from Renewing America

Morning Brief: Strategies to Keep Good Teachers

A teacher reads to first grade students (gibsonsgolfer/flickr).
A teacher reads to first grade students (gibsonsgolfer/flickr).

July 31, 2012

A teacher reads to first grade students (gibsonsgolfer/flickr).
A teacher reads to first grade students (gibsonsgolfer/flickr).
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Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

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The New Teacher Project (TNTP) released a report indicating that many public school leaders are failing to find and support good teachers (Education Week). The study found that both the most and least successful teachers leave at the same rate. In one school district, only one fifth of the lowest performing teachers were encouraged to leave, while over one third were encouraged to stay. The report recommends making retention of "irreplaceable" teachers a priority, and reinforcing the teaching profession through higher expectations. TNTP was founded in 1997 by Michelle Rhee, who went on to become chancellor of public schools in Washington, DC.

The report of CFR's Independent Task Force on U.S. Education Reform and National Security, co-chaired by Joel I. Klein and Condoleezza Rice, asserts that fixing the nation’s underperforming K-12 schools is critical to economic competitiveness and national security.

Education and human capital. Read more from experts discussing ways to improve U.S. education and immigration policies.


Apps Shift to Automatic

Tech visionaries see a future where apps blend seamlessly into daily life (TechCrunch). Rather than requiring users to learn new behaviors, apps should run in the background and act automatically when necessary. New examples of this paradigm include "Pay with Square," which makes checkouts at brick-and-mortar stores a breeze, and Flock, a photo-sharing site from Bump Technologies that automatically compiles shared photo albums (VentureBeat).

In the face of persistently high unemployment, policymakers and workers look to innovation and entrepreneurship, the primary engine of U.S. job growth over the past thirty years. This CFR Backgrounder by Steven J. Markovich discusses how entrepreneurs create and finance startups, including some insight from Bump Technologies co-founder and CEO David Lieb.

Innovation. Read more on how the U.S. capacity to innovate could play a chief role in economic growth.

Debt and Deficits

Delivering a Potential Solution for USPS

Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) discussed his ideas to revitalize the U.S. Post Office (USPS) with Bloomberg Businessweek. USPS may default on a $5.6 billion payment to the Treasury. Carper has a plan to trim the USPS workforce of 550,000 by around 100,000, and to pare back the number of post offices and distribution centers. His legislation would also reimburse the USPS with $11 billion that it has "overpaid" to the federal employee retirement system.

Debt and deficits. Read more from experts on the challenges in reducing U.S. debt.

International Trade and Investment

Congress Debates Farm Bill

The editors of Bloomberg came out strongly against the proposed five-year farm bill. They argue that the proposed legislation—including a new crop insurance program that encourages farmers to plant in marginal fields and includes deep cuts to food stamps—would be far worse than simply extending current law one more year. House leaders are striving to come up with enough votes to pass a one-year extension, while the Senate may hold out for the five-year bill (TheHill).

International trade and investment. Read more from leading analysts on the debate over next steps in U.S. trade policy.

The Morning Brief is compiled by Renewing America contributor Steven J. Markovich.

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