A Qualified Teacher in Every Classroom?: Appraising Old Answers and New Ideas

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Under the No Child Left Behind Act, states will have to ensure that every public school classroom is staffed by a highly qualified teacher. This mandate--and the fact that many children, especially low-income and minority students, are taught by underqualified teachers ill-equipped for the challenges ahead--gives new urgency to debates over teacher recruitment, preparation, and induction. For several years, these debates have been dominated by competing groups of partisans. One denies that teaching requires a professional base of knowledge and skill, while the other tries to promote professionalism by ensuring that traditional programs retain their control over licensure and formal certification. The conflict confuses policymakers, frustrates educators, and stifles potentially promising solutions.