On January 8, 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act became law. This
guide is meant to provide you with information about the Act.
It summarizes the main provisions of the law, answers common questions,
and provides information on where you can find additional resources.
You are encouraged to share it with family and friends.
What No Child Left Behind Does for Parents
The Act supports learning in the early years, thereby
preventing many learning difficulties that may arise later.
Children who enter school with language skills and pre-reading
skills (e.g., understanding that print reads from left to right
and top to bottom) are more likely to learn to read well in the
early grades and succeed in later years. In fact, research shows
that most reading problems faced by adolescents and adults are
the result of problems that could have been prevented through
good instruction in their early childhood years (Snow, Burns and
Griffin 1998). It is never too early to start building language
skills by talking with and reading to children. No Child Left
Behind targets resources for early childhood education so that
all youngsters get the right start.
The Act provides more information for parents about their
child's progress. Under No Child Left Behind, each state
must measure every public school student's progress in reading
and math in each of grades 3 through 8 and at least once during
grades 10 through 12. By school year 2007-2008, assessments (or
testing) in science will be underway These assessments must be
aligned with state academic content and achievement standards.
They will provide parents with objective data on where their child
The Act alerts parents to important information on the
performance of their child's school. No Child Left Behind
requires states and school districts to give parents easy-to-read,
detailed report cards on schools and districts, telling them which
ones are succeeding and why Included in the report cards are student
achievement data broken out by race, ethnicity, gender, English
language proficiency, migrant status, disability status and low-income
status; as well as important information about the professional
qualifications of teachers. With these provisions, No Child Left
Behind ensures that parents have important, timely information
about the schools their children attend, whether they are performing
well or not for all children, regardless of their background.
The Act gives children and parents a lifeline.
In this new era of education, children will no longer be trapped
in the dead end of low-performing schools. Under No Child Left
Behind, such schools must use their federal funds to make needed
improvements. In the event of a school's continued poor performance,
parents have options to ensure that their children receive the
high-quality education to which they are entitled. That might
mean that children can transfer to higher-performing schools in
the area or receive supplemental educational services in the community,
such as tutoring, after-school programs or remedial classes.
The Act improves teaching and learning by providing better
information to teachers and principals. Annual tests
to measure children's progress provide teachers with independent
information about each child's strengths and weaknesses. With
this knowledge, teachers can craft lessons to make sure each student
meets or exceeds the standards. In addition, principals can use
the data to assess exactly how much progress each teacher's students
have made and to better inform decisions about how to run their
The Act ensures that teacher quality is a high priority.
No Child Left Behind defines the qualifications needed by teachers
and paraprofessionals who work on any facet of classroom instruction.
It requires that states develop plans to achieve the goal that
all teachers of core academic subjects be highly qualified by
the end of the 2005-2006 school year. States must include in their
plans annual, measurable objectives that each local school district
and school must meet in moving toward the goal; they must report
on their progress in the annual report cards.
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Because of No Child Left Behind:
Parents will know their children's strengths and weaknesses and
how well schools are performing; they will have other options
and resources for helping their children if their schools are
chronically in need of improvement.
Teachers will have the training and resources they need for teaching
effectively, using curricula that are grounded in scientifically
based research; annual testing lets them know areas in which students
need extra attention.
Principals will have information they need to strengthen their
schools' weaknesses and to put into practice methods and strategies
backed by sound, scientific research.
Superintendents will be able to see which of their schools and
principals are doing the best job and which need help to improve.
School boards will be able to measure how their districts are
doing and to measure their districts in relation to others across
the state; they will have more and better information on which
to base decisions about priorities in their districts.
Community leaders and volunteer groups will have information they
can use to rally their members in efforts to help children and
schools that need the most help.
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How are school report cards put together and what kind
of information do they provide?
Reports on individual schools are part of the annual district
report cards, also known as local report cards. Each school district
must prepare and disseminate annual local report cards that include
information on how students in the district and in each school
performed on state assessments. The report cards must state student
performance in terms of three levels: basic, proficient and advanced.
Achievement data must be disaggregated, or broken out, by student
subgroups according to: race, ethnicity, gender, English language
proficiency, migrant status, disability status and low-income
status. The report cards must also tell which schools have been
identified as needing improvement, corrective action or restructuring.
