Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2006 Issue »

    High School Students’ Perspectives on the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act’s Definition of a Highly Qualified Teacher

    Veronica Garcia, with Wilhemina Agbemakplido, Hanan Abdella, Oscar Lopez Jr., and Rashida T. Registe
    In this article, four urban high school students and their student leadership and social justice class advisor address the question, “What are high school students’ perspectives on the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act’s (NCLB) definition of a highly qualified teacher?” As the advisor to the course, Garcia challenged her students to examine their high school experiences with teachers. The students offer personal stories that describe what they consider the critical qualities of teachers — qualities not based solely on the credentials and education status defined by NCLB. The authors suggest that highly qualified teachers should cultivate safe, respectful, culturally sensitive, and responsive learning communities, establish relationships with students’ families and communities, express their high expectations for their students through instructional planning and implementation, and know how students learn. This article urges educators and policymakers to consider the students’ voices and school experiences when making decisions about their educational needs, including the critical issue of teacher quality.

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    Veronica Garcia advised an urban high school participatory action research initiative as a program associate at a nonprofit education foundation from 2002 to 2006. She is currently a high school English teacher in Los Angeles.

    Hanan Abdella is a graduate of Academy High. She is currently a first-year undergraduate student at Wheaton College. She plans to be a high school English teacher.

    Wilhemina Agbemakplido is a junior at Academy High. She is an artist who writes poetry, plays the guitar, and draws. She plans to attend college and become a criminal justice lawyer.

    Oscar Lopez Jr. is a junior at Academy High. He plans to attend college and wants to be a forensic scientist.

    Rashida T. Registe is a junior at Academy High. Her hobbies include creative writing, singing, and reading. She plans to attend college and become a pediatrician.
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    Winter 2006 Issue

    Abstracts

    Foreword (full text)
    Senator Edward M. Kennedy
    Introduction to Assessing NCLB (full text)
    The Editors
    No Child Left Behind
    The Ongoing Movement for Public Education Reform
    Rod Paige
    From New Deal to No Deal
    No Child Left Behind and the Devolution of Responsibility for Equal Opportunity
    Harvey Kantor and Robert Lowe
    Will NCLB Improve or Harm Public Education?
    John W. Borkowski and Maree Sneed
    Domesticating a Revolution
    No Child Left Behind Reforms and State Administrative Response
    Gail L. Sunderman and Gary Orfield
    Real Improvement for Real Students
    Test Smarter, Serve Better
    Betty J. Sternberg
    Why Connecticut Sued the Federal Government over No Child Left Behind
    Richard Blumenthal
    Getting Ruby a Quality Public Education
    Forty-Two Years of Building the Demand for Quality Public Schools through Parental and Public Involvement
    Arnold F. Fege
    Accountability without Angst?
    Public Opinion and No Child Left Behind
    Frederick M. Hess
    Forces of Accountability?
    The Power of Poor Parents in NCLB
    John Rogers
    No Child Left Behind and High School Reform
    Linda Darling-Hammond
    Troubling Images of Teaching in No Child Left Behind
    Marilyn Cochran-Smith and Susan Lytle
    High School Students’ Perspectives on the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act’s Definition of a Highly Qualified Teacher
    Veronica Garcia, with Wilhemina Agbemakplido, Hanan Abdella, Oscar Lopez Jr., and Rashida T. Registe