Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Will Congress compound its error on ‘highly qualified’ teachers?

Back in late 2010, Congress approved legislation that defined “highly qualified teachers” as including students still in teacher training programs. Now, instead of admitting that the definition doesn’t make much sense, Congress is on the road to passing new legislation to keep that definition on the books (even though a federal appellate court has ruled that it violates the No Child Left Behind law).
This week, and possibly as early as today, a Senate subcommittee is taking up an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act — known in its current form as No Child Left Behind — that deals with this issue.
Under NCLB, all children are supposed to have highly qualified teachers. School districts are supposed to let parents know which teachers are not highly qualified, and they are supposed to be equitably distributed in schools. But they aren’t.
In fact, teachers still in training programs are disproportionately concentrated in schools serving low-income students and students of color, the very children who need the very best the teaching profession has to offer. And the inequitable distribution of these teachers has a disproportionate impact on students with disabilities.

Read more of Valerie Strauss' Washington Post article HERE.
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