Calif. Court Invalidates ‘Individualized Intern’ Certification

By Joetta L. Sack — November 08, 2005 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A California court last week ordered the state to void permits for nearly 2,000 California teachers who hold a special license designed to help them meet the “highly qualified” mandate of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

A superior court judge in San Francisco told the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to immediately stop issuing “individualized intern certificates” to teachers who do not qualify for full licensure. The judge also ordered the commission to correct reports to the federal government on the state’s numbers of highly qualified teachers and to issue temporary teaching permits to those who currently hold the individualized intern certificate.

Compromise Upended

The decision was part of a settlement agreed to by the commission on a lawsuit brought against the state by an education advocacy group earlier this year.

The suit came after state education officials worked out a compromise with the U.S. Department of Education to allow teachers who held the individualized intern credential to be deemed highly qualified.

Many of those teachers had previously taught with emergency teaching permits, and many researchers and advocates criticized the certificate because teachers holding it might not be close to fulfilling the requirements to receive a permanent license. (“States Given Extra Year on Teachers,” Nov. 2, 2005.)

“This decision ensures that we will have a more accurate picture of the numbers of highly qualified teachers in California,” John Affeldt, the managing attorney at the San Francisco-based public-interest law firm Public Advocates Inc., said in a written statement.

“It also allows teachers and students to remain in their classrooms undisturbed while putting pressure on the state and districts to get everyone qualified.”

Mr. Affeldt’s firm argued the case on behalf of the advocacy group Californians for Justice. That statewide group charged that students in low-performing, high-poverty, or high-minority schools were more likely to be taught by a teacher who did not have a full credential.

The No Child Left Behind Act dictates that all students be taught by a highly qualified teacher in core academic classes, and states must certify that all veteran teachers meet that standard by the end of this academic year unless they receive a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education. California settled a case with the Education Department last year involving its use of the “highly qualified” label with teachers who were working with emergency permits.

Currently, fewer than 2,000 California teachers are using the individualized-intern certification, said Mary Armstrong, the general counsel for the state teaching commission.

About 4,000 of the permits have been issued since they were established in 2003, but the majority of those holders have either received permanent credentials or are no longer teaching, she said.

Few Immediate Effects

While the order will not immediately affect the teachers’ jobs, salaries, or benefits, their “highly qualified” classification will be affected. Those teachers will be able to continue teaching with temporary credentials while they work toward attaining a full credential.

Ms. Armstrong said the ruling will not significantly change the number of highly qualified teachers in the state. California has about 306,000 precollegiate teachers, but the state has seen severe shortages in recent years.

Under the ruling, the teaching commission must submit a revised count of highly qualified teachers in classes across the state to the legislature as well as to federal officials. In addition, the NCLB law requires all schools to notify parents if their children are in classrooms with noncertified teachers for more than four weeks.

A version of this article appeared in the November 09, 2005 edition of Education Week as Calif. Court Invalidates ‘Individualized Intern’ Certification


Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Social-Emotional Learning: Making It Meaningful
Join us for this event with educators and experts on the damage the pandemic did to academic and social and emotional well-being.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Privacy & Security Webinar
K-12 Cybersecurity in the Real World: Lessons Learned & How to Protect Your School
Gain an expert understanding of how school districts can improve their cyber resilience and get ahead of cybersecurity challenges and threats.
Content provided by Microsoft
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Trauma-Informed Schools 101: Best Practices & Key Benefits
Learn how to develop a coordinated plan of action for addressing student trauma and
fostering supportive, healthy environments.
Content provided by Crisis Prevention Institute

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal Conservative Backlash Pushes Biden Administration to Dissolve New National Parent Council
Parent advocacy groups sued the U.S. Department of Education over the council, claiming it was unlawfully biased.
6 min read
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona talks during a roundtable with School District of Philadelphia officials, the principal, a teacher, and a parent at the Olney Elementary School Annex in North Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona talks during a roundtable discussion last year in Philadelphia.
Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP
Federal How a Divided Congress Will Influence K-12 Education Policy
The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives education committees will have new leaders in January.
6 min read
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks Monday, June 13, 2022, during a debate with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C, Hosted by Fox News at the The Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston for a debate intended to prove that bipartisanship isn't dead.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a June debate with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C, at The Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston. Sanders is poised to become the chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
Josh Reynolds/AP
Federal What the Federal 'Don't Say Gay' Bill Actually Says
The bill would restrict federal funds for lessons on LGBTQ identities. The outcome of this week's election could revive its prospects.
4 min read
Demonstrators gather on the steps of the Florida Historic Capitol Museum in front of the Florida State Capitol on March 7, 2022, in Tallahassee, Fla. Florida House Republicans advanced a bill, dubbed by opponents as the "Don't Say Gay" bill, to forbid discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, rejecting criticism from Democrats who said the proposal demonizes LGBTQ people.
Demonstrators gather on the steps of the Florida Historic Capitol Museum in Tallahassee on March 7, 2022. Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law was a model for a federal bill introduced last month.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Federal Fed's Education Research Board Is Back. Here's Why That Matters
Defunct for years, the National Board for Education Sciences has new members and new priorities.
2 min read
Image of a conference table.