22 October 2005

Earth Moving, Courtesy NCLB

You might love, hate, or tolerate NLCB. In my case, it doesn't really matter. I just need to know how to deal with the various impacts it has on the district.

NCLB requires a "highly qualified teacher" in every classroom, although the definition of what that means can vary a bit from state to state.

I'm minding other business on Tuesday when I get a call from our Human Resources department. School X is offering an "Environmental Earth Science" course, but the teacher only has a Biology endorsement. In order to teach anything with the word "earth" in it, a teacher would need an Earth Science endorsement on their certificate. (Interestingly enough, an Earth Science endorsement is enough to make you "highly qualified" to teach an Environmental Science class.) Did HR need to put this teacher on a plan of some sort since there was a question about the "highly qualified" status?

So, I'm sent off on quite the hunt to find out the answer. It turns out that each of the three high schools is offering a slightly different take on things. Theoretically, School X has a full-year "Environmental Science" class ("Earth" shouldn't be in the course title...hmm...). School Y has a one semester "Ecology" class and School Z has a one semester "Environmental Earth Science" course. It looked like the course title from one school ended up at another. Why all these classes are different and what is taught in them is something I'll eventually have to figure out.

In the meantime, principals, HR, science staff, and registrars at all three schools are awaiting an answer to a question that really wouldn't matter...except NCLB asked us to pay attention. To the word "Earth."

I think things are straightened out now. Each school knows what it's correct course title and number should be. Hopefully the computer system will keep things straight. HR is happy.

I didn't have the heart to tell the HR people the next day that the registrar of School X e-mailed me the next day to say that she hadn't seen the word "Earth" anywhere.

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