The U.S. consistently falls behind the rest of the world in PISA scoring and other international exams. For the past several decades, education policy has centered around improving education at the student level, while overlooking the quality of the most important actor — teachers. As the shortage of teachers continues to increase across the United States, political leaders attempt to remedy this situation by emergency credentialing teachers, waiving important testing requirements, and increasing teacher salaries without the improvement of measured performance. This paper analyzes case studies both internationally and at the state level to offer an alternative that will seek to legitimize teachers among other highly professional careers. The policy suggested will be to raise the standards of teachers, while also giving them the pay they deserve. By learning from and mimicking countries like Finland, which have inspired a cultural shift in the teaching profession, the U.S. will have a better chance at credentialing highly qualified teachers and, in turn, increase student performance to compete with the rest of the world and improve the education system.
LaCreta, Christopher (2023) "A Cultural Shift in Education: Raising the Standards and Value of Public School Teachers in the US," Pepperdine Policy Review: Vol. 15, Issue 1. Available at: https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/ppr/vol15/iss1/1