NCLB Strikes Again

Tuesday I received an e-mail from the district’s curriculum coordinator:

NCLB requires all schools to have 100% of their teachers highly qualified. [The superintendent], each building principal, and myself will be meeting individually with each non-highly qualified teacher to set up a Highly Qualified Individual Teacher Corrective Action Plan.

You are on the … list as currently being not highly qualified or teaching out of your area of certification. Please bring your certificates, endorsement areas, evaluation plans, documentation of tests or coursework, and any other information to a mandatory meeting this Thursday, September 24th @ 3:30 pm in the District Board Room. We will be supporting your continued efforts to become highly qualified. Thanks for your attention to this very important matter.

I assumed that teachers were scheduled for specific times. That was a bad assumption. Every teacher who received this e-mail was told to report at 3:30 p.m. So, of course, everyone showed up at the same time. Two hours later, I was finally admitted into the august presence of the district administrators.

A conference phone call to the state’s “NCLB expert” resulted in my learning exactly what is required of me to become highly qualified to teach language arts to seventh- and eighth-graders. (I’m already highly qualified to teach sixth-graders.) If I can produce—which I can—transcripts proving that I have at least 24 semester hours of English credits, I will receive an endorsement to teach middle school language arts.

The state department of education has wavered back and forth since January about my highly qualified status. One week they say I am highly qualified, and the next week they say that I’m not. I have wasted countless hours talking with or e-mailing state officials—and worrying that my job was in jeopardy.

I hope today’s word from the state department of education is the definitive word. I’m tired of having to jump through hoops. I have no charitable feelings toward No Child Left Behind:

Draconian NCLB,
Why don’t you go jump in the sea?
Just leave me alone!
No one could have known
How much you would aggravate me!

© 2009 by Magical Mystical Teacher

Posted on September 24, 2009, in administrators, highly qualified teachers, my limerick, NCLB. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I hate NCLB too.

    My husband was hired at work as a supervision staff. His background is in SPED and he wants to go into the classroom for a better position and to see if that’s where he wants to head. SO he is offered a position by my principal, he takes the district assessments and passes, he has 60 college units, and due to NCLB he must produce a high school grad diploma. His is long last which means he has to take a GED if he wants the stupid job. It’s absurd.

    • magicalmysticalteacher

      He has college credits and he has to take the GED???? There’s something seriously flawed with the system!!! (But we already knew that, didn’t we?)

  2. MMT, knowing that you can produce the transcript with the hours should make things a little easier, right? And the principal is behind you – so life is good.

  3. Shoot, I wish it was that easy to get a science endorsement! I hope they keep their word this time and you can put this behind you.

    I just had my first sub job today. I know I made mistakes but wow I they were also a super difficult group. I’m already deflated after not getting that job and now this…..

    • magicalmysticalteacher

      If you read the comment below, you’ll see that it may not be as easy for me to get a language arts endorsement as I thought. It really all depends on what some petty bureaucrat in the state department of education thinks at any given time. Apparently, even “getting it in writing” is no guarantee!

      Your subbing experience reminds me of my own when I first started teaching. Once in a while I’d get a really good group of kids, but for the most part I ended up with the difficult ones. It almost made me reconsider my decision to become a teacher, but I persevered—and you can (and probably will) too!

  4. Not to throw cold water in the fire, but according to California, I am qualified to teach Biology, Life Science, General Science and Social Studies. BUT, under NCLB, I can only teach Social Studies. Why? I don’t have a piece of paper form a university that says I have a BS in Sciences. It does not matter that there is no university out there (that I have found), that grants a BS in General Science (which is what is needed for most MS-JHS Science teaching). But thats ok. I am happy teaching Social Studies.

    Get it in writing from the state, that you are NCLB qualified for your JHS-MS teaching position.

    I wonder why [your state] is just now getting around to this NCLB “highly qualified” stuff. We did that in my district several years ago.

    • magicalmysticalteacher

      You know what really makes me mad about this whole affair, Polski? I already had it in writing from the state in May that I was highly qualified. Now they’ve changed their collective mind (or is that “mindlessness”?) and decided that I’m NOT highly qualified. What will next week’s decision by a bureaucrat be????

      As far as “just now getting around to this NCLB highly qualified stuff” goes, this district, in a remote area, has been ignored by the state for many years. All of a sudden, it’s coming under scrutiny. Twenty-eight teachers in the district were declared to be not highly qualified!

  5. When will NCLB just DIE? It will go down as one of the worst ideas to improve education in history. And I have to LOL at the “highly qualified” requirement. All teachers know that the degree does not make you a good teacher!!

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