Technically qualified

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According to the Michigan Department of Education, all of its teachers are going to be highly qualified in time for the original deadline--the end of this school year. In other words, they won't need the generous extension offered by Spellings & Company that we reported on last time.

What do these numbers really mean? It's anyone's guess. It's clear, though, that Michigan (like most states) has not dedicated itself to beefing up teachers' subject matter knowledge, but instead is asking unqualified teachers to jump through hoops in order to meet HQT status. One of the HOUSSE options for becoming "highly qualified" in Michigan requires teachers to submit a videotaped lesson, presumably to some educrat in the state ed department. How do activities like this strengthen the teacher corps?

Generally speaking, the higher the numbers that states report, the more skeptical we are about the accuracy of what's being reported. Reportedly, some states are telling the feds that their most unqualified teachers--those on emergency credentials--are enrolled in alt cert programs, despite the fact that they're generally teachers who have walked in off the street with no credentials. Calling them alt cert candidates buys states some extra time to meet the deadline, since the feds give alternate route participants as much as three extra years to meet all of their HQT requirements.