Special Ed. Teachers Face ‘No Child’ Complications

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To the Editor:

In response to your front-page article "NCLB Presents Middle School Complications" (Nov. 3, 2004): I have been a special education teacher in a Pennsylvania middle school for the past six years. Special education teachers in our state are extremely concerned about satisfying the “highly qualified” requirement of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

I recently downloaded information about the NCLB Bridge Certificate Program, Pennsylvania education officials’ plan for allowing some teachers to bypass the initially required college major or exam. Anyone who wants to understand “complications” should read this material for himself. A teacher first needs to obtain 12 points in one content area, then he or she needs to obtain an additional 18 points during the next three years in the same content area.

For someone teaching only one content area, bridge certification creates plenty of complications. For a special education teacher, the complications are multiplied: Most special education teachers teach three to five subjects. Will special education teachers be required to become “highly qualified” in the multiple subjects they teach?

I would very much appreciate it if Education Week would address the “complications” that special education teachers are facing in meeting the No Child Left Behind law’s requirements. I would further appreciate it if you could clearly define what requirements special education teachers need to fulfill in order to become “highly qualified” in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

Bernard P. Gasiorowski
King of Prussia, Pa.

Vol. 24, Issue 12, Page 34

Published in Print: November 17, 2004, as Special Ed. Teachers Face ‘No Child’ Complications

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