More than 90% of school principals rate ex-soldiers as more effective than conventionally-trained teachers.
When the US was downsizing its armed forces in the aftermath of the first Gulf War, it was faced with the problem of providing new careers for redundant soldiers, sailors and airmen. Many of them grew up in rough urban areas where schools use metal detectors to check pupils for weapons, and corridors are patrolled by armed police.
Under the Troops to Teachers programme, they were paid to retrain as teachers—and then they went back into inner-city schools to show their students that there was a better life outside of street gangs and crack dens. The programme has proved an outstanding success. Principals (heads) overwhelmingly rate them as more effective than conventionally-trained teachers.
Considering that most American principals are themselves conventionally-trained, it is remarkable that they rate ex-soldiers so highly. Troops to Teachers is one of those rare programmes—such as selling council houses to their occupants in the UK—which has been widely acclaimed as a resounding success.