Saturday, May 13, 2006

More Good News About Education

From the Associated Press:

Not a single state will have a highly qualified teacher in every core class this school year as promised by President Bush's education law. Nine states along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico face penalties.

Sigh. I don't have the time today to rip into this story as I would like, but for now I just want to through this out there. Here's a little more that defines "highly qualified":

States often fell short because they did not report accurate or complete data about the quality of the teacher corps, said Rene Islas, who oversees the department's review.

The 4-year-old No Child Left Behind law says teachers must have a bachelor's degree, a state license and proven competency in every subject they teach by this year. The first federal order of its kind, it applies to teachers of math, history and any other core class.

Later in the article the term is defined again:
Although the federal term is "highly qualified," the definition is widely regarded as more of a minimum qualification, because it requires teachers to know what they teach.
Why did the states hire teachers that didn't meet the standards outlined above?
Some teachers, particularly in small or rural areas, handle many subjects and have not met the law's details in each one. Many schools struggle just to find teachers in math, science or special education. And turnover is common, often blamed on salary and stress.
I've got points I would like to make about this, but most will have to wait until tomorrow. One that won't wait is this: If the states are willing to hire unqualified people for teaching, for which other functions are they willing to hire unqualified people? Until then, I'll let my five other readers comment away!

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