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A Teacher Labeled Not Qualified

I contacted the Michigan Department of Education yesterday to ask a question about teacher certification. And I learned that under the new NCLB teacher certification laws, I am no longer qualified to teach middle school language arts. I have a bachelors in English, a masters in education, and a PhD in English that focused on literacy. I was a department chair, a member of the school improvement team, on the language arts curriculum team and the technology committee. I have presented at a zillion conferences across the country. I have 14-and-a-half years of experience teaching high school English (which I AM qualified to teach) and 14 years of experience teaching middle school language arts.

If the name of the language arts courses were changed to "English" then I would be qualified to teach those courses. But if they are called "language arts", I'm not qualified. There is no secondary language arts certification anymore. And, there is no elementary English certification. So, if the courses were renamed "English," no one with elementary language arts certification could teach those courses.

Nancy, the unqualified

Nancy Patterson, PhD
Literacy Studies Program Coordinator
Grand Valley State University
Editor "Tech Connect," Voices from the Middle Chair, Assembly on Computers in English patterna@gvsu.edu

— Nancy Patterson, PhD

A Teacher Labeled Not Qualified



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