In 1996, a blue-ribbon panel of scholars, governors, and policymakers, named the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF), was convened to discuss the state of education in the United States today. Their work, contained in What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future (NCTAF, 1996), underscored the importance of quality teachers and good teaching in improving the performance of America’s public schools. This report emphasizes the fact that what teachers know and can do is an important influence on what students learn.