Sunday, January 14, 2007

For Teachers, Being 'Highly Qualified' Is a Subjective Matter

According to an article by Michael Alison Chandler in the Washington Post on Saturday, there seems to be some loopholes in the No Child Left Behind Act when it comes to 'highly qualified teachers'.

To overhaul public education, the No Child Left Behind law required a massive expansion of student testing. But it also called for states to ensure that all teachers in core academic subjects are "highly qualified" to help students succeed -- an unprecedented mandate that has delivered less than promised.

The law, which turned five years old this week, has held schools to increasingly higher standards for student achievement. For teachers, however, standards meant to guarantee that they know their subjects are often vague and open to broad interpretation.

For the complete article, click here.


Margaret said...

Wake up, people, and read the fine print. "Highly Qualified" is not synonymous with good, old-fashioned competent. All "highly qualified" means is that a person has taken the right coursework and passed the right tests in order to teach in one particular state. One with a master's degree could be "highly qualified" to teach in Virginia, but not North Carolina and vice versa. And both could - potentially - be utterly incompetent standing in front of a class of 25 students and actually applying all that book knowledge. In my opinion, "highly qualified" should not only take into account coursework and teacher testing, but 1/3 of the credentialing process should be weighted on whether or not 80% of the students in his/her class were able to gain a year's worth of knowledge, as measured on a state/county-wide standardized test, in one year. No doubt, competent and highly qualified is my preference, but should it come down to a choice, this is one parent who would gladly choose competent over highly qualified.... any day!

Anonymous said...

I agree. These teachers should be hired AND fired weighted heavily on the performance of the students in their class. How about crappy AP scores? What's that all about?
I read an article in USA Today that
a small percentage of these "highly qualified" teachers actually know the subject matter. They find that the strong arm (whimpy but threatening) teacher's unions squash the reporting of incompetent teachers in the schools. God knows, there are many in this school system.
Science and Math are especially filled with incompetent baby sitters.
My kid at a local high school says that their science teacher sits at their computer, goofing around during most of all class periods, while the students are to sit quietly working on worksheets.

It's no wonder that Richmond has the gestapo tactics of keeping parents out of their kids schools except for (2) 45 minute periods every quarter.
My question is, why in the hell are
we not censuring this guy, overiding him, and quickly writing a new policy?
I'm glad Roberta Wise thinks that we offended her by talking about a lousy school system. Why doesn't the local newspaper report all the violence and disrespect of the animals in these schools?