EDITORIAL

It's the Teachers

Science  13 Jan 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6065, pp. 146
DOI: 10.1126/science.1218159

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Summary

The poor performance of U.S. students on International Measures of Science and Math has been bemoaned by everyone from the president to concerned parents. The first Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) results were released in 1995 and the first Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) test results in 2000. The education reforms that they helped to motivate have had little impact on U.S. performance, and the country continues to hope for a simple solution that will miraculously turn the tide. But there are no quick fixes in the world of education. Instead, the United States must commit to the laborious task of improving the teachers we train and the environment in which they teach, while providing teachers with a respect and trust commensurate with their critical societal roles.