Teacher Quality

The No Child Left Behind act requires that by the end of the 2005-2006 school year all teachers will be "highly qualified" as defined in the law. A highly qualified teacher is one who has fulfilled the state's certification and licensure requirements.

New teachers must meet the following requirements:

* Possess at least a bachelor's degree
* At the elementary level they must pass a state test demonstrating their subject knowledge and teaching skills in reading/language arts, writing, mathematics and other areas of basic elementary school curriculum.
* At the middle and high school levels they must pass a state test in each academic subject area they teach, plus have either an undergraduate major, a graduate degree, coursework equivalent to an undergraduate major or an advanced certification or credentialing.

Teachers not new to the profession must hold a bachelor's degree and must pass a state test demonstrating the subject knowledge and teaching skills. These requirements have caused some controversy and difficulty in implementation especially for special education teachers and teachers in small rural schools who are often called upon to teach multiple grades and subjects.