The NY Times today talks about how the AFT has a woman (who spoke to the BTU during the campaign) who is seriously tackling the issue of ensuring that we have good teachers.
I think this is the crux of the charter school debate. No politician wants to take on the teachers union, yet they have to do something about improving education. One of the problems (not the only one) is how to deal with teachers who are not effective.
Measuring teacher performance and having a mechanism to eliminate teachers would seem to be part of the solution.
I'm amazed when I speak to kids in schools how often they talk about teachers who didn't care, or they thought weren't teaching the subject very well. The first step is to give every teacher help to become a better teacher, often, I suspect, like many of us, they aren't aware of their own shortcomings. When they are teaching our future, we need to make sure they are at their optimum.