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No Educator Left Behind: Requirements for Middle School Teachers

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.


The No Child Left Behind Act requires new middle school teachers to have completed an academic major in the subject area they will be teaching. Would having concentrations in two subject areas, rather than a major in one area, be adequate, if that's what a state's law allows?

U.S. Department of Education:

No. In general, in order to be considered to have met the "highly qualified" requirement, new middle school teachers must (1) be licensed or certified by the state; (2) hold a four-year degree; and (3) have demonstrated subject area competence in each of the academic areas they teach.

Even if a new middle school teacher has met requirements (1) and (2), he or she still would not be considered to have met the "highly qualified" requirement if only a minor is held in the academic area(s) he or she is teaching. The Act is very clear in its stated requirements for new teachers.

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