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Renee v. Duncan

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
623 F.3d 787 (2010)


Facts

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) provides federal funding for certain low-income and minority public schools. As a condition to that funding, the schools could hire only highly qualified teachers. The NCLB defined highly qualified teachers as teachers that had, among other things, obtained full state certification as teachers, including certification obtained through alternative routes to certification. In 2002, the secretary of education, Arne Duncan (defendant), issued a regulation that further defined highly qualified. Under the new regulation, teachers who were participating in an alternative route to certification and demonstrated satisfactory progress toward full certification could meet the definition of highly qualified. Alternative routes to certification generally meant programs geared toward people who already had bachelor’s degrees in a field other than education. These programs either waived or shortened the formal coursework typically required to obtain certification. Sonya Renee (plaintiff) and others sued Secretary Duncan, alleging that the regulation did not comply with the NCLB. Renee asserted that the result of the regulation would be California using more intern teachers in minority and low-income schools in California. The district court granted summary judgment to Secretary Duncan, and Renee appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fletcher, J.)

Dissent (Tallman, J.)

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