The New Jersey Model for Identifying Highly Qualified Teachers
- There are to be no consequences for individual teachers in terms of job loss if they have not yet satisfied the federal definition of a Highly Qualified Teacher. This is especially true for teachers in Title I schools. Teachers holding emergency certification complete only the Statement of Assurance. They cannot become highly qualified without a standard license, Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) or a Certificate of Eligibility (CE).
- All forms and related documentation are due to building principals not later than Friday, October 14, 2005 for all new hires, any teacher with a change in content area teaching assignment, and any teacher who has not yet satisfied the definition of Highly Qualified Teacher. New, newly hired and veteran teachers in non-Title I schools, as well as veteran teachers in Title I schools, must satisfy the definition of a Highly Qualified Teacher by the end of the 2005-2006 school year. Federal regulations require that new and newly hired teachers in Title I schools be highly qualified at the time of hire (See appendix 2 for details).
- The Department of Education’s role in implementing the federal requirement is to provide districts with the orientation, training and support needed to assist schools in completing the Highly Qualified Teacher identification process; to create a state profile using the Highly Qualified Teacher Survey data; and to determine the Annual Yearly Progress goals for increasing the percentage of classes taught by Highly Qualified Teachers.
- The district’s role in implementation of the federal requirement is to provide schools and teachers with the orientation, inservice and support needed to complete the Highly Qualified Teacher identification process including, where necessary, the NJ HOUSE Standard: Content Knowledge Matrix (see page 32) and to gather and maintain the identification data at the building level. Schools that receive Title I funding (including funds used for before/after school programs) must comply with the parent notification requirements under No Child Left Behind. In September 2005, schools receiving Title I funds must notify all parents of their right to inquire about the qualifications of their child’s teacher(s). A sample letter (Sample A) and additional parent information have been provided in the appendix. By the end of October 2005, schools receiving Title I funds must notify parents if any of their child’s teachers have not yet satisfied the definition of a Highly Qualified Teacher. A sample letter (Sample B) and additional parent information have been provided in the appendix. The Sample B letter (or a modified version) must be sent to any parent whose child has been instructed for four or more weeks by a teacher who has not yet satisfied the definition of a Highly Qualified Teacher. Parent notification requirements apply to the entire school—whether or not the teacher is paid in whole or in part by Title I funds or teaches within a targeted assistance program.
- Appendices have been added to provide information about Praxis II content knowledge exams and requirements for teachers in Title I schools.
The New Jersey Model for Identifying Highly Qualified Teachers
The federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), reauthorized in 2001, requires that all teachers be or become highly qualified in the core academic content area(s) they teach. NCLB places major emphasis upon teacher quality as a factor in improving achievement for all students. This emphasis grows out of the research showing that teachers’ mastery of the academic content they teach is critical to engaging students and is a significant factor in raising levels of student achievement.
It is vital that districts and teachers understand that there are to be no consequences to individual teachers in terms of job loss, if teachers have not yet met the definition of a Highly Qualified Teacher. This is particularly true in schools supported with Title I funds. The state has a responsibility under the federal law to support and monitor district progress toward meeting the goal of increasing the number of highly qualified teachers. Districts have a responsibility to support and monitor teacher progress toward meeting the goal of satisfying the Highly Qualified Teacher definition.
This packet contains two types of forms. Teachers will complete the appropriate NJ Highly Qualified Teacher Identification form(s) based on the certification(s) they hold for their present teaching assignment(s). These forms will be used to determine whether the teacher satisfies the definition of a Highly Qualified Teacher based on the federal criteria for the particular teaching assignment held.
Veteran teachers who do not satisfy the federal criteria advance to the NJ High Objective Uniform State Evaluation (HOUSE) Standard and complete a Content Knowledge Matrix to determine whether they satisfy the definition of a Highly Qualified Teacher using the alternate criteria of the NJ HOUSE Standard. Teachers who do not yet document 10 points on the NJ HOUSE Standard Content Knowledge Matrix have until the end of the 2005-2006 school year to accrue 10 points in order to satisfy the definition.
New and newly hired teachers in Title I schools must satisfy the definition of a highly qualified teacher at the time of hire. Veteran teachers and experienced teachers who are newly hired in Title I schools may satisfy the definition using the NJ HOUSE Standard Content Knowledge Matrix. First-year teachers in Title I schools may not use the NJ HOUSE Standard to satisfy the requirement.
Flexibility for Special Education Teachers — The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was reauthorized in December 2004 and takes effect July 1, 2005. It permits special education teachers who teach core academic subjects to students assessed against alternate proficiency standards to satisfy the Highly Qualified Teacher requirement as elementary generalists. It also provides new special education teachers who are teaching multiple subjects in middle and secondary settings and who satisfy Highly Qualified Teacher requirements for math, science or language arts with up to two years from their date of hire to demonstrate content expertise in the remaining core academic subjects they teach. New special education teachers may use the NJ HOUSE Standard Content Knowledge Matrix to demonstrate content expertise in the remaining subjects—even if they work in Title I schools. There is no extension of the 2006 deadline for veteran special education teachers who teach multiple content areas. Special education teachers who provide support and consultation exclusively satisfy federal requirements by holding full state certification as special education teachers.
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