How can parents see these local report cards, which include
States must ensure that the local districts make these local report
cards available to the parents of students promptly and by no
later than the beginning of the school year. The law requires
that the information be presented in an "understandable and
uniform format, and to the extend practicable, in a language that
the parents can understand." States and districts may also
distribute this information to the media for publicizing; post
it on the Internet; or provide it to other public agencies for
Further, local school districts must notify parents if their child's
school has been identified as needing improvement, corrective
action or restructuring. In this event, districts must let parents
know the options available to them. Also, districts must annually
notify parents of students in Title I schools of their "right
to know" about teacher qualifications and how to exercise
What information is provided on state report cards?
Each state must produce and disseminate annual report cards that
provide information on student achievement in the state-both overall
and broken out according to the same subgroups as those appearing
on the district report cards listed above. State report cards
*State assessment results by performance level (basic, proficient
advanced), including (I) two-year trend data for each subject
and grade tested;
and (2) a comparison between annual objectives and actual performance
each student group.
*Percentage of each group of students not tested.
*Graduation rates for secondary school students and any other
achievement indicators that the state chooses.
*Performance of school districts on adequate yearly progress measures,
including the number and names of schools identified as needing
*Professional qualifications of teachers in the state, including
the percentage of
teachers in the classroom with only emergency or provisional credentials
the percentage of classes in the state that are not taught by
teachers, including a comparison between high- and low-income
What is "adequate yearly progress"? How does
measuring it help to improve schools?
No Child Left Behind requires each state to define "adequate
yearly progress" for school districts and schools, within
the parameters set by Title I. In defining adequate yearly progress,
each state sets the minimum levels of improvement-measurable in
terms of student performance-that school districts and schools
must achieve within time frames specified in the law. In general,
each state begins by setting a "starting point" that
is based on the performance of its lowest-achieving demographic
group or of the lowest-achieving schools in the state, whichever
is higher. The state then sets the level of student achievement
that a school must attain after two years in order to continue
to show adequate yearly progress. Subsequent thresholds must be
raised at least once every three years, until, at the end of 12
years, all students in the state are achieving at the proficient
level on state assessments in reading/language arts and math.
What if a school does not improve?
States and local school districts will aid schools that receive
Title I funds in making meaningful changes that will improve their
performance. In the meantime, districts will offer parents options
for children in low-performing schools, including extra help to
children from low-income families
The No Child Left Behind Act lays out an action plan
and timetable for steps to be taken when a Title I school fails
to improve, as follows:
* A Title I school that has not made adequate yearly progress,
as defined by the
state, for two consecutive school years will be identified by
the district before
the beginning of the next school year as needing improvement.
officials will develop a three-year plan to turn around the school.
will ensure that the school receives needed technical assistance
as it develops
and implements its improvement plan. Students must be offered
the option of
transferring to another public school in the district that has
not been identified
as needing school improvement.
* If the school does not make adequate yearly progress for three
school remains in school-improvement status, and the district
to offer public school choice to all students. In addition, students
income families are eligible to receive supplemental educational
such as tutoring or remedial classes, from a state-approved provider.
* If the school fails to make adequate progress for four years,
the district must
implement certain corrective action to improve the school, such
certain staff or fully implementing a new curriculum, while continuing
offer public school choice and supplemental educational services
*If a school fails to make adequate yearly progress for a fifth
year, the school
district must initiate plans for restructuring the school. This
reopening the school as a charter school, replacing all or most
of the school
staff or turning over school operations either to the state or
to a private
company with a demonstrated record of effectiveness.
In addition, the law requires states to identify for improvement
those Districts that fail to make adequate yearly progress for
two consecutive years or longer and to institute corrective actions.
How are teachers or schools that do well rewarded?
No Child Left Behind requires states to provide state
academic achievement awards to schools that close achievement
gaps between groups of students or that exceed academic achievement
goals. States may also use Title I funds to financially reward
teachers in schools that receive academic achievement awards.
In addition, states must designate as distinguished schools those
that have made the greatest gains in closing the achievement gap
or in exceeding achievement goals.
What can parents do to help their child's school succeed
and meet the accountability requirements? How does the law help
parents become involved?
