November 25, 2003, Extra Credit
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November 25, 2003
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 November 24
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Children In All Of Our Schools Deserve Outstanding Teachers

Today's Greensboro News & Record includes an article on No Child Left Behind's "highly qualified" teacher provisions, noting that teachers must demonstrate subject matter competence as defined by the state. Following are excerpts from the article, which quotes both a local superintendent and a local teacher:

The Superintendent

"Supporters of the teacher requirements, including Guilford County Schools Superintendent Terry Grier, say that higher standards for teachers mean better learning for students. 'It's one of the real keys to school improvement,' Grier said. 'I don't think you can teach what you don't know.'"

"Guilford County Schools is taking steps to both recruit new teachers and help existing teachers meet the highly qualified guidelines. For example, the district paid for graduate math courses at N.C. A&T and UNCG for middle school math teachers. Grier said the district is working on a program to provide extra academic training to science and social studies teachers. Also, Grier said, the district is working with local businesses on a new teacher recruiting plan. The plan, which will be unveiled soon, includes offering free master's degrees for qualified teachers willing to work in hard-to-staff subjects, such as math and science. 'Children in all of our schools deserve outstanding teachers,' Grier said."

The Teacher

"Federal officials had teachers like DeMont Cox in mind when crafting the requirements. Cox teaches algebra at Allen Middle in south Greensboro. In order to become a teacher, he majored in math at Winston-Salem State University and also took education courses so that he could get certified to teach. Because of this background, he meets the highly qualified standards. 'I think it's very important that the teacher knows his or her subject area,' Cox said. 'Unless you know the subject, it's going to be hard to give that information to the students.'"

The full article is available from the Greensboro News & Record online archive for a fee.


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NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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Last Modified: 07/27/2006