Thousands of secondary special education teachers in Michigan have lost their status as highly-qualified teachers because of a governmental mix-up. Michigan allowed its secondary education teachers to gain status as “highly qualified” teachers by taking an exam for elementary education, the Detroit Free Press reported today.
In September, the U.S. Department of Education caught the state’s folly. Now, to comply with the No Child Left Behind law and to avoid sanctions from the federal government, Michigan must re-qualify its teachers.
The state is giving the teachers until June 30, 2009, to re-qualify, which they can do by taking a secondary-level test in each of the subjects they teach. School administrators statewide are working closely with the frustrated teachers to facilitate the process.
"I just want Michigan and the federal government to be on the same page and not make us do things that are useless, not waste our time," said Kelly Campbell, one of the thousands of affected Mich. teachers.
A spokeswoman from the U.S. Department of Education said that getting secondary special education teachers highly qualified is a nationwide problem. She added that she did not know of any other states that used an elementary education exam to qualify secondary school teachers.