NASET News Alert

Teaching Interns Illegally Rated as "Qualified"

October 06, 2010

California has violated federal law by classifying thousands of inexperienced, noncredentialed teachers as "highly qualified" and assigning them to schools with heavily low-income and minority enrollments, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. The ruling by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco was a victory for impoverished families in Richmond, Hayward and Los Angeles who filed suit in 2007. They claimed their schools were saddled with disproportionate numbers of untrained interns because of federal and state regulations that flouted federal law. The appeals court ruled 2-1 against the families in July 2009, saying the federal No Child Left Behind Act leaves such decisions largely up to the states. On Monday, after reviewing further arguments, the same panel reversed itself, reinterpreted the law and ruled 2-1 against the government. The ruling doesn't require school districts to fire interns or bar them from teaching core subjects. But it requires districts in California - and potentially other states - to change their assignment policies so that the least-prepared teachers are not routinely placed in the neediest schools, said John Affeldt, a lawyer for the families. To read more, click here

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