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Book Review

Teaching Talent: A Visionary Framework for Human Capital in Education

About 80% of education spending is devoted to personnel, yet the capacity of schools and districts to recruit, develop, and retain top talent is stunningly low compared with other knowledge sectors. This problem is most profoundly felt in urban school systems, which creates tremendous inequity for the students who most need a high-quality education.

Human capital is one of the most important levers we have for improving school effectiveness and student achievement. However, educators, district leaders, and policymakers are just beginning to recognized that strengthening human capital should be a top priority—and to act on that recognition.

This book presents a framework for human capital development that draws on a two-year initiative by the Aspen Institute Education and Society Program to research sectors that have effective, well-developed human capital systems and point the way toward human capital innovations in public education.

The book first identifies the elements of a robust human capital strategy in education—teacher recruitment and career development; the principal’s role in ensuring teacher quality; and the district’s role in creating the conditions necessary to support effective human capital management. It then offers a comprehensive framework that weaves these elements together.