Boston Globe, 10/1/2014
I personally believe that the main reason for this to happen is weak preparation provided by middle and high schools.
Nobody expects an 8th-grader to succeed in a college. I however have seen adult college students with the knowledge and skills not exceeding of the ones of an 8th-grader.
New-York Times, 10/1/1014
It is a simple formula: a good school == good teachers (and v.v.).
Evaluating schools by learning outcomes of students is important. However, directly evaluating teacher corps and facilitating constant improvement of the professionalism of teachers will inevitably lead to higher evolutions of schools – no mater which scale or procedure being used. Is there any singular ability/skill/aptitude/talent which can be chosen to evaluate a teacher? I would choose as the one the desire for perpetuate professional self-improvement.