives a great education.
Was it Einstein who defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result? We will never have great schools for all kids until we have great teachers for all kids, and that means changing how we hire, train and employ teachers. Most importantly we need to make it easier for principals and districts to remove those teachers who have proven themselves to be incapable and/or ineffective in the classroom. This will in turn facilitate rewarding good and dedicated teachers with better pay and improved work environments. The kids deserve good teachers, and those teachers deserve a well-paid job in which they can be successful and honored.
Until we change how we view and structure the profession of K-12 teaching, we will continue to have the same depressing (and unjust) results in our nation's schools.