Has Eric Hanushek been reading Jack Welch? Economist Eric A. Hanushek calls for "deselecting" 5% to 10% of teachers each year. The book, Creating a New Teaching Profession, is edited by Dan Goldhaber and Jane Hannaway. In a profession where roughly 1% or fewer are dropped each year, this is a radical idea.
Evidently, Hanushek believes that this alone could drastically change the teaching profession. It makes sense. Much has been written about the difficulty of firing teachers, even terrible ones. In a recent article, Patrick R. Gibbons of the Nevada Policy Research Institute states that Nevada terminated only approximately .6% of its teachers in 2008. Four states fired even fewer teachers than Nevada.
Some might argue with Welch's tactics, but they can't argue with his results. On the other hand, it's pretty clear that the education system is not getting the results we expect and need. If one argues against Hanushek, would he or she argue that we hire such great teachers that it would be inexcusable to fire 10% of them?
From test results to parent opinions, it's clear that teachers, while not responsible for all of the problems of education, bear some responsibility. It is really far fetched to think that 10% need to go? In fact, it seems entirely reasonable that the number may need to be higher.