No Child Left Behind supports parent involvement because
research overwhelmingly demonstrates the positive effect that
parent involvement has on their children's academic achievement
(Clark 1983; Comer 1980, 1988; Eccles, Arbreton, et al., 1993;
Eccles-Parsons, Adler and Kaczala 1982; Epstein 1983, 1984; Marjoribanks
1979 as cited in Eccles and Harold 1996). In the event a school
is identified as needing improvement, corrective action or restructuring,
the law requires the District to notify parents accordingly and
to explain to them how they can become involved in school improvement
efforts. In any event, the law requires the same agency to provide
parents with local report cards, which include data on each individual
school in the district, as described earlier. Thus, parents have
up-to-date information about their child's school, which they
can use in whatever manner they choose to be involved. Parents
may help their child's school in a number of ways, including:
Attending parent-teacher meetings or special meetings to address
academic problems at the school; volunteering to serve as needed;
encouraging other parents to become involved; and learning about
the school's special challenges, community resources and the No
Child Left Behind Act. In addition, parents should take advantage
of the increased flexibility given local decision-makers by No
Child Left Behind and talk with their school board members, principals
and other state and local education leaders about which programs
they think will help their students the most.
In addition, the law has other specific requirements on parent
involvement that include the following:
*Each state education agency must support the collection and dissemination
information on effective parent involvement practices to local
agencies and schools.
* The law in Title I spells out specific measures that Districts
receiving Title I funds must take to ensure parent involvement
areas, including: overall planning at the district and school
policies on parent involvement at both levels; annual meetings;
coordinating parent involvement strategies among federal education
(i.e., Title I, Head Start and Reading First); and evaluating
and revising them if needed.
* Schools that have school-wide programs must involve parents
plans for such programs-that is, programs designed to raise the
of low-achieving students in high-poverty Title I schools by improving
instruction throughout the entire school (thus using Title I funds
to serve all
* The law provides for involvement of parents of private schools
served by various federal education programs such as Title I.
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What impact does testing have on children?
Although testing may be stressful for some students, testing is
a normal and expected way of assessing what students have learned.
The purpose of state assessments required under No Child Left
Behind is to provide an independent insight into each child's
progress, as well as each school's. This information is essential
for parents, schools, districts and states in their efforts to
ensure that no child-regardless of race, ethnic group, gender
or family income-is trapped in a consistently low-performing school.
Will student results be made available to parents?
Yes. State assessments will produce reports on each student that
will be given to parents.
Will the results of a child's tests be private?
Absolutely. Only the parents and school receive the results of
an individual child's tests. Individual student scores will not
be made public. They are not a part of student achievement data
on report cards issued by districts and states.
On what subjects are students tested and when?
No Child Left Behind requires that, by the 2005-06 school
year, each state must measure every child's progress in reading
and math in each of grades 3 through 8 and at least once during
grades 10 through 12. In the meantime, each state must meet the
requirements of the previous law reauthorizing ESEA (the Improving
America's Schools Act of 1994) for assessments in reading and
math at three grade spans (3-5; 6-9; and 10-12). By school year
2007-2008, states must also have in place science assessments
to be administered at least once during grades 3-5; grades 6-9;
and grades 10-12. Further, states must ensure that districts administer
tests of English proficiency to measure oral language, and reading
and writing skills in English, to all limited English proficient
students, as of the 2002-03 school year.
Students may still undergo state assessments in other subject
areas (i.e., history, geography and writing skills), if and when
the state requires it. No Child Left Behind, however, requires
assessments only in the areas of reading/ language arts, math
How is testing handled for children with disabilities? How is
it handled for those with limited English proficiency?
No Child Left Behind requires that all children be assessed.
In order to show adequate yearly progress, schools must test at
least 95 percent of the various subgroups of children, including
their students with disabilities and those with limited English
proficiency. States must provide reasonable accommodations for
students with disabilities or limited English proficiency. For
the latter, accommodations may include native-language versions
of the assessment; however, in the area of reading and language
arts, students who have been in U.S. schools for three consecutive
years will be assessed in English.
Some say that testing causes teachers to teach to the test.
Is that true?
State assessments are expected to measure how well students meet
the state's academic standards, which define what students should
know and be able to do in different subject areas at different grade
levels. Under the previous reauthorization of the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act in 1994, states were required to develop
or adopt standards in mathematics and in reading or language arts;
No Child Left Behind requires states to do the same with science
standards by 2006. Curriculum based on state standards should be
taught in the classroom. If teachers cover subject matter required
by the standards and teach it well, then students will master the
material on which they will be tested and probably much more. In
that case, students will need no special test preparation in order
to do well.
