The one-room schoolhouse meets NCLB

The one-room schoolhouse meets NCLB
In small, rural schools, one teacher may teach math, chemistry, biology, etc. — without a major in science or math. No Child Left Behind says schools must hire qualified teachers, which means someone teaching multiple subjects is supposed to have multiple college majors or the ability to pass a test in each subject taught. That’s not realistic, given what rural teachers earn. The New York Times uses the problem to bash NCLB, but it’s clear there are workarounds. Either rural schools will get an exemption on teacher qualifications or rural states will make the qualifying tests easier to pass or — the best idea — students will use distance learning to access a qualified teacher in physics, calculus, economics, etc. This is nothing new, though it’s becoming more sophisticated as teachers learn to use the Internet’s capabilities. I’m surprised the Times didn’t mention it.

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