According to a recent report published by the Education Trust, there continue to be high rates of unqualified teachers in American schools.
Many are teaching "out-of-field," meaning they are forced to teach in subjects that they are not certified in or did not major in in college. Schools face budget cuts, or lack teachers in certain subjects, and remaining teachers have to make up the slack -- teaching in unfamiliar areas.
The report states,
But even more worrisome are the disparities in access to qualified teachers between high-poverty and low-poverty schools. Although No Child Left Behind required states to ensure that students in low-income communities were not disproportionately taught by inexperienced and unqualified teachers, the requirement did not create significant change.
The report finds that across the nation, high-poverty secondary schools have a rate of approximately 21.9 percent of classes taught by "out-of-field" teachers, whereas low-poverty secondary schools only have 10.9 percent of classes taught by "out-of-field" teachers.