Sunday, May 13, 2012

TFA & HQ

While the court found TFAs not to be qualified under NCLB, current trainees made "highly qualified" through congressional action will be considered HQ. However, when June rolls around next year, these trainees will be consider not HQ absent congressional action.

Unless there are certified teachers already in TFA, and apparently the organization doesn't disqualify those with an education background, the program shortchanges at-risk students because they are not getting the best-qualified, most experienced teachers, teachers they really need.

Article:

The court proceeded to dismiss the Renee v. Duncan case, however, on the grounds that Congress passed a measure in December 2010 temporarily qualifying the country’s approximately 100,000 teachers-in-training in alternate route programs as “highly qualified” through the 2012-13 school year. The court found that there was no relief presently owed to plaintiffs but held the issue was not moot and that, absent further Congressional action, alternate route trainees must once again be deemed not “highly qualified” after June of next year.

The decision is an acknowledgment that the Department wrongly allowed teachers in training to be concentrated in poor and minority schools across the country for the eight years between the Act’s passage and the temporary measure in 2010. It also makes clear that next year, absent additional Congressional action, these less-than-fully-prepared teachers must again be fairly spread across classrooms and that parents must be notified when their children receive instruction from these teachers.

“We think it was premature for the court to dismiss the case since the controlling law will render the Department’s regulation unlawful again in just a little over a year,” said plaintiffs’ lead counsel John Affeldt of civil rights law firm and advocacy organization Public Advocates Inc.. “Nonetheless, it’s very important to have the courts acknowledge that the Department acted unlawfully in treating these underprepared teachers as if they were fully prepared. We look forward to enforcing this precedent next year and to using it to inform the policy discussions in Congress going forward.”

I think that barring wholesale privatization of public education, TFA will be illegal to have in the schools because equal opportunity and protection for students.

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