One of the biggest questions facing the education system is the issue of convincing the best and brightest teachers to work in districts that are in the greatest need of outstanding teachers. The problem, of course, is that there is often little incentive to push established teachers out of comfortable roles without offering better financial compensation or some other incentive for leaving their current position. According to Luke Weil, one way to improve the quality of teaching in disadvantaged districts is to focus on placing outstanding future teachers there during their student teaching.
There have been several studies that have shown that most teachers will look to work in districts that are close to their hometown. That is, unless, they have done their student teaching in a disadvantaged district, in which case they are more likely to pursue a professional opportunity in a similar district. Exposing teachers to a rewarding opportunity where there is a greater need for their talents also helps in retention and ensures that the best teachers remain in the profession for many years to come.
A simple change in policy with regard to how student teachers are placed could help these educationally disadvantaged districts significantly, leveling the playing field for students across the country so that income and affluence does not have such a clear impact on educational opportunity. If student-teaching placement could be done with a greater focus on exposing teachers to these educational environments, the whole system could be improved as a result.