It has become an article of faith in the Washington thinktankocracy that teachers are the most important factor in their students' success. That's not an entirely bad thing. What professional doesn't want to be thought important?
But think-tank dwellers often draw the wrong conclusions from this claim. Most of their talk about teachers focuses on how to fire the bad ones, hire the good ones, and pay the really good ones. Too few people spare a thought for the environment and support teachers need to succeed.