Nevertheless, state assessments sound like they could take
a lot of time and effort. What will be gained?
The point of state assessments is to measure student learning. A
key principle of quality management is the importance of measuring
what is valued (e.g., production rates; costs of materials, etc.).
Such measures enable an organization to identify where and how to
improve operations. In the same manner, if schools and school systems
are to continuously improve, they must measure growth in student
achievement. After all, the core of all activity in schools and
school systems is teaching and learning, and the key question is:
Are the students learning?
Do tests measure the progress of schools?
Annual state assessments required under No Child Left Behind
produce data on student performance at individual schools; and this
information is used to gauge whether each and every school is meeting
the state's standard of "adequate yearly progress." Parents
can check progress made in improving student performance at their
child's school by checking the annual district report card. If their
school is not making adequate yearly progress and has been identified
as needing improvement, corrective action or restructuring, No Child
Left Behind requires that districts notify parents and offer options.
How does testing help teachers?
Annual testing provides teachers with a great deal of information.
For example, overall poor results could indicate that the curriculum
needs to be reviewed and aligned with the content upon which state
standards are based; poor results could also mean that teachers
need to modify their instructional methods. Another likely indicator
of the same problems would be if teachers saw poor performance by
their students in certain areas. Test results could also help teachers
to clarify those areas in which they may need professional development.
Finally, teachers gain a great deal of information about the performance
of individual students that enables them to meet the particular
needs of every child.
How does testing help principals?
Annual tests show principals exactly how much progress each teacher's
students have made. They can use this information to guide decisions
about program selection, curriculum arrangement, professional development
for teachers and school resources they might need. Tests also show
principals the strengths and weaknesses of students in terms of
the whole school, various subgroups and as individuals and enable
them to make plans that bolster strengths and address weaknesses.
How can parents find out if their child's school uses information
gathered from testing to improve teaching and learning?
Parents can ask the principal how their school makes decisions about
teaching and learning. They can ask such questions as: Does the
faculty meet regularly; review performance data; and identify weaknesses
to be targeted? Do programs and curricula follow state content standards
defining what students should know and be able to do in a given
subject, at a given grade level? How is the school using test data
to guide decisions about teaching and learning (e.g., how do those
data influence professional development, tutoring, and selection
of materials)? Is there a school-wide plan that uses testing to
evaluate performance, determine areas of strengths and weaknesses
in instruction and respond to targeted needs of students? Have test
data revealed weaknesses at the school (e.g., low math scores in
the fifth and sixth grades)? What are the teachers and principal
doing to assess such problems and address them? These are important
questions for parents to ask about how their child's school is using
testing and the data obtained from it.
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How does this law improve teacher quality?
No Child Left Behind requires local school districts to
ensure that all teachers hired to teach core academic subjects in
Title I programs after the first day of the 2002-03 school year
are highly qualified. In general a "highly qualified teacher"
is one with full certification, a bachelor's degree and demonstrated
competence in subject knowledge and teaching. (Core subjects include
English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign
languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history and geography.)
The act also calls for all teachers of the core academic subjects
(teaching in Title II programs or elsewhere) to be highly qualified
by the end of school year 2005-06.
No Child Left Behind (ESEA, Title II) provides federal
funding to states and districts for activities that will strengthen
teacher quality in all schools, especially those with a high proportion
of children in poverty. Funding can be used to support a wide array
of activities, including interventions for teacher professional
development, so long as the activities are grounded in scientifically
based research. Because communities nationwide face such a variety
of needs when it comes to teacher quality, the law gives schools
and districts a great deal of flexibility in how the money is spent.
It also holds them accountable for the proper and effective use
of the funds.
How are states and districts held accountable for improving
Each state that receives Title II funds must develop a plan to ensure
that all teachers of core academic subjects are highly qualified
by the end of the 2005-06 school year. The plan must establish annual,
measurable objectives for each local school district and school
to ensure that they meet the "highly qualified" requirement.
In schools that receive funds under Title II, principals must make
a statement each year as to whether the school is in compliance
with the "highly qualified" teacher requirement. This
information will be maintained at the school and district offices
where members of the public can see it upon request. In addition,
each school district must report to the state annually on its progress
in meeting the requirement that all teachers be "highly qualified"
by the end of the 2005-06 school year. This information is part
of the state report cards described earlier.
