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No Educator Left Behind: Becoming Highly Qualified 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 No Educator Left Behind:
Becoming Highly Qualified

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:

I am an eighth grade reading/language arts teacher with an M.A. in teaching. Most of my credits are in reading and teaching reading. I am in a Title 1 urban school with many English language learners. Am I a "highly qualified teacher" or do I need something more?

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION:

In the U.S., individual states are responsible for curriculum, standards, testing, assessment, as well as teacher qualifications. Therefore, each state sets its own teacher licensure requirements to ensure that every teacher comes to the classroom with a certain level of competence in subject area knowledge and pedagogy. Licensure requirements vary significantly from state to state and are revised frequently. To find up-to-date information about state licensure, contact the appropriate state education agency. State resources are available at U. S. Department of Education State Contacts.

Many experienced teachers already have met the highly qualified teacher requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act. Experienced teachers must meet the three basic requirements by the end of the 2005-2006 school year. They must have a bachelor's degree and full state certification (no emergency certificates). For the third requirement, there are multiple ways for experienced teachers to demonstrate that they have sufficient content knowledge. Teachers may opt for taking a subject-matter test (as determined by the state) or demonstrate competency through the state-developed high, objective, uniform state standard of evaluation (HOUSSE). In addition, middle and high school teachers may demonstrate competency through a subject major (or its equivalent) or through advanced certification or credentials in the subject they teach. Teachers should contact their state department of education for more information about meeting the highly qualified teacher definition in the subjects they teach.

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

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