The Physics of NCLB

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The looming 2005-06 deadline requiring every classroom to be staffed by a highly qualified teacher has school officials in North Dakota scratching their head. With 66 percent of the state's college graduates moving out of the state to find better employment and only one teacher graduating with a physics major in the past six years, some say requiring teachers to have a major in the subjects they teach is "not realistic." Notes Janet Welk, Executive Director of the Standards and Practice Board, "I grew up on a farm and there you learn that when you go to your cattle in the fall, you don't just weigh them. You have to do other things for them. The federal government, basically, with their testing and qualification guidelines is saying: keep weighing the students, keep weighing the teachers. That's no solution."