The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Another unintended side effect to NCLB

Here is a story of a teacher with a doctorate in classics studies whose students evidently have done extremely well in their Latin studies, yet must leave the profession because he doesn't meet the definition of "highly qualified" under the No Child Left Behind Law.

The next time you read a newspaper article talking about how numerous states are having trouble meeting the "highly qualified" standards of NCLB, just remember that those standards may have nothing to do with how good the teacher actually is in the classroom.

My opinion? They should expand the teacher licensing rules to allow a much wider group of degreed individuals into the profession under an "Apprentice" label of some kind and allow them to be licensed teachers based on proving themselves.

Current laws have loosened the rules somewhat but a person with a bachelor's degree is still looking at a minimum of another year of college under the " transition to teaching" programs.


a political agenda said...

NCLB is another polarizing issue. I should be keeping track of the mentions it gets just in our family. NCLB is approaching Satan as top evil doer.

"[h]e was not considered “highly qualified” by California education officials under their interpretation of the federal No Child Left Behind law."

But - let me check out this set of circumstances:

1). The 'protest' / awards program takes place in Santa Cruz, CA.

2). The school is a charter school.

3). The story is in the NYT.

My mind spins just thinking of all the political agendas whipped into this story.

So this teacher, a fine teacher -- no, an excellent teacher (at least by the standards of the NYT), "[r]ather than submit to what he considered an expensive, time-consuming indignity, a teacher-certification program geared to beginners" has chosen to leave the profession.

According to the interpretation of the local school board, this teacher had to display a minimum profeciency level. He chose not to do that.

Realtors pass tests. Automechanics pass tests. Pesticide applicators have to pass tests. I have to pass a licensing test to keep my job.

But, this teacher, because he has attained a PhD, because he made a personal decision to not take the test -- because it would be an indignity -- is the poster child for the failings of NCLB.

I'm not saying that NCLB is a panacea.

But there are good people and not so good people in every profession. Setting out some minimum standard for skills and performance is not an unreasonble expectation.

Again, this man needed to pass an entry level test, geared to beginners. Why not just take the test, pass it an get on with life.

Oh wait, I guess you wouldn't get to make a political statement and get your name in the NYT that way, would you...

hopeful said...

We are really missing out by only having "certified" teachers working with our children - set up another set of qualifying standards which allow those who love to teach and have a college degree to do so - many, inlcuding myself, would love the opportunity, and pay is not the motivation - just a love to teach and a belief that we can make a difference!