Implementing the No Child Left Behind Requirements

Liam Julian

Center on Education Policy
August 2007

It would be quite odd, to say the least, if states and districts were surveyed about whether or not they believed their students were making academic progress, and the responses were compiled and turned into a report. The reaction would be thus: "Who cares what the states and districts think. Why don't we just look at the actual data." This, alas, is the reaction one has to CEP's latest report about NCLB's "highly-qualified" teacher requirements. "More than half (56%) of responding states and two-thirds (66%) of districts reported that the NCLB teacher requirements have improved student achievement minimally or not at all," the report tells us. We also learn that the "NCLB highly qualified teacher requirements have not had a major impact on teacher effectiveness in the view of state and district officials." These are fine tidbits, but really--what purpose do they serve? And quite frankly, duh. Very few people who are actually familiar with the ill-conceived "highly qualified" mandate would ever presuppose that the designation carries any real meaning, much less any value to the classroom. It's often useful to know what those implementing NCLB think about it, but in this particular case it simply isn't. Find the report here.