Because of the proven correlation between teacher quality and student academic achievement, No Child Left Behind requires that all teachers of core academic areas be "highly qualified" by the end of the 2005-2006 school year. In general, a highly qualified teacher must have the following: a bachelors degree; full state certification or licensure as defined by the state; and demonstrated competency in each core academic subject he or she teaches. The following are excerpts from a recent article by The Associated Press highlighting Vermonts progress toward meeting this requirement:
"Almost all of Vermont's licensed teachers have met a federal education standard that requires them to demonstrate sufficient knowledge in the subjects they teach to be considered highly qualified under the national No Child Left Behind Act."
"The number of teachers who met the highly qualified requirement is 9,780, or 94 percent, the Department of Education said Monday."
"We expected Vermonts numbers to be high, said Anne Bordonaro, coordinator of professional standards for the Education Department. Our educator workforce is exceptional on the national level, and one we can be very proud of."
"To satisfy the requirement teachers must provide the department with information about their educational background and other professional training they may have received."
"State education officials told teachers whether they met the standard in letters mailed this week. Any teacher who did not satisfy the requirement received an additional form with information on what is necessary to meet the standard."
"Many teachers have told the department that they are taking summer courses to meet the standard, officials said."
"Vermont has an outstanding cadre of teachers, [Education Commissioner Richard] Cate said in a statement Monday. Vermonters should be proud of the fact that the vast majority of our teachers met these high standards during this initial determination process."
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