How can parents find out about the quality of their child's
Parents of students in Title I schools are guaranteed annual notification
of their "right to know" about teacher qualifications
by their school district. That means parents may request and receive
from that office information regarding the professional qualifications
of the student's classroom teachers, including: (a) whether the
teacher is state-certified; (b) whether a teacher is teaching under
emergency or other provisional status; and (c) the baccalaureate
degree major of the teacher and any other graduate degree major
What about paraprofessionals or teachers' aides? Does No
Child Left Behind call for increased academic requirements for them?
While paraprofessionals or teachers' aides are valuable assets to
many learning communities, they are not qualified to fill the role
of teachers, a role which, unfortunately, many have been called
upon to fill, especially in schools that are under-staffed. No Child
Left Behind is clear that teachers' aides may provide instructional
services only under the direct supervision of a teacher. In addition,
the law allows teachers' aides to facilitate instruction only if
they have met certain academic requirements:
* they must have at least an associate's degree;
*or two years of college,
*or they must meet a rigorous standard of quality through a formal
If a paraprofessional's role does not involve facilitating instruction,
such as serving as a hall monitor, that person does not have to
meet the same academic requirements. But, in order to provide instructional
services, an aide or paraprofessional must have the academic background
required by No Child Left Behind.
Why is teacher quality such an important issue?
A major objective of No Child Left Behind is to ensure high-quality
teachers for all students, regardless of race, ethnicity or income,
because a well-prepared teacher is vitally important to a child's
education. In fact, research demonstrates the clear correlation
between student academic achievement and teacher quality (Sanders
and Rivers 1996). Parents should never hesitate to inquire within
their school and district about the qualifications of teachers instructing
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No Child Left Behind "Highly
Qualified" Frequently Asked Questions For Teachers
Q1. Who must be reported as highly qualified teachers
under the NCLB definition?
A: Teachers who
teach in a core academic subject must be reported.
Q2. What are the core academic subjects?
A: Core academic
subjects, as defined in Section 9101, include English, language
arts, reading, science, mathematics, arts (includes music, visual
arts, dance, and drama), foreign languages, government and civics,
history, economics, and geography,
Q3. What is meant by "full state certification"
A: Full state
certification is a valid Ohio certification or license. Full state
certification or licensure in Ohio requires the completion of an
approved teacher preparation program within an accredited college
or university, and a passing score on the state licensing examination
(Praxis II) upon completion of all coursework.
Q4. Does a teacher with a temporary, conditional, or
long term substitute certificate or license meets the NCLB highly
A: No, teachers
with temporary or conditional licenses do not meet the NCLB highly
qualified requirement. Long-term substitutes who are teaching out
of field do not meet the NCLB requirements.
Q5. Does a minor in a subject meet the NCLB highly
A: No, a minor
in a subject does not satisfy the highly qualified requirement.
A major or the equivalent is required and is defined as 30 semester
hours or 45 quarter hours.
Q6. When must teachers of core academic subjects meet the
NCLB federal definition of being designated as highly qualified?
A: By the
2005-2006 school year, all public school (not just Title I) elementary,
middle, and secondary teachers of core academic subjects in the
state are to be highly qualified.
Q7. When must teachers of core academic subjects in
programs supported by Title 1 Part A funds need to meet the highly
A: All teachers
in Title I school-wide programs or teachers paid with Title I funds
in targeted assistance programs and hired after January 8, 2002
must be "highly qualified" on the date on which they are
hired. All teachers (including teachers in Title I school-wide programs
or teachers paid with Title I funds in targeted assistance programs)
must be highly qualified by the end of the 2005-2006 school year.
Q8. Do the NCLB highly qualified requirements apply
to career-technical teachers?
A: The NCLB highly
qualified requirements do not apply to teachers of career-tech non-degree,
non-academic subjects. The NCLB highly qualified requirements apply
to career-tech teachers if a career tech subject, counts as a core
academic subject (example: applied mechanics may count as the mathematics
Q9. What are the NCLB parent notification requirements
regarding teacher qualifications in title I schools?
A: At the
beginning of each school year, a school district that receives Title
I, Part A funds must notify the parents of each student attending
any Title I school (School-wide or Targeted Assistance) that the
parents may request information regarding the professional qualifications
of the student's classroom teachers, including, at a minimum the
* Whether the teacher has met State qualification and licensing
criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher
* Whether the teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional
status through which State qualification or licensing criteria have
*The baccalaureate degree major of the teacher and any other graduate
certification or degree held by the teacher, and the field of discipline
of the certification or degree.
