Note: Congress has reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the statute formerly known as No Child Left Behind. The new statute, Every Student Succeeds Act, was signed into law by President Obama on December 10, 2015.
January 2004, the New Hampshire Bureau of Special Education issued
memo to all school Superintendents and Special Education Directors.
According to this memo, special education teachers who were certified
in Mental Retardation, but not in core academic subjects, could
teach children with disabilities.
9, 2004: Sent Complaint Letter
23, 2004: New Hampshire Issues New Memo
memo also clarified that "these requirements are part of the
Parent's Right to Know of NCLB for those schools that receive Title
I funding. Parents Right to Know Provisions include the following:
had no idea how or when the offices I contacted would investigate
my complaint. I was surprised at how quickly the investigators contacted
the New Hampshire Department of Education.
To find the Regional
Representative for your state, click here http://www.ed.gov/about/contacts/state/index.html,
click your state, click the third item in the list, then scroll to
the bottom of the list to find the Secretary's Regional Representative
for your state.
section of No Child Left Behind that the Office for Civil Rights enforced
as a result of my complaint was clarified on December 3, 2004 when
IDEA 2004 was signed into law.
(10) HIGHLY QUALIFIED.--
(A) IN GENERAL.-- For any special education teacher, the term `highly qualified' has the meaning given the term in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, except that such term also--
(i) includes the requirements described in subparagraph (B); and
(ii) includes the option for teachers to meet the requirements of section 9101 of such Act by meeting the requirements of subparagraph (C) or (D).
(B) REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS.--When used with respect to any public elementary school or secondary school special education teacher teaching in a State, such term means that--
(i) the teacher has obtained full State certification as a special education teacher (including certification obtained through alternative routes to certification), or passed the State special education teacher licensing examination, and holds a license to teach in the State as a special education teacher, except that when used with respect to any teacher teaching in a public charter school, the term means that the teacher meets the requirements set forth in the State's public charter school law;
(ii) the teacher has not had special education certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis; and
(iii) the teacher holds at least a bachelor's degree.
(C) SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS TEACHING TO ALTERNATE ACHIEVEMENT STANDARDS.--When used with respect to a special education teacher who teaches core academic subjects exclusively to children who are assessed against alternate achievement standards established under the regulations promulgated under section 1111(b)(1) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, such term means the teacher, whether new or not new to the profession, may either--
(i) meet the applicable requirements of section 9101 of such Act for any elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher who is new or not new to the profession; or
(ii) meet the requirements of subparagraph (B) or (C) of section 9101(23) of such Act as applied to an elementary school teacher, or, in the case of instruction above the elementary level, has subject matter knowledge appropriate to the level of instruction being provided, as determined by the State, needed to effectively teach to those standards.
(D) SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS TEACHING MULTIPLE SUBJECTS.--When used with respect to a special education teacher who teaches 2 or more core academic subjects exclusively to children with disabilities, such term means that the teacher may either--
(i) meet the applicable requirements of section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 for any elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher who is new or not new to the profession;
(ii) in the case of a teacher who is not new to the profession, demonstrate competence in all the core academic subjects in which the teacher teaches in the same manner as is required for an elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher who is not new to the profession under section 9101(23)(C)(ii) of such Act, which may include a single, high objective uniform State standard of evaluation covering multiple subjects; or
(iii) in the case of a new special education teacher who teaches multiple subjects and who is highly qualified in mathematics, language arts, or science, demonstrate competence in the other core academic subjects in which the teacher teaches in the same manner as is required for an elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher under section 9101(23)(C)(ii) of such Act, which may include a single, high objective uniform State standard of evaluation covering multiple subjects, not later than 2 years after the date of employment.
(E) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.--Notwithstanding any other individual right of action that a parent or student may maintain under this part, nothing in this section or part shall be construed to create a right of action on behalf of an individual student or class of students for the failure of a particular State educational agency or local educational agency employee to be highly qualified.
(F) DEFINITION FOR PURPOSES OF THE ESEA.--A teacher who is highly qualified under this paragraph shall be considered highly qualified for purposes of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. [Section 602 (10), which will become (U.S.C. §1410 (10))].
Qualified Teachers: References & Resources
Meeting the Highly Qualified Teacher Challenge: The Secretary's Second Annual Report on Teacher Quality, U. S. Department of Education (2003)
Reports on the Quality of Teacher Preparation - Title II Technical
Assistance Main page l State
An Action Guide for Community and Parent Leaders - Using NCLB to Improve Student Achievement from the Public Education Network.
are the New IDEA 2004 Requirements for Highly Qualified Special Education
about new requirements for highly qualified special education teachers,
how to meet these requirements, and limitations on what you can do
if you are not "highly qualified."
Last revised: 11/09/08
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Copyright © 1998-2022, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr
Wright. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1998-2022, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved.