SAN FRANCISCO- Civil rights advocates are blasting new federal legislation that allows states to classify teaching interns as "highly qualified teachers" and regularly assign them to schools with mostly poor, minority students.
President Barack Obama signed the amendment to the federal No Child Left Behind Act on Dec. 22 as part of an unrelated federal spending bill.
The measure nullifies an earlier decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that California illegally classified thousands of teaching interns as highly qualified teachers.
The court sided with low-income families who claimed the state was dumping uncredentialed teachers on their schools. That ruling would have required districts to distribute teaching interns more evenly across districts.