"Today's accountability systems place the blame on schools for inadequate student academic achievement, which seems unfair to many people. They believe that family background and the socioeconomic mix of students in the classroom exert such a strong influence on student learning that teachers and schools can have only a limited effect. Important research from the 1960s appeared to bolster that view, but recent studies show clearly that a student can learn more from one teacher than from another and that teachers and schools matter. So the question now is not whether schools and teachers can make a difference, but how much they affect student learning."
NOTE: This is a PDF file and requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to open. If you do not have this, you can download it for free at the Adobe site by clicking on this ADOBE link.