Underqualified teachers are defined as those not meeting state licensure standards and subject matter expertise. In measuring a teacher's quality, degrees and certification are used as the primary indicators of credentials. Underqualified teachers are in the majority in poor and minority school districts. Students of underqualified teachers perform worse than those with highly qualified teachers. Schools with a high number of underqualified teachers are more likely to be identified as low performing. Due to teacher shortages in high school mathematics and science, and all grade levels in special education, underqualifed teachers are assigned to these teaching fields. A 2009 report from the U.S. Department of Education on teacher quality indicates that approximately one-third of teachers on qualification waivers were assigned to high-poverty schools. Educational reformers ...

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