In this article, four urban high school students and their student leadership and social justice class advisor address the question, "What are high school students' perspectives on the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act's (NCLB) definition of a highly qualified teacher?" As the advisor to the course, Garcia challenged her students to examine their high school experiences with teachers. The students offer personal stories that describe what they consider the critical qualities of teachers — qualities not based solely on the credentials and education status defined by NCLB. The authors suggest that highly qualified teachers should cultivate safe, respectful, culturally sensitive, and responsive learning communities, establish relationships with students' families and communities, express their high expectations for their students through instructional planning and implementation, and know how students learn. This article urges educators and policymakers to consider the students' voices and school experiences when making decisions about their educational needs, including the critical issue of teacher quality.

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