Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Illusion of Highly Qualified Teachers to continue.

Parents won’t know it, but that “highly qualified teacher” in their kid’s classroom, may be a teacher in training. Don’t get me wrong, this isn't a criticism of those dedicated new graduates learning the profession, it’s the idea that they would be considered “highly qualified” already.

But for years, parents weren’t told how loose that qualification had become. It essentially helps private training colleges like the controversial teacher mill, Teach for America, grow and prosper.

Even worse, state exemptions from the horribly conceived law NCLB, will by itself, lower the bar even further when it comes to who is “highly qualified.”
Edweek: A provision in federal law about who is considered a highly qualified teacher would be perpetuated as lawmakers take up new spending bills for the coming fiscal year … the Senate merely left the door open to extending a provision that allows teachers still working on their certification to be considered "highly qualified" … The law says teachers must already be certified to qualify, but Education Department regulations allowed for teachers in alternative routes to be considered highly qualified, even if they were still working on their certification. For example, people in the classroom as part of the Teach for America training program would fall into this category.

In a letter earlier this week, several special education and disability advocacy groups, urged Congress not to extend the alternative routes to being highly qualified beyond next year. "Allowing this temporary provision to sunset on June 30, 2013 would represent an important step forward in providing thousands of high need students and families across the country equal access to high quality teachers.

But the House panel did just the opposite. That didn't sit well with James Wendorf, executive director of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, who said the House action will keep parents from knowing their children are being taught by teachers with all of their required qualifications.
Here’s what teacher mill Teach for America offers unsuspecting parents in mostly challenged school districts:
Point 3...a spelling error, really?
Some corps members were educators prior to joining, but many do not have any prior experience in the education field. Your potential as a corps member can shine through whether you’ve led your student government, achieved academic honors, managed a complex project at work, served our country in the armed forces, or rallied support for a cause that’s important to you. (One member wrote) “I was PETA’s VP of Policy for 13 years, and I developed motivational skills that I used in my classroom.”
The label “highly qualified” is nothing more than an advertising slogan now, a fabricated con that many parents will believe to be true. 

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