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The rich philanthropists, hedge fund managers, state governors, big-city mayors, and syndicated columnists now shaping national education policy have reached a firm conclusion. The Number One factor in student performance is teacher performance. Poverty, broken homes, lead and mercury poisoning, bad teeth, poor eyesight, language difficulties,...

As part of Teacher Appreciation Week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan published an open letter to America’s teachers. Perhaps Secretary Duncan writes his own speeches—but the fact that the U.S. Department of Education lists 124 employees for the Office of Communications and Outreach suggests otherwise. Perhaps the...