What if "improving teacher quality" isn't the answer?
Think of the ramifications for public education if it's not. It's a chilling thought, and one that merits some serious thought.
There is the broader/bolder crowd, that argues that it's unfair to hold schools accountable for raising student achievement because so much that influences achievement is outside of schools' control. There is the growing chorus of voices that wonders whether "closing the achievement gap" should continue to be the primary objective of our education system, mostly because such an objective implies that we are not much interested in maximizing the progress of white, middle-class, and/or high-achieving students.
While I agree that schools alone can't fix the problem of student achievement, that does mean that schools shouldn't do everything in their power to affect what and who they can. Let's not use "we can't control what goes on in the home" as an excuse not to do anything.