*Whether the child is provided services by paraprofessionals and,
if so, their qualifications.
Q10. What are the NCLB reporting requirements to parents
of teachers who are not designated as highly qualified?
A: Beginning the
2002-2003 school year, parent(s) of any child in a school receiving
Title I funds, must be provided timely notice if their child has
been assigned or has been taught for four or more consecutive weeks
by a teacher who is not highly qualified. The timely notice must
be documented-preferably in writing.
Q11. Are teachers who are participating in an approved
alternative certification program to be reported as highly qualified?
A: Yes, all teachers
who are participating in the approved Ohio alternative certification
program are reported as highly qualified.
Q12. Are pre-kindergarten teachers subject to the highly
qualified teacher elementary level requirement of NCLB?
A: Teacher qualification
requirements do not apply to early childhood or pre-kindergarten
teachers unless a State includes early childhood or pre-kindergarten
as part of its elementary and secondary school system, Ohio does
not presently include early childhood or pre-kindergarten. However,
even if the ESEA's highly qualified teacher requirements do not
apply to them in this case, State and
districts should ensure that pre-kindergarten teachers have the
necessary skills and knowledge to provide their students with successful
school readiness skills.
Q13. Who will make the determination if there is a question
as to whether a specific item will meet the 100 points on the Ohio
Highly Qualified Teacher Rubric?
A: The rubric
(system) is designed for the teacher to self report, but if there
is a question regarding whether a certain professional development
activity would meet the requirement or not, it should be determined
by the teacher's Local Professional Development Committee (LPDC).
Q14. On the highly qualified worksheet, in section 4 and
6, what does clock hours mean?
A: Clock hours
are 60 minutes of participation.
Q15. I hold a 7-12 English certificate and it appears that
I meet the HQT definition for teaching English 7-12, but my assignment
is 7-8th grade language arts. Is it possible for me to meet the
requirements of the definition for the language arts assignment?
A: Yes, if you
meet the criteria from the worksheet. If not, there is also the
opportunity to meet the federal definition by earning the 100 point
rubric or the 90 clock hours of personal development activities
approved by your LDPC, before the end of the 2005-2006 school year.
Q16. My school has created "reading in the content
area mini-courses" e.g., reading in mathematics, that are taught
by content-area teachers who most likely meet the HQT criteria for
their content areas; however, they do not hold reading certification.
Is it possible that they will be considered HQT for their content
assignments, but not HQT for the reading in the content area course?
A: Yes, one might
meet the criteria for some of their teaching assignment classes
but not all, therefore would be counted at the percent rate in which
they do. For example, if they teach 6 periods a day and meet it
in four of the six periods, they would be counted as 4/6 or 66%
Q17. At what grade level does the content requirement
become specific for a person holding a 1-8 certificate? In other
words, if I hold the 1-8 certificate and am teaching science in
my middle school to 7 -8th graders and have one 6th grade class,
will I be considered HQT for the 6th grade but not 7th and 8th?
A: Yes, this could
in fact occur. The worksheet has some common questions that all
teachers answer and some specific ones for one's teaching assignment
designated as two categories: PreK-6 or 7-12th. Questions on the
teacher worksheet are categorized by such things as degree, certification/licensure
type, academic major, and National Board status, to name a few.
In addition, one can meet the federal definition by completing the
rubric or accumulating 90 clock hours.
Q18. Regarding the rubric, has a protocol been established
regarding what courses will be accepted within the "college
course work related to content area" and the "professional
development in content area" categories?
A: A teacher's
LPDC can assist to determine this, along with guidance from the
Higher Ed institution's course description for determining the classification
for each course in question.
Q19. What Master's degrees are okay for teachers who
teach PreK-6th grade?
A: Teacher who
teach PreK-6 can hold a master's degree in any area of education,
which includes Curriculum and Supervision as well as in Reading.
The only exception to this is a master's in Educational Administration.
Q20. What Master's degrees will meet the federal definition
for Highly Qualified if the teacher teaches grades 7 -12?
A: The master's
degree must be in a content area(s) related to one's teaching assignment
for teachers teaching in grades 7-12.
Q21. Why doesn't a Master's degree in Educational Administration
meet the Highly Qualified teacher definition?
