Wednesday, January 05, 2011

New law labels interns 'highly qualified teachers'

The Associated Press
Tuesday, January 4, 2011; 5:55 PM

SAN FRANCISCO -- Civil rights advocates are blasting new federal legislation that allows states to classify teaching interns as "highly qualified" teachers and regularly assign them to schools with mostly poor, minority students.

The measure, which remains in effect until the end of the 2012-13 school year, was signed Dec. 22 by President Barack Obama as part of an unrelated federal spending bill.

The legislation nullifies a Sept. 27 decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that California illegally classified thousands of teachers in training as "highly qualified" in violation of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Under that law, all students are supposed to be taught by "highly qualified" teachers who have earned state teaching credentials, but a 2004 Bush administration policy allowed states to give that status to interns working toward certification.

Read more HERE.

1 comment:

LegalBeaglette said...

It’s a case of playing fast and loose with the words “highly qualified,” but it’s nothing new.

As I have stated before, and as Ms. Abell well knows, a teacher can be labeled “highly qualified” – but the important distinction under NCLB is whether that “highly qualified” teacher is actually teaching content for which that teacher has gained that status. For example, a teacher employed by a school system with a BS in English may be “highly qualified” – to teach English.

If that individual is actually teaching math, however – and has inadequate credentials (or none at all) to teach math – then what you have is a “highly qualified” teacher who is NOT “highly qualified” under NCLB…because NCLB specifically relates the “highly qualified” distinction to the subject being taught.

Which is why (parents, are you listening?) it is important – and specifically your right under NCLB -- to ask for the qualifications of your child’s teacher(s).