Recently, over 50 organizations signed a letter to President Obama citing concerns over a provision to the Continuing Resolution for government funding of NCLB passed in December. The provision allows states to identify teachers who are still in training (most often in alternate certification routes) as “highly qualified.”
Labeling under-prepared teachers as “highly qualified” is not only misleading, but also hinders efforts to place better teachers in schools that are often under-served. Students with the greatest needs often are placed under the instruction the worst educators. While a degree does not necessarily produce better teaching, it can’t be argued that the more preparation and practice an educator receives, the better his/her classroom methods become.
A line from Pink’s song Dear Mr. President keeps running through my mind: