Mercedes Schneider: What ESSA Says About “Highly Qualified” Teachers

Diane Ravitch's blog

Mercedes Schneider reports that the new Every Student Succeeds Act has revised a key element of No Child Left Behind. NCLB referred to “highly qualified” teachers 67 separate times. It seemed to be important when this bill was written in 2001 that every child should be instructed by a highly qualified teacher. But as she explains, Teach for America got into the act and persuaded its champions in Congress to play around with the definition so that even a young college graduate with only five weeks of training could be considered “highly qualified.”

The new ESSA solves this problem by deleting any reference to “highly qualified” teachers. Instead, it refers to “effective” teachers.

Schneider writes:

What is interesting is that ESSA foregoes the NCLB language prohibiting emergency or provisional certification. In fact, ESSA does allow for provisional certification and the waiving of licensing criteria for states and schools receiving Title…

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