A reader gives her view of what it means to be a “highly qualified teacher,” if not by the elastic definition in NCLB, then by her own knowledge of teaching:

As many have pointed out, no new teachers are “highly qualified.” While some new teachers may be more prepared than others, many years of teaching experience is necessary to become a truly effective (and therefore highly qualified) teacher. So not only are TFA teachers certainly not highly qualified, they are not even very well prepared. While some of them may have strong academic backgrounds and lots of motivation, why is that enough? Shouldn’t we demand that the people who teach our own children not only have strong academic backgrounds, but also strong backgrounds in education? I graduated with a bachelor’s in science from one of the top universities in the country, taught college students there for a year, got my master’s degree in education there (one of the top teacher prep programs), have the benefits and support of three teaching fellowships that constantly push me to be a better teacher, and I still know that, going in to my 3rd year of teaching, while I am doing a good job, I have a long ways to go to be a truly transformational teacher for all of my students. And I want my own children to have nothing less than that. Why is it okay to concentrate inexperienced teachers in high poverty districts when that would not be acceptable elsewhere?