This item, sent to me by a colleague, is a little old but still very relevant. According to the rules of No Child Left Behind, Montana’s Teacher of the Year for 2004 is not "highly qualified". In addition to receiving that award, Alyson Mike was also a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching in 2002, an honor presented by the White House and signed by W himself.
This strange dichotomy points up just one of the many problems with this kind of "one-size-fits-all" legislation. The situation here is that Alyson has a degree in biology but because she teaches in a small school, she also teaches chemistry and physics. She is not alone. There are hundreds of small school systems like this one that cannot afford to hire more qualified science teachers, most of whom would be working part time, even if they could find them. It also makes the point that just having a degree does not by itself mean the holder is a good teacher.*
So while W and his friends at the Ed Department figure out yet another patch to put on the leaky ship NCLB, Montana’s Teacher of the Year thinks we need to raise the standards for US President.
Mike said the law is unfair and holds teachers up to higher standards than many other professions. “Realistically, the president of the United States should have a degree in law,” Mike said. “He doesn’t. Is he highly qualified?”
Regardless of W’s degree, the answer to that last question is an unqualified no!
*Unless they can also pass a multiple choice test in which case they are "highly qualified".