A: Course work
for Educational Administration does not focus on instructional improvement
but rather, focuses on a larger study of school operations such
as school law and school finance.
Q22. Would a person who holds a history certificate
but not a comprehensive social studies certificate, and is presently
teaching economics (or geography, government etc.) be considered
A: No. A teacher
with a history certificate would be teaching out of their subject
area (history) and would not be able to answer yes to the second
question under section 1 of the worksheet "Do I have full state
certification/licensure in my teaching area."
Q23. What is the time line for the 90 clock hours of
high quality professional development? From what point can one begin
counting the 90 clock hours?
A: Clock hours
can be counted since the time your Local Professional Development
Committee (LPDC) began keeping records.
Q24. How does the Highly Qualified teacher definition
pertain to special educators/intervention special lists?
A: Special education
teachers who provide instruction in core academic subjects must
meet the highly qualified teacher requirements for those core academic
subjects that they teach. These requirements apply whether a special
education teacher provides core academic instruction in a regular
classroom, a resource room, or other setting. Special educators
who do not directly instruct students in any core academic subjects
or who provide only consultation to highly qualified teachers of
core academic subjects in adapting curricula, using behavioral supports
and interventions, or selecting appropriate accommodations do not
need to demonstrate subject-matter competency in those subjects.
These special educators could also assist students with study skills
or organizational skills and reinforce instruction that the child
has already received from a highly qualified teacher.
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No Child Left Behind "Highly
Qualified" Frequently Asked Questions For Paraprofessionals
Q1. Who is considered as a paraprofessional?
A: According to
ESEA guidelines, a paraprofessional provides one-on-one tutoring;
assists with classroom management (organizing instructional and
other materials); provides instructional computer assistance; provides
support in a library or media center; or provides instructional
services under the direct supervision of a teacher.
Requirements do not apply to paraprofessionals working primarily
as translators or solely on parental involvement activities, or
to individuals working in non-instructional roles (food service,
cafeteria or playground supervision, personal care service, and
non-instructional computer assistance).
Q2. What qualifications are required for paraprofessionals?
to the regulations, paraprofessionals who have instructional duties
in Title I school wide buildings or are paid with Title I funds
in Title I targeted assistance buildings are required to meet one
of the following three criteria to meet the qualified definition:
*Complete at least two years of study at an institution of higher
education (defined as 48
semester or 72 quarter hours as verified by a college transcript
from an accredited institution of higher education; or
*Obtain an associate (or higher) degree from an accredited institution
of higher Education
(defined as an associate degree program from an accredited institution
of higher education; or
*Meet a rigorous standard of quality and demonstrate, through a
formal State or local
academic assessment as follows:
of, and the ability to assist in instructing reading, writing and
of, and the ability to assist in readiness for reading, writing,
Q3. Will all paraprofessionals hired after 1/8/02 have to
meet the educational requirements or just Title I-hired paraprofessionals?
A: ESEA requirements
for paraprofessionals impact only those individuals with instructional
duties in any program supported by Title I funds. For a school wide
school, this means all paraprofessionals with instructional duties,
regardless of the source of funding for their positions. In targeted
assistance buildings, only those paraprofessionals paid by Title
I funds must meet one of the three qualifying requirements. In addition,
all paraprofessionals falling under these requirements must have
a secondary school diploma or its equivalent. Only one of the three
requirements is needed for those employed before or after January
8. 2002. Those employed after January 8, 2002, must meet one of
the expectations upon employment. Those hired before this date must
meet one of the requirements by January 8, 2006.
Q4. Do the paraprofessional requirements apply to those paraprofessionals
working in MR/DDs and ESCs within a local district?
A: Yes, the
requirements do apply to paraprofessionals working in MR/DDs and
ESCs within a district if those positions are funded with Title
Q5. Can paraprofessionals be "grandfathered in"
based on years of experience, or are they required to obtain a two-year
A: No grandfather
provisions exist under the ESEA. However, Title I teacher aides
hired prior to January 8, 2002 have four years after that date to
meet the qualifications prescribed in Section 1119 (c through h)
Q6. What form of assessment will paraprofessionals be required
A: The ParaPro
Assessment focuses on one's knowledge of, and ability to assist
in instructing, reading/reading readiness, writing/writing readiness,
and mathematics readiness. A passing score of 456 (out of a total
of 480 possible points) must be obtained in order to meet the requirements.
Q7. Where can I take the ParaPro Assessment?
