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Reaching the Highly Qualified Goal

The Houston County (Georgia) School District and the rest of the state are working to ensure their teachers are highly qualified as soon as possible. Computer software and determination are making that happen. Included: Tips for ensuring educators meet the highly qualified teacher requirement.

The Houston County (Georgia) School District, and the rest of the state, are making great strides in ensuring that all teachers are highly qualified.

Out of 1,803 teachers in the Houston County school district, 99.6 percent are considered highly qualified, according to school administrators.

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All Houston County teachers should reach the highly qualified status by the middle of the school year. Before the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act requirement, only half of middle school teachers were asked to teach in their field of degree expertise, an administrator said. Teachers also were only required to teach three class periods in their content area of knowledge, and could teach any subject for two classes.

Helping Houston County and the rest of the state meet the requirements is computer software used by school administrators and principals that pinpoints every teacher in the state, indicates whether each one is highly qualified, and what each needs to do to achieve the goal. Georgia was the only state in the U.S. as of last year to have this software.

Out of Georgia's 101,000 teachers, about 94 percent are highly qualified.

NCLB requires that all teachers of core academic areas be highly qualified by the end of the 2005-2006 school year. In general, a highly qualified teacher must have a bachelor's degree, full state certification or licensure, and be able to demonstrate competency in each core academic subject he or she teaches.


Some of the information in this article comes from the U.S. Department of Education. To learn more about this article, you might read: