March 17, 2004, Extra Credit
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March 17, 2004
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 March 16
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Increased Flexibility Helps Multi-Subject 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. Recent Extra Credits have highlighted the increased flexibility for rural teachers and science teachers. Today's edition focuses on the third area of flexibility, which assists current teachers who teach multiple subjects:

Current teachers do not have to return to school or take a test in every subject to demonstrate that they meet highly qualified requirements. No Child Left Behind allows states to create an alternative method (High, Objective, Uniform State Standard of Evaluation or HOUSSE) for teachers not new to the field--as determined by each state--to certify they know the subject they teach. The HOUSSE may include a teacher's years of experience, high-quality professional development success as measured by a teacher's students' test scores, continuing education and other objective evaluations. But, for multi-subject teachers, particularly teachers in middle schools and those teaching students with special needs, this alternate process could become unnecessarily protracted and repetitive as they go through the HOUSSE process for each subject.

Under the new guidelines, states may streamline this evaluation process by developing a method for current, multi-subject teachers to demonstrate through one process that they are highly qualified in each of their subjects and maintain the same high standards in subject matter mastery.

For U.S. Department of Education resources for teachers, please visit:


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: 03/19/2004