Friday, February 08, 2008

Not Highly Qualified Teacher May Get Fired

Washington DC Teachers who are not highly qualified may be highly unemployed soon.
Hundreds of D.C. public school teachers who have yet to prove their competence under No Child Left Behind guidelines could find themselves out of a position next year, Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee told The Examiner this week.

The chancellor said teachers need to act fast to attain a “highly qualified” rating required by No Child Left Behind, or they will be left behind without a job.

“We’re putting a lot of effort into making sure those who are not highly qualified understand what they need to do,” Rhee told The Examiner. “At the end of the year, those who have not gotten their paperwork in won’t continue.”

Being highly qualified is an extra step beyond certification that ensures instructors are suited to teach their particular disciplines.
Of course, the teacher's union is upset:
Joel Packer, director of educaton policy and practice for the National Education Association, said his group’s position is that highly qualified status is a worthwhile goal, but failure to attain that status should not always be cause for firing.

“It’s a shared responsibility,” he said. “If there’s a teacher that refuses to take the steps, that’s one thing, but if someone’s made a good faith effort and not gotten support that’s different.”
First, in any given school system there is likely to be a small percentage of teachers who are not "highly qualified." Most school sytems will grant time to attain the status, even being generous with the time. However, the requirement for highly qualified teachers has been around for six years, it is not a mystery.

Second, I don't think DC is simply going to fire anyone who has attained the level without a review of why they are highly qualified. DC doesn't any lawsuits on that score.

Still, I say good. If the teacher is unmotivated to even get the process going to obtain the highly qualified tag, then they are probably unmotivated to perform their main function--teach.

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