I stayed out of this thread when it was active because it is such an emotional issue for me. But after receiving my May copy of NEA Today (National Education Association), I felt like maybe I could contribute effectively to the discussion without being too emotional and perhaps pass along some valid information.
I am a teacher.
One of the many things that is wrong with this bill is the federal government setting standards on what constitutes a "highly qualified" teacher. No longer will it be good enough to have a university certify that you are able to teach a certain subject or area and renew based on college hours. Now you have to jump through more hoops. Here's what has happened to me:
I have 3 degrees: Bachelor of Science in Education; Master of Arts in Educational Administration; Education Specialist in Educational Administration
I have certification through the state of Kansas for these areas:
EMH Level III & IV (teaching mild to moderately handicapped children grades 5 - 12)
Building Administrator (all levels)
Special Education Director
This is my experience:
17 years teaching special needs students math, science and English as well as 7 of those years also teaching collaborative science and math classes in the general curriculum.
3 years Assistant Principal
I will not be able to get a "highly qualified" license. I teach content courses to special needs students who cannot participate in the general curriculum because of their disabilities. But I do not have a degree in those content areas, nor do I have upper level college courses in those content areas. All of my education and all of my experience does nothing for me.
And that is only one of the many problems. If you care to see more please visit this website and read the articles and see the flow chart regarding NCLB Act.www.nea.org/neatoday
Please write your congressmen and relay your feelings directly to them. My personal feeling is that this legislation was designed to kill public education so it will be easier to implement vouchers on a large scale basis.
There is no more local control of education. This bill made sure of it.