September 17, 2003, Extra Credit
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September 17, 2003
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 September 16
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Answering Questions From The Field

The U.S. Department of Education has issued an updated version of Improving Teacher Quality Non-Regulatory Guidance. The guidance features information for states and educators on how to implement standards and provide assistance and support for the nation's teachers.

The guidance also clarifies a number of provisions affecting teachers under the No Child Left Behind Act. One significant addition features thoughts and ideas for states to consider as they develop their High Objective Uniform State Standards of Evaluation (HOUSSE) criteria by which current teachers can demonstrate subject mastery.

Other issues addressed in the guidance include:

  • The definition of highly qualified and how it applies to new and current teachers;

  • Clarification on the sciences as core academic subjects

  • How a state determines whether teachers of core academic subjects in grades 6,7, and 8 must meet subject-area competencies for elementary or middle school teachers;

  • What activities special education teachers may carry out if they are not highly qualified in the core academic content area being taught; and

  • What is meant by "full state certification."

The updated version of Improving Teacher Quality Non-Regulatory Guidance is available at:

An additional resource for the exclusive use of teachers is the Department's "Toolkit for Teachers," which is available online at:


About Extra Credit
NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

If you would like the NCLB Extra Credit emailed to you, please send a request to Geoff Goodman at or call (202) 205-9191.


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Last Modified: 09/17/2003