NEA on the Adjunct Teacher Corps opposes the House's proposal
NEA opposes the Adjunct Teacher Corps because:
The Adjunct Teacher Corps assumes that anyone with subject-matter knowledge can be a good teacher. This is simply not true. Teachers need to know their subject matter, but this is not enough. It is equally important that they know how to best teach the subject matter to students. This requires the knowledge of pedagogy based on the best research into how students learn and the content-specific teaching methods shown to be most effective with all types of students. Given the fact that classrooms are more diverse than ever, a far greater level of pedagogical expertise is required to deliver challenging academic content successfully.
- The proposal undercuts the goal of the No Child Left Behind Act to have a highly qualified teacher in every classroom. In addition, it proposes placing adjunct teachers in the highest-need schools, the very schools that need the most highly qualified teachers.
- The program would allow — in addition to school districts — a public or private "educational organization or business" to recruit and train the adjunct teachers. This is the responsibility of the local education agency and should not be outsourced. Furthermore, there appear to be no provisions to ensure that private entities doing the recruiting and training do not discriminate in the manner in which they conduct these activities.
- The program undercuts state collective bargaining laws by allowing grant recipients to "reimburse outside entities for the costs associated with allowing an employee to serve as an adjunct teacher, except that these costs shall not exceed the total cost of salary and benefits for teachers with comparable experience or expertise in the local education agency." In collective bargaining states, this is a clear violation of state laws that specify that compensation is the first area covered by collective bargaining.