One of the important provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is a requirement that all teachers of core academic subjects must be “Highly Qualified.” North Carolina already has rigorous standards for teacher licensure and this federal law provides an additional factor in which teacher qualification can be measured. This table provides information about the percentage of classes taught by teachers who currently meet the federal Highly Qualified definition in this district and in the state.
Highly Qualified teachers are generally defined as teachers who are fully licensed (also called certified) by the state. They hold at least a bachelor's degree from a four-year institution, and they demonstrate competence in the subject area(s) they teach. The standards for Highly Qualified only apply to teachers in the following core subject areas: English, reading, language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, social studies, economics, arts, history, geography, and kindergarten through grade 6. This includes special education and English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers. The federal regulations do not apply to non-core subject area teachers such as vocational teachers or physical education teachers.
Based on the grade levels at which they are serving, teachers can demonstrate subject area competence in a number of ways, ranging from National Board Certification or passing scores on professional exams, to completion of an academic major or a master's or doctoral degree from a regionally-accredited institution in the subject area taught. There are numerous federal regulations regarding Highly Qualified teachers and some vary by situation. For example, a veteran elementary school teacher with 25 years of experience and a doctoral degree would not be considered Highly Qualified by the federal definition. Only after passing the state exam in each of the core content areas he or she teaches would this teacher demonstrate the necessary "competence" to be deemed Highly Qualified. Likewise, a teacher who is extremely effective with student behavior and test scores will not be counted as Highly Qualified until meeting the federal standard. As a result, it is very important that conclusions about these data only be drawn after additional research and detailed discussion with school or district administrators.
If your child attends a school with federal Title I funding, you may ask your school district about the qualifications of your child's teacher. You may request the following information:
In addition, if your child attends a school with federal Title I funding, you must be notified when your child is taught a core academic subject for four or more consecutive weeks by a teacher who does not meet Highly Qualified standards.
For technical information about how and when these data were collected, see the Data Sources & Information Guide.