Home > AACTE in the News > East Bay students sue over teacher quality
From: the Contra Costa TimesStudents from the Hayward, Los Angeles and West Contra Costa school districts filed a federal lawsuit today against the U.S. Department of Education over teacher quality rules. When Congress passed the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, lawmakers specified that teachers needed full credentials and must teach in a subject where they received proper training in order to be considered “highly qualified” under the law. However the department allows states to count the student interns still in the process of earning their certification as fully credentialed. Maribel Heredia, a parent of two Hayward students who is suing the department, said during a press conference that her son’s first grade teacher is an intern who leaves twice a week to finish up college classes — leaving her son Jose Aldana with a substitute twice a week. “I feel that this is wrong to call this teacher highly qualified,” Heredia said. “I feel like I’m being lied to.” Officials with the U.S. Department of Education could not immediately be reached for comment. The complaint, filed at the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, argues that the department overstepped its authority when it created the regulation allowing teachers-in-training to count as highly qualified. Last school year, more than 10,700 interns worked in California schools as teachers, according to the state Department of Education. Representatives from teacher preparation programs say labeling novice teachers as experienced in order to meet federal standards is misleading. “We certainly would never think of a medical student as a doctor,” said Jane West, a vice president at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.