Sidetracking the Debate on Teacher Quality

November 14, 2006 1 min read

For a decade, policymakers and educators have debated how best to place a highly qualified teacher into every classroom. But this effort has been unintentionally sidetracked, as No Child Left Behind “has become an exercise in meeting the lowest common denominator of quality,” write Roy E. Barnes and Joseph A. Aguerrebere Jr. in this Education Week Commentary.

Barnes and Aguerrebere argue that credit hours and criminal-background checks get more attention than factors needed to make a person highly qualified to teach, namely skills and knowledge. Setting “minimal standards will not significantly improve teacher quality,” they say, but establishing a national certification board that ensures higher-order teaching skills just may be the ticket.

What do you think? Has the quest for teaching excellence been helped or hampered by the No Child Left Behind Act?

A version of this news article first appeared in the TalkBack blog.