ABSTRACT: Those concerned with educational policy face a stark reality: the students failing to
achieve even minimal levels of educational achievement typically are taught by
individuals whose qualifications are relatively weakest and often inadequate. These same
students are most dependent upon their teachers and schools for academic learning, as
nearly all of them come from disadvantaged home and community environments. This
reality raises a set of questions: What is the extent to which teacher quality differs across
student groups? What are the underlying causes and consequences for student learning?
How can public policies best address the challenge of assuring that all students are taught
by the high quality teachers needed for their educational success? We address these
questions in this chapter.