Since UW is a research institution, in the past they have valued star researchers over star teachers, because distinguished researchers bring in money and prestige. However with rising tuition costs, students are becoming less tolerant of incompetent teaching assistants. Washington is one of the schools noted in the article to have increased training with experts to mentor new TA's and major training conferences held each year.
In the past you could get away with being poor in the class room, as long as you published great papers. According to Donald Wulff, who heads up Washington's Center for Instructional Development and Research, "To get tenure you have to be a great researcher and I think a medium-quality teacher. In the past, being a great researcher and a poor teacher sufficed."
It's nice to see that the UW cares about our education despite the focus on research. For the most part the instructors I've taken have been very good. Occasionally there is a terrible instructor or one that isn't fluent in English. Still the quality of instruction can be improved, and I'm glad UW is taking steps to accomplish this. What do you think about this?