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Why Teachers Have A Tougher Job Than Doctors

It’s no secret that Japanese kids perform much better on international math tests than Americans do. Japan is ranked second in the world, while the US is  below average.

But there’s a surprising twist. Japanese teachers’ methods for teaching math were developed in the United States, yet never caught on here. Why not? Perhaps because many Americans assume good teachers are born, not trained; that teaching well requires innate talent, or recruiting the best and brightest to begin with.

Elizabeth Green, who founded the education news site Chalkbeat.org and serves as its editor and CEO, spent five years researching those assumptions. Vox interviews her about her new book, Building a Better Teacher.