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Utah Games the System--Kicks Back at NCLB

Everyone knows that No Child Left Behind has sparked some opposition in the states. But that opposition reached brazen new heights this week, when Utah education officials reported that 95 percent of the state's public school classes are taught by "highly qualified" teachers. Joan Patterson, the state education department functionary responsible for this report, didn't even attempt to hide the fact that Utah officials gamed the system to get the results they wanted. "We submitted the 95 percent because we didn't want to insult the teachers," she told the Associated Press. "How would you like to have been in your profession for 25 years and find you're not highly qualified? That's insulting." In fact, Patterson admits that the real figures show that maybe one-quarter of Utah teachers hold degrees in the appropriate content area. But that doesn't stop her from observing that Congress "didn't fully understand what they were legislating" when it passed NCLB. What will the U.S. Department of Education do in response?

"Utah education officials buck Bush's 'No Child Left Behind' law," Associated Press, November 2, 2003

Kicking back at NCLB
The Education Gadfly


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