Belated Review of HQT Reports -- Why Now?

Ben Feller has a fascinating little story out this afternoon about how the USDE is doing some sort of review of state, district, and even school claims in re "highly qualified teachers" -- a notion that the Department has neglected until now despite widespread reports that HQT was being substantively ignored.

"Thirty-three states claim 90 percent to 99 percent of their main classes have teachers who are highly qualified," states the story (Education Dept. Checks Teachers' Rankings). "The accuracy of those accounts is now under review by the Education Department, which is checking not just total numbers but also the figures within poor and struggling schools....Some states have allowed teachers to qualify based on conferences attended, awards won, years taught and other accumulated experience."

Why is the USDE doing this now, after so long? What happens if the inititial reports turn out to be inflated or incomplete? And -- existential question -- why was HQT so soft in the original NCLB and so ignored and watered down in the implementation?

UPDATED: Ben reminds me that the review is being done to see whether states deserve the extra year they were promised. I'm still on the hunt for any within-district stats regarding the distribution of HQT across the poverty spectrum, if anyone has that.


Anonymous Phyllis McClure said...

I have read the 40 state Title II compliance reviews done by USED bewteen the summer of 2004 and the beginning of 2006. During those reviews, ED learned that states reported incomplete but mostly fraudulent data on highly qualified teachers. reports of 90-99% highly qualified were based on criteria of highly qualified that were inconistnet with NCLB's definition.States can't even post accurate data, so how will we know whether they met the 2005-06 deadline?
We wont'.

3:28 PM  

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