Low salaries aren’t the only obstacles when it comes to filling teacher vacancies. According to an Arizona Republic story, the No Child Left Behind “highly qualified” requirement could be contributing to local and national teacher shortages. To be eligible for hire, teachers must now have a bachelor’s degree, a state certification or license, and a proven knowledge of their subject. For most, a major in their subject, an advanced certification from the state, or a graduate degree satisfies the “proven knowledge” prerequisite. With NCLB under review, some school leaders and politicians argue that these requirements don’t reflect effective teaching and actually prevent talented teachers from reaching the classroom.
Sens. Norm Coleman, R-Minn, Joe Lieberman, I-Conn, and Mary Landrieu, D-La, are proposing an education bill, All Students Can Achieve Act of 2007, that would grant states greater flexibility for measuring teacher effectiveness. “In our proposal, we ask states to focus for the first time on actual teacher performance, rather than simply on paper qualifications,” Lieberman told AP.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.