No Child Left Behind: A Toolkit for Teachers
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At a Glance: Some Federal, State and Local Responsibilities Under No Child Left Behind (NCLB)

Who defines "highly qualified"teacher?

Federal State Local

NCLB sets the minimum requirements:

  • A bachelor's degree.
  • Full state certification, as defined by the state.
  • Demonstrated competency, as defined by the state, in each core academic subject the teacher teaches.

NCLB sets a deadline:

  • All new teachers of core academic subjects in Title I schools/programs hired beginning with the 2002-03 school year must meet the requirements before entering the classroom.

  • All teachers of core academic subjects hired before the 2002-03 school year must meet the requirements by the end of the 2005-06 school year. (Special considerations may apply for multi-subject teachers in eligible small, rural schools.)

The secretary of education is responsible for monitoring state plans and providing assistance to states as they seek to meet these requirements.

States define "highly qualified teacher" according to the requirements of NCLB.

States may develop this definition according to their own unique needs. States determine what is meant by "full state certification." They may streamline requirements to make it less burdensome for talented individuals to enter the profession.

States develop a plan with goals for their districts, detailing how they will ensure that all teachers of core academic subjects will be highly qualified by the end of the 2005-06 school year.

States determine ways in which teachers can demonstrate competency in the subjects they teach, according to the requirements in NCLB. (For example, states choose whether or not to adopt their own high, objective, uniform state standard of evaluation [HOUSSE] for current teachers.)

Districts ensure that newly hired teachers in Title I schools/programs meet their state's definition of "highly qualified teacher."

Districts work with states to communicate with current teachers regarding the "highly qualified" teacher definition, and provide a way for teachers to determine whether or not they meet the state definition of "highly qualified teacher".

Districts work with states to support teachers who do not meet the "highly qualified" teacher definition in the subjects they teach, providing opportunities or options for them to meet the requirements by the end of the 2005-06 school year.

Who determines what is high-quality professional development?

Federal State Local

In NCLB,the term "high-quality professional development" refers to the definition of professional development in Title IX, Section 9101(34).It includes, but is not limited to, activities that:

  • Improve and increase teachers' knowledge of academic subjects.
  • Are integral to broad schoolwide and district-wide educational improvement plans.
  • Give teachers and principals the knowledge and skills to help students meet challenging state academic standards.
  • Improve classroom management skills.
  • Are sustained, intensive and classroom-focused and are not one-day or short-term workshops.
  • Advance teacher understanding of effective instructional strategies that are supported by scientifically based research.
  • Are developed with extensive participation of teachers, principals, parents and administrators.

States report to the secretary of education the percentage of teachers involved in high-quality professional development.

States monitor the districts' use of professional development dollars provided by Title II grants, as well as by other federal and state funds.

States must use a minimum of 5 percent of their Title I funds for professional development for teachers and other school-level employees.

To receive federal funds for improving teacher quality (Title II, Part A), districts must perform a needs assessment and use data to make decisions regarding the type of high-quality professional development to be provided for teachers. Teachers must be involved in this process.

Districts and schools look at student achievement levels and set professional development goals for teachers.

Who defines and determines adequate yearly progress (AYP)?

Federal State Local

NCLB sets requirements for state definitions of AYP, which is the progress that schools and districts must show in educating all students to grade-level standards, as reflected in student assessments.

NCLB requires subgroup accountability: English language learners, students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged youth, and break-outs by race and ethnicity.

NCLB sets a goal for AYP--100 percent proficiency for all students and each subgroup by the end of the 2013-14 school year.

The secretary of education approves and monitors each state's accountability plan, ensuring that it meets the NCLB minimum requirements.

States use assessment data to set benchmarks and determine a trajectory for meeting the goal of 100 percent proficiency by the end of the 2013-14 school year.

States use their own reading and math tests, participation rates in testing and at least one other academic indicator (such as performance on science assessments or graduation rate) when determining AYP.

States must provide assistance to districts in need of improvement and may choose to implement supports for districts, such as professional development, targeting of funds and other assistance.

States oversee districts' actions to help support schools identified as in need of improvement.

Districts provide information to the state about performance on all indicators--math and reading assessments, assessment participation rates, and others.

Districts use this information, as well as determinations of achievement gaps in subgroups of students, to inform decision making at the district and school levels.

At the school level, principals and teachers use assessment data, participation rates and other indicators to help improve student achievement.


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Last Modified: 08/13/2009