A Variety of Links on Education
One can start here (or Google), by searching for an article titled "Fierce battle a preview of U.S. debate on education" on teacher quality and its effects on our schools.
And to finish, there are Jerry Pournelle's thoughts. It seems like such a simple thing: get rid of the poor performers! But taking a dues-paying member from the National Education Assocation (the teacher's union for government schools) is like taking candy from a particularly irritable baby.