No Child Left Behind: Highly Qualified Teacher

No Child Left Behind Fact Sheet 1: Highly Qualified Teacher

The No Child Left Behind act requires that all public school teachers be or become highly qualified in the core academic content areas they teach.

The timeframe for compliance with this requirement is as follows:

  • New, newly-hired, and veteran teachers in non-Title I schools must satisfy the Highly Qualified Teacher requirements by the end of the 2005-2006 school year.
  • New and newly-hired teachers in Title I school-wide and targeted assistance programs must satisfy the Highly Qualified Teacher requirements at the time of hire.
  • Veteran teachers in Title I school-wide and targeted assistance programs must satisfy the Highly Qualified Teacher requirements by the end of the 2005-2006 school year.

What teachers need to satisfy the Highly Qualified Teacher requirements:

  • Have at least a Bachelor’s degree
  • Have valid state certification for which no requirements have been waived (i.e., no emergency certificates)
  • Demonstrate content expertise in the core academic subject(s) they teach

How teachers demonstrate content expertise:

Elementary:

  • Pass a rigorous state test (i.e. NTE or PRAXIS II) or
  • Document 10 points on the NJ HOUSE standard (not an option for new teachers in Title I schools)

Middle or Secondary:

  • Pass the appropriate state test for the subjects they teach (i.e. NTE or PRAXIS II) or
  • Successfully complete an undergraduate major, coursework equivalent to an undergraduate major (30 credit sequence of courses), a graduate degree, or advanced certification (i.e. National Board Certification) for each core academic subject teaching assignment or
  • Document 10 points on the NJ HOUSE standard (not an option for new teachers in Title I schools)

Information for Special Education teachers

  • Special Education teachers who provide direct instruction in elementary (K-5) settings must satisfy the federal definition of a Highly Qualified teacher at the elementary level.
  • Special Education teachers in self-contained classes in grades 6-8 must satisfy the federal definition of a Highly Qualified teacher at the elementary level.
  • Middle (departmentalized) and secondary Special Education teachers must satisfy the Highly Qualified teacher criteria based on the grade level of the curriculum they teach rather than the chronological age of the students. This may mean satisfying elementary, middle, and/or secondary levels.
  • The requirements for Special Education teachers who provide consultation and support (either in-class or pull-out) or who team teach with a content area instructor in general education settings are not yet final. Once final reauthorization for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) occurs, these requirements will be determined.
  • In Resource Centers at the middle and high school level, teachers must be Highly Qualified in all content areas that they teach.

NJ High Objective Uniform State Evaluation (HOUSE):

  • Veteran teachers who do not satisfy the federal definition of a Highly Qualified teacher can complete a Content Knowledge Matrix to determine whether they satisfy the criteria using the HOUSE Standard.
  • Teachers who do not yet document 10 points on the NJ HOUSE Standard Content Knowledge Matrix have until the end of the 2005-2006 school year to earn 10 points.
  • New and newly-hired teachers in Title I school-wide and targeted assistance programs are not able to use the HOUSE Standard to satisfy the Highly Qualified teacher requirements.

Core Academic Content Areas:

The New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards that align with the federal list of core academic subjects are: Language Arts Literacy, Science, Mathematics, Social Studies, World Languages, and Visual and Performing Arts.

Definitions:

  • New Teacher: Novice in his or her first year of teaching.
  • Newly Hired Teacher: Experienced teacher in his or her first year in a new district.
  • Veteran Teacher:
    • Title I Schools/Programs – One hired before 2002-2003;
    • Non-Title I Schools – One hired before 2005-2006

This fact sheet was created with information from the New Jersey Department of Education’s presentation, New Jersey’s Model For Highly Qualified Teachers: Identifying Excellence, Recognizing Achievement, Supporting Professional Learning (Available: http://www.nj.gov/njded/profdev/hqt/pp_files/frame.htm) and from the publication, The New Jersey Model for Identifying Highly Qualified Teachers (Available: http://www.nj.gov/njded/profdev/hqt/house.pdf).