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Judges Dismisses Lawsuit; House Panel Advances Bill

A couple of small news items from today ....

1.) A federal judge in San Francisco yesterday ruled that NCLB gives the U.S. secretary of education latitude to declare teachers who are in training for an alternative certification as highly qualified. The decision rejects a group's lawsuit trying to nullify California's definition of a highly qualified teacher.

In response, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings' press secretary sent me a statement. "The decision concluded that our regulation is consistent with the No Child Left Behind Act, and allows districts throughout the nation—particularly those in high-need areas—to meet the demand for highly qualified teachers by tapping into the talents and enthusiasm of experienced experts in various professions and recent college graduates who are committed to devoting their skills, time, and energy into making a difference in the classroom," Samara Yudof wrote in an e-mail.

Mark Walsh has more at The School Law blog.

2.) The House Education and Labor Committee approved the No Child Left Inside Act today. For background, see my posts from July and April.

The bill would require states to improve environmental education. "We need to make environmental education an even more important part of students’ school years," Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the committee's chairman, said in a statement. "In addition to getting kids outdoors, we must teach them about the environment as if our society and our local communities depended on it—because the fact is, they do depend on it."

The bill is a scheduled to be debated on the House floor this summer, says this press release from Rep. John P. Sarbanes, D-Md., the bill's sponsor. The bill passed with bipartisan support.

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