ERIC Number: EJ759584
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Nov-2
Reference Count: N/A
Teachers: Point System Available to Earn "Qualified" Status
Sack, Joetta L.
Education Week, v25 n10 p16 Nov 2005
When President Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act into law with great fanfare in January 2002, plenty of skeptics said states and districts would not be able to meet its demanding expectations. They frequently pointed to the mandate that a "highly qualified" teacher be in every classroom in which a core subject is taught by the end of the 2005-06 school year. This article focuses on answering the following questions in response to this predicament: how would states already facing large shortages of teachers meet the requirement? Would many veteran teachers pass the bar? and What sort of systems could states build--given significant pressure from teachers' unions--to ensure that those veterans would face a high enough hurdle while allowing them fair credit for their years of classroom experience? Some researchers and teacher education experts now fear that the plans already approved for many states will reverse a decade of progress toward more exacting qualifications. Many states, they say, have weakened existing regulations, which some teachers could not pass, because of the federal mandate. U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings late last month outlined ways that states can get a year's grace in meeting the deadline. Most states have established a "point system" through "high objective uniform state standard of evaluation" (HOUSSE) plan to help veteran teachers who do not meet the obvious measures of subject-matter knowledge attain "highly qualified" status. Those systems, researchers say, vary widely in stringency and can weaken the intent of the NCLB law, depending on whether the state's goal is to narrow or expand the pipeline for qualifying teachers. As the now-extended deadline looms, only a handful of states appear willing to cooperate with the spirit of the law, contends Kate Walsh, the president of the Washington-based National Council on Teacher Quality. Some of the largest states--California, Florida, Michigan, and New York--are doing the worst jobs of building systems that ensure teachers are well versed in the subject matter they are teaching, according to Ms. Walsh's research.
Descriptors: Federal Legislation, State Standards, Academic Achievement, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Shortage
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Florida
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001