Essays in Education


One stipulation of President Bush’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act is that every classroom in America will be instructed by a highly qualified teacher. To date, however, no one has satisfactorily captured what it means to be highly qualified. Common sense tells us that America’s best teachers are smart about the content areas they teach and how they teach students, but what other factors have helped to define highly qualified teachers within NCLB? The purpose of this inquiry is to investigate how the definition of a highly qualified teacher written into NCLB captures what researchers know about effective or highly qualified teachers.

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