Suit: Regulators hurt teacher quality

From: the LA Daily News
Parents and students from the Los Angeles, West Contra Costa and Hayward school districts filed a federal lawsuit this week against the U.S. Department of Education, alleging that the agency broke laws meant to ensure quality teachers in each classroom. When the No Child Left Behind act passed in 2001, lawmakers specified teachers needed to be credentialed and teach a subject in which they received proper training in order to be considered “highly qualified.” But the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco contends that federal regulators – the Department of Education and Education Secretary Margaret Spellings – watered down the law by allowing states to count teacher interns as “highly qualified” although they are still in the process of earning certification. Jane West, an American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education vice president, said intern programs fill a vital role in preparing the next wave of teachers. Still, the programs have changed from a training ground into a standard way of filling the holes left by retirees and others leaving the profession. “There’s a real price to be paid for that,” West said.

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