Friday, December 31, 2010

When is an Unlicensed, Inexperienced, Untested Rookie "Highly Qualified"?

When the organization behind that rookie's placement has immense lobbying power.
Last week, an "anomaly amendment" was inserted into Congress's Continuing Resolution (a stop-gap that allows the government to continue functioning in the absence of an official budget.) The amendment in question allows teachers who are in an alternative certification program, regardless of the amount of time they've been teaching or whether or not they've obtained licensure in their respective states, to be considered "highly qualified" under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) regulations. It comes as no surprise that the amendment received a major push from Teach for America, a program whose mission is to place inexperienced teachers, most of whom are fresh out of college, in high needs schools across the country.
Is the goal here actually to staff troubled schools with highly qualified teachers? Or is it to maximize the size and budget of organizations like Teach For America, even if it diminishes overall teacher quality? (Via Schools Matter.)


  1. Nice. I had to take two comprehensive tests to become "highly qualified" in K-5 and English (6-12), respectively and then take two math classes to become highly qualified in math (6-12), all to keep my special ed job. Assholes.

  2. . . . but did taking the tests (and the math classes) make you "highly qualified" to teach or was it just something you had to do? (I'm guessing you were "highly qualified" before you took the test, it was just a block you had to check.)

    Isn't this sort of like Aaron's thoughts on exit exams from HS?



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