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No Educator Left Behind:
Monitoring Teacher Quality

No Educator Left Behind is a series providing answers from the U.S. Department of Education to questions about the federal No Child Left Behind Act and how it will affect educators. If you have a question about No Child Left Behind, send an e-mail to Ellen Delisio, and we will submit your question to the Department of Education.

Question:

How are states and districts held accountable for improving teacher quality?

U.S. Department of Education:

Each state that receives Title II funds must develop a plan to ensure that all teachers of core academic subjects are highly qualified by the end of the 2005-06 school year. The plan must establish annual, measurable objectives for each local school district and school to ensure that they meet the "highly qualified" requirement.

In schools that receive funds under Title II, principals must make a statement each year as to whether the school is in compliance with the "highly qualified" teacher requirement. That information will be maintained at the school and district offices where members of the public can see it upon request. In addition, each school district must report to the state annually on its progress toward meeting the requirement that all teachers be "highly qualified" by the end of the 2005-06 school year. That information is part of each state's report card.

The Department of Education recently announced an easing of the regulations for meeting the "highly qualified" requirement for the following groups:

  • Rural Teachers: Teachers in eligible rural districts who are highly qualified in at least one subject have three years to become highly qualified in any additional subjects they teach. They also must be provided professional development, intense supervision, or structured mentoring to become highly qualified in those additional subjects.

  • Science Teachers: Now, states may determine -- based on their current certification requirements -- whether to allow science teachers to demonstrate that they are highly qualified either in the "broad field" science or in individual fields of science (such as physics, biology or chemistry.)

  • Multi-Subject Teachers:Under the new guidelines, states may streamline the evaluation process by developing a method for current, multi-subject teachers to demonstrate through one process that they are highly qualified in each of their subjects and that they maintain for each subject the same high standards of mastery.

Read previous questions and answers in our No Educator Left Behind archive.

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