Federal

Calif. Group Sues Over ‘Highly Qualified’ Label

By Catherine Gewertz — August 09, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A California activist group has sued the state commission on teacher credentialing, contending it is misleading the public by enabling teachers with emergency credentials to serve as “highly qualified” educators under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The lawsuit focuses on the commission’s creation of the “individualized internship certificate” three years ago. The policy allows teachers with emergency credentials who have demonstrated subject-matter competence—but not yet completed all their pedagogical coursework—to teach and be considered highly qualified under the federal law.

Mary C. Armstrong, the general counsel for the credentialing commission, said the state board of education approved the certificate as a way to recognize a subgroup of emergency-certified educators who had reached a certain level of skill and were working toward full credentials.

The suit, filed in superior court in San Francisco by the group Californians for Justice on Aug. 2, says the commission has issued more than 2,800 such certificates. Ms. Armstrong said the latest figures she has show that 2,600 had been issued by June 2004.

‘Really Misleading’

Michelle Rodriguez, a lawyer from San Francisco-based Public Advocates Inc., which is representing the plaintiffs, said the teachers working with the new certificate fall short of the federal law’s requirements because they are not in a rigorous credentialing program with classroom supervision. “It really is misleading to call these people ‘highly qualified’ teachers,” she said.

Ms. Armstrong said the aspiring teachers do receive supervision in the classroom. “We stand behind the certificate,” she said.

The lawsuit is the latest development in an ongoing controversy in California over the definition of “highly qualified” teachers. In 2002, the state proposed a definition of “highly qualified” that included emergency-certified teachers, sparking opposition from activists and some lawmakers, and, ultimately, rejection by the U.S. Department of Education. Tougher rules adopted in 2003 prohibit application of the label to educators with only emergency credentials.

A version of this article appeared in the August 10, 2005 edition of Education Week as Calif. Group Sues Over ‘Highly Qualified’ Label

Events

Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
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.
Sponsor
Science Webinar
Close the Gender Gap: Getting Girls Excited about STEM
Join female STEM leaders as they discuss the importance of early cheerleaders, real life role models, and female networks of support.
Content provided by Logitech
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.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
Mission Possible: Saving Time While Improving Student Outcomes
Learn how district leaders are maximizing instructional time and finding the best resources for student success through their MTSS framework.
Content provided by Panorama Education

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 What’s Behind the Push for a $60K Base Teacher Salary
When reintroduced in Congress, a bill to raise teacher salaries will include money to account for regional cost differences.
5 min read
Teachers from Seattle Public Schools picket outside Roosevelt High School on what was supposed to be the first day of classes, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, in Seattle. The first day of classes at Seattle Public Schools was cancelled and teachers are on strike over issues that include pay, mental health support, and staffing ratios for special education and multilingual students.
Teachers from Seattle Public Schools picket outside Roosevelt High School on what was supposed to be the first day of classes, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, in Seattle. The first day of classes at Seattle Public Schools was cancelled and teachers are on strike over issues that include pay, mental health support, and staffing ratios for special education and multilingual students.
Jason Redmond/AP
Federal Teachers Shouldn't Have to Drive Ubers on the Side, Education Secretary Says
In a speech on priorities for the year, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said teachers should be paid competitive salaries.
5 min read
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona delivers a speech during the “Raise the Bar: Lead the World” event in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 24, 2023.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona delivers a speech during the “Raise the Bar: Lead the World” event in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 24, 2023.
Sam Mallon/Education Week
Federal A Chaotic Start to a New Congress: What Educators Need to Know
A new slate of lawmakers will have the chance to influence federal education policy in the 118th Congress.
4 min read
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., talks on the House floor after the first vote for House Speaker when he did not receive enough votes to be elected during opening day of the 118th Congress at the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, Jan 3, 2023, in Washington.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., talks on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 3 following the first round of voting for House Speaker. McCarthy fell short of enough votes to be elected speaker in three rounds of voting on opening day of the 118th Congress at the U.S. Capitol.
Andrew Harnik/AP
Federal Historic Changes to Title IX and School Safety Funding: How 2022 Shaped K-12 Policy
Federal lawmakers sought to make Title IX more inclusive, respond to school shootings, and crack down on corrupt charter schools.
6 min read
Revelers march down Fifth Avenue during the annual NYC Pride March, Sunday, June 26, 2022, in New York.
Revelers march down Fifth Avenue during New York City's annual Pride March in June. Proposed changes to Title IX would explicitly protect students from discrimination based on their gender identity or sexuality.
Mary Altaffer/AP