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Few educational problems have received more attention in recent times than the failure to ensure that our nation’s elementary and secondary classrooms are all staffed with qualified teachers. Over the past couple of decades, dozens of studies, commissions, and national reports have bemoaned the quality of our teachers. As a result, there have been numerous policies and initiatives enacted at the federal, state, and local levels. The most significant of these efforts has been the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), enacted in 2002, which set an unprecedented goal to ensure that students are all taught by “highly qualified” teachers. These policies and initiatives have for the most part focused on either upgrading the education and preparation requirements for teachers, or on increasing recruitment and the incoming supply of teachers.


This is the definitive publisher-authenticated version of the following book chapter:
Richard M. Ingersoll, “Researcher Meets the Policy Realm: A Personal Account,” In When Research Matters: How Scholarship Influences Education Policy, edited by Frederick M. Hess, pp. 113-134. (Cambridge: Harvard Education Press, 2008).

Copyright © 2008 President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

This PDF has been reprinted with permission of the Harvard Education Press for personal use only. Any other use, print or electronic, will require written permission from the Press.

The Harvard Education Press is an imprint of the Harvard Education Publishing Group, publishers of the Harvard Educational Review, the Harvard Education Letter, and books under the imprint Harvard Education Press. HEPG’s editorial offices are located at 8 Story Street, First Floor, Cambridge, MA 02138, tel. 617-495-3432, or email to

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Date Posted: 25 July 2012