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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


No Child Left Behind: America's New Requirement for and Expectations of "Highly Qualified" Teachers

Jennie F. Rakestraw.

In January 2001 U.S. President Georgia W. Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act, which contains the most sweeping legislative changes to American public school education in 35 years. The Act places major emphasis upon teacher quality as a primary factor in improving student achievement. By the end of the 2005-06 school year, all teachers who teach core academic subjects are required to meet the definition of "highly qualified."

This presentation describes the requirement for "highly qualified" teachers as mandated in the No Child Left Behind Act and how the State of Georgia is addressing this mandate. The roles, involvement, and perceptions of teachers, school principals, school district superintendents, state officials, politicians, and university faculty and administrators will be presented. The impact on colleges of education and the participation of arts and sciences faculty will be addressed. Most importantly, the expectations for impact on student learning will be discussed and how schools will be held accountable to the government and to parents. The presentation will provide opportunity for discussion with attendees on implications of this strongly-supported bipartisan American initiative to national educational reform and to international impacts.


Jennie F. Rakestraw  (United States)
Coordinator, Title II-A Project
Educator Preparation Division College of Education
Georgia Professional Standards Commission; Georgia Southern University

Dr. Rakestraw is currently serving as Coordinator for the Title II-A Improving Teacher Quality for the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. She is a Professor in the College of Education and for the past ten years as served as Associate Dean. In that capacity she has led "co-reform" efforts to improve teacher preparation and to improve schools. This work has led to the development of a network of 14 partner schools. Dr. Rakestraw has been a teacher educator for over 20 years and, before that, was an elementary school teacher. She has published and made many presentations on topics such as co-reform, effective teacher preparation, literacy and social studies, homeschooling, and English/American comparative education. Dr. Rakestraw is married to Don Rakestraw, a history professor, and they have two children who are in college

  • No Child Left Behind
  • Education reform
  • Teacher quality
  • "Highly Qualified" teachers
  • Educational accountability
  • U.S. education
  • Teacher impact
  • School improvement

(30 min Conference Paper, English)