Should States Be Allowed to Waive No Child Left Behind’s “Highly Qualified Teacher” Requirement?

http://www.ncee.org/2013/04/tuckers-lens-the-2013-international-summit-on-the-teaching-profession/

The education spending bill, approved by the House Appropriations Committee panel, has catalyzed a continuing debate on whether conditional waivers of the NCLB “highly qualified” teacher requirement should be given to the states. The “highly qualified” teacher provision requires that teachers have a bachelor’s degree in the subject area they teach and could, in effect, exclude teachers with alternative forms of certification. The House version of the spending bill approves the NCLB waiver for another two years (through 2014-2015 school-year).

Do teachers with alternative forms of certification meet the “highly qualified” provision under NCLB? Does the NCLB waiver help or hinder K-12 education? Various education organizations for and against the NCLB waiver have voiced their opinions in letters to lawmakers.

See more in article from Education Week: House Panel OKs Bill to Scrap Race to the Top, SIG, i3 by Alyson Klein (July 18, 2012).

Education Organizations In Support of NCLB Waiver and Why:
Organizations including: Teach for America, the New Teacher Project, Chiefs for Charge, the Council of the Great City Schools, and the NewSchools Venture Fund support this waiver stating, if the “law is not extended, hundreds of thousands of tremendously gifted teachers who have a significant positive impact on students will not be able to continue to teach. That is a cost this country simply cannot afford to bear.”

See full letter here.

Education Organizations Against NCLB Waiver and Why:
Organizations including: the National Education Association, National Center for Learning Disabilities, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, and the NAACP disagree with the waiver provision because “low-income students, students with disabilities and English-learners will continue to be disproportionately taught by teachers-in-training and that fact will be masked from parents and local communities.”

See full letter here.