March 16, 2004, Extra Credit
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March 16, 2004
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 March 15
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Increased Flexibility Helps Science Teachers Meet the Highly Qualified Teacher Provisions of NCLB

Because of the proven correlation between teacher quality and student academic achievement, No Child Left Behind includes provisions stating that all teachers of core academic areas must be "highly qualified." In order to assist states in meeting this requirement, the U.S. Department of Education is providing three new areas of flexibility, which take effect immediately, for teachers to demonstrate that they are highly qualified. Yesterday's Extra Credit highlighted the increased flexibility for rural teachers. Today's edition focuses on the increased flexibility for science teachers:

Science teachers, like rural teachers, are often needed to teach in more than one field of science. Some states allow such science teachers to be certified under a general science certification, while others require a subject-specific certification (such as physics, biology or chemistry). In science, where demand for teachers is high, the Department is issuing additional flexibility for teachers to demonstrate that they are highly qualified.

Now, states may determine—based on their current certification requirements—to allow science teachers to demonstrate that they are highly qualified either in "broad field" science or individual fields of science. For example, if a state certifies teachers in the general field of science, a science teacher may demonstrate subject-matter competency through a "broad field" test or major. If a state requires certification or licensure in the specific science subjects, such as chemistry, biology or physics, the teacher would be required to demonstrate competency in each of the subjects.

Tomorrow's Extra Credit will highlight the increased flexibility for multi-subject teachers.


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.

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Last Modified: 03/16/2004