Left Out of No Child Left Behind

In a new report from the American Enterprise Institute, author Alexander Russo reflects on Teach For America’s struggles in the era of NCLB.  The key points of Left out of No Child Behind: Teach for America’s Outsized Influence on Alternative Certification are below.

  • Teach for America, one of the nation’s foremost education reform organizations, was one of the first to build a lobbying presence on Capitol Hill; however, it almost failed to do so in time to protect its interests during passage of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act in the early 2000s.
  • NCLB held significant provisions that directly affected TFA — in particular, defining what it meant for a teacher to be “highly qualified” and mandating that every student have a highly qualified teacher by 2014. Initially, TFA teachers did not meet this standard; it was by only a combination of luck and increasingly aggressive lobbying that the law was amended to allow TFA teachers to be considered highly qualified.
  • As education reform groups have proliferated nationwide, an increasing number are realizing the importance of the policymaking process to their own survival and accordingly expanding their policy and lobbying arms to influence legislation surrounding school choice, teacher quality, teacher evaluations, and other federal education issues.

To read the full report, please visit http://www.aei.org/paper/education/k-12/left-out-of-no-child-left-behind-teach-for-americas-outsized-influence-on-alternative-certification/