An alternative, recently arrived in the political arena, is not more teachers but better ones, the “teacher quality” solution. If we set aside the condescension of the phrase, the fact that it has all been heard before … there is an important underlying truth: highly effective teachers can move students along at two or three times the typical rate. But there is another truth, usually ignored by those pushing the “quality” barrow: highly effective teaching is hard to do, hard to learn, and hard to find. It is exceptional. The proposition that we can make classroom maestros the rule rather than the exception by tinkering with pay structures, teacher education, bonus schemes and the like is implausible. It is also misdirected. Surely there is something fundamentally wrong with a unit that functions well only in the hands of a maestro? And therefore something wrong with reforms that leave unchanged the “organisational facts of life” to which teachers adapt?
Dean Ashenden via http://inside.org.au/frank-gagliados-schooling-a-one-hundred-year-view