Does 5 weeks of training make a teacher ‘highly qualified?’ House panel to vote


Today a U.S. House appropriations subcommittee will consider legislation that would allow students still learning to be teachers to be considered highly qualified teachers under federal law, the Washington Post reports. The nonprofit organization Teach for America places college graduates into high needs schools after giving them five weeks of training in a summer institute. The TFA corps members, who are required to give only a two-year commitment to teaching, can continue a master’s degree in education with selected schools while teaching. Of course it doesn’t make any real sense that a new college graduate with five weeks of ed training or any student teacher should be considered highly qualified — because they aren’t. But federal officials inexplicably partial to Teach for America have bestowed millions of dollars on the organization, and TFA has, not surprisingly, lobbied Congress for this legislation. The reality is that teachers still in training are disproportionately concentrated in schools serving low-income students and students of color — the children who need the best teachers. This inequitable distribution disproportionately affects students with disabilities…

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