What’s “highly qualified” got to do with it? Not much, some say
School systems nationwide say having highly qualified teachers in their classrooms – a requirement of the federal No Child Left Behind Act – has had little impact on student achievement thus far, the Center on Education Policy reports.
To be considered "highly qualified," a teacher must have a bachelor’s degree, be fully certified and have subject-area expertise (proven by passing a state test or completing coursework, for example).
The U.S. Department of Education set the end of this past school year (2006-7) as the deadline for having all highly qualified teachers on board – a goal few states seemed likely to meet last fall.
According to the Center:
"More than half of all states and two-thirds (66 percent) of districts reported that the requirements have improved student achievement minimally or not at all. Only 6 percent of states and 4 percent of districts indicated that the requirements have improved achievement to a great extent."
A bleak assessment, indeed. For school systems in our area, what has your experience been? Has "highly qualified" made a difference?