Article 1: Link: Bad Teachers: Reform Them Or Retire Them?

Subheading: NEWSWEEK's Evan Thomas and The New York Times' Elizabeth Green discuss whether educators are born or made.

Article 2: Link: Why We Must Fire Bad Teachers

Subheading: In no other profession are workers so insulated from accountability.

I guess the issues we often talk about on this site are not unique to the UK [not that I thought they were] It is just so surprising to see such strongly worded articles with phrases like:

An upsetting number of teachers are not helping children learn as much as we want them to. A smaller group of teachers are actively impeding learning. It is insanely difficult to fire these bad teachers, and the teaching profession at large is an insanely isolated one in which it is not unusual for the only people who ever observe the professional at work to be 9 years old.

I don't mean to suggest that removing underperformers is a bad goal. I certainly had a few teachers who I think were unfairly protected by the public system's apparatus of defenses.
From the second article:

The relative decline of American education at the elementary- and high-school levels has long been a national embarrassment as well as a threat to the nation's future. Once upon a time, American students tested better than any other students in the world. Now, ranked against European schoolchildren, America does about as well as Lithuania, behind at least 10 other nations.

What really makes a difference, what matters more than the class size or the textbook, the teaching method or the technology, or even the curriculum, is the quality of the teacher.
I guess I shouldn't be so surprised. It is just finding 'Ofsted like' comments from outside our familiar surroundings.

If you get what I mean...