On Politics and Highly Qualified Teachers in North Dakota

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The holiday timing of a letter to teachers in North Dakota makes it all too clear what some ed officials there think of No Child Left Behind. The North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board--which has not kept its disdain of No Child Left Behind any secret?apparently decided that a bit of troop rallying was in order by sending a letter out Christmas Eve informing elementary teachers that the federal government had ruled that they were not highly qualified. Not only was the Grinch-like timing a bit suspicious, the Board also appeared to be jumping the gun; the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction hadn't gotten anything in writing yet from the US Department of Education regarding the status of North Dakota teachers.

Some teachers and local officials were in shock. "Many of us were under the impression that if you had a master's degree, you wouldn't receive the letter," commented one ND teacher. An Assistant Superintendent in Grand Forks mentioned that he?s still, ?in the hopeful stages that something can be done" to change or modify the federal ruling.? If wishes were horses.

There's also some rumbling that Feds have put two other states, South Dakota and Utah, on notice that their certification standards do not meet the requirements of the highly qualified teacher provision.