NCLB Highly Qualified Requirements:

*        All “core academic” teachers must be “highly qualified” by the end of school year 2005-2006.

*     Teachers of core academic subjects newly hired after the first day of school in the 2002-03 school year to teach in a program supported by Title I funds (school-wide or targeted assistance), must meet the requirements upon employment.


*     All other teachers of core academic subjects (new hires in non-Title I schools/programs and all existing teachers), must meet the requirements by the end of the 2005-06 school year.



*        “NCLB Core academic” subject areas include English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography.


*        A “highly qualified” teacher must meet all three of the following conditions:

*     Bachelor’s Degree; and

*     Teacher’s License (no requirements waived); and

*     Demonstrate competency for grade/subject area(s) being taught.


*        Elementary (K-6)

*     Subject knowledge in reading, writing, math, and other areas of basic elementary curriculum.


*        Middle (7-8) and High School (9-12)

*     Content knowledge in each core academic subject assigned to teach.


Options for Meeting NCLB Highly Qualified Requirements:

*        The Tennessee-defined teacher quality requirements are outlined in detail in the Tennessee Plan for Implementing the Teacher and Paraprofessional Quality Provisions of the NCLB Act of 2001.  A copy of the state plan is available online at http://www.tennessee.gov/education/mnclb.  Teachers should read this plan prior to selecting any option to meet the federal requirements of NCLB.


o       Academic Major:  The major must be in the academic content area.

o       Coursework Equivalent:  Twenty-four (24) semester hours in the academic content area (excluding methodology courses).

o       Graduate Degree:  The graduate degree must be in the academic content area.

o       National Board Certification (NBC):  NBC must be at the grade level being taught (K-6) or in the academic content area (7-12).

o       Test:  The applicable NTE or Praxis tests are listed in Appendix A of the State Plan.

o       Framework for Evaluation & Professional Growth:  Revised classroom observation component under development.

o       Teacher Effect Data:  The teacher vs state gain comparison level must be Not Detectably Different (NDD) from the mean or Above the mean for the state.

o       Professional Matrix:  Teachers must accumulate 100 points on the Matrix to achieve highly qualified status.


*        Only one option is necessary to achieve the federal highly qualified status.  The following chart shows the options available to Tennessee teachers by grade level for new or existing (veteran) teachers.


Elementary (K-6)

Middle or HS (7-12)

General Options:





Academic Major



Coursework Equivalent of Major



Graduate Degree



National Board Certification (NBC)



HOUSSE Options:





Framework for Evaluation &



Professional Growth*





Teacher Effect Data



Professional Matrix





















HOUSSE Option:  Highly Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE)—additional options available only for existing teachers.


*Option currently under development.


Source:  Tennessee Department of Education, Sept. 2003


Link to Federal No Child Left Behind site

*         Tennessee State Department of Education, No Child Left Behind Resources

*         U.S. Department of Education No Child Left Behind Resources