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Abstract

What can the law do to improve teacher quality? In answering this question, one can be forgiven for thinking about regulation rather than litigation. At the federal
level, most litigation-heavy education laws are antidiscrimination statutes, focused on protecting certain categories of students rather than on enforcing high teaching standards. Meanwhile, teacher quality has become a central aspect of education "policy" statutes. Lax teacher preparation standards and poor hiring policies, in particular, create challenges for the education
sys­ tem. Good teachers not only increase students' scores on standardized tests; they also can lower students' teen pregnancy rates, increase their likelihood of going to college, and raise their lifetime incomes.

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