Florida Teacher of the Year Megan Allen, also a National Board Certified Teacher mentor, says effective teachers are often ignored in education policymaking and encourages lawmakers to listen to those in the classroom as they move to overhaul No Child Left Behind and make other reforms. "National Board Certified Teachers and other highly accomplished practitioners are making a positive difference in the lives of students and in challenged schools all across the country," she writes in this piece. "And yet it's still possible to ignore the difference that an effective teacher can make in children's lives."

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