Katie Couric's Notebook: Education Reform

When DC schools chancellor Michelle Rhee announced Friday that she was firing more than 200 ineffective teachers, their union chief blasted the move as punitive and unfair. Others have insisted that Rhee's corporate model doesn't belong in schools.

But, as the president said today, education is an economic issue. Failing schools threaten our global standing. And adults who don't attend college are twice as likely to be unemployed.

The key, by all accounts, is teachers. One new study found that an excellent kindergarten teacher is worth $320-thousand dollars per year. That's how much more his or her students will earn as adults than their peers.

The average kindergarten teacher earns less than one-sixth of that.... though both Rhee and Obama plan to reward good teachers with higher pay.

Ultimately, no one likes mass firings and evaluations must be fair. But quality control is essential for keeping our kids... and our country... ahead of the curve.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.