A: The ParaPro
Assessment is offered six times a year at Praxis testing centers
for $40.00 per participant with no registration fee. Online testing
is available to districts as well. As the demand grows, additional
sites may be added.
Q8. If a Parapro does not pass the test, can it be taken
may take the test as many times as necessary to achieve a passing
score of 456 (out of a total of 480 possible points).
Q9. If a Parapro does not pass one section of the test, can
that one section be taken again or must the entire test be completed?
A: Because the
ParaPro is a single test, there is no way to "bank" scores
on any single part of it, therefore the entire test must be retaken.
Q10. Will districts be able to provide funding for
paraprofessionals to meet the new requirements?
A: Title I and Title II funds may be provided for ongoing training
and professional development for paraprofessionals.
Q12. Does a paraprofessional in a computer lab have
to meet the paraprofessional definition?
A: The answer
to this depends upon the responsibilities assigned to the paraprofessional.
If the paraprofessional is an instructional aide, assisting students
with curricular issues the answer is yes. Whereas, if the paraprofessional
is employed in a computer lab for maintenance, mechanical assistance,
or security responsibilities, the paraprofessional would not be
considered to be serving in an instructional role and thus would
not need to meet the definition.
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Creating Safer Schools
How big a problem is crime in schools?
In 2000, students ages 12 through 18 were victims of about 2 million
crimes at school, including about 128,000 serious violent crimes
(including rape, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault).
That same year, about 29 percent of students in grades 9 through
12 reported that someone had offered, sold or given them an illegal
drug on school property. While overall school crime rates have declined
over the last few years, violence, gangs and drugs are still present,
indicating that more work needs to be done.
How can parents find out about safety at their child's
Under Title IV of ESEA as reauthorized by the No Child Left
Behind Act, states are required to establish a uniform management
and reporting system to collect information on school safety and
drug use among young people. The states must include incident reports
by school officials and anonymous student and teacher surveys in
the data they collect. This information is to be publicly reported
so that parents, school officials and others who are interested
have information about any violence and drug use at their schools.
They can then assess the problems at their schools and work toward
finding solutions. Continual monitoring and reports will track progress
How can schools be made safer?
Title IV provides support for programs to prevent violence in and
around schools; prevent the illegal use of alcohol, drug and tobacco
by young people; and foster a safe and drug-free learning environment
that supports academic achievement. Most of the funds are awarded
to states, which, in turn, award money to the districts for a wide
range of drug- and violence-prevention programs. These programs
must address local needs as determined by objective data and be
grounded in scientifically based prevention activities. They must
also involve parents. The effectiveness of these programs must be
continuously measured and evaluated.
What can be done immediately for students who are in unsafe
Parents of children who have been the victims of a violent crime
at school or who attend "persistently dangerous schools"-as
determined by the state will be offered school choice, as described
in the next section.
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Choice and Supplemental Educational Services
When are children eligible for school choice?
Children are eligible for school choice when the Title I school
they attend has not made adequate yearly progress in improving student
achievement as defined by the state-for two consecutive years or
longer and is therefore identified as needing improvement, corrective
action or restructuring. Any child attending such a school must
be offered the option of transferring to a public school in the
district, not identified for school improvement, unless such an
option is prohibited by state law. No Child Left Behind requires
that priority in providing school choice be given to the lowest
achieving children from low-income families. As of the 2002-2003
school year, school choice is available to students enrolled in
schools that have been identified as needing improvement under the
ESEA as the statute existed prior to the enactment of No Child Left
In addition, children are eligible for school choice when they
attend any "persistently dangerous school," as defined
by the individual state. Any child who has been the victim of a
violent crime on the grounds of his or her school is also eligible
for school choice.
How do parents know if their child is eligible for school
Under No Child Left Behind, school districts are required
to notify parents if their child is eligible for school choice because
his or her school has been identified as needing improvement, corrective
action or restructuring. They must notify parents no later than
the first day of the school year following the year for which their
school has been identified for improvement.
States are required to ensure that school choice is offered as
an option to parents in the event their child is attending a school
that is "persistently dangerous" or has been the victim
of a violent crime while on school grounds.
What action can parents take if their school or district
does not offer school choice to their child who is eligible?
Schools and districts receiving Title I funds must provide choice
for eligible students as described above. If they do not, parents
are encouraged to contact their state department of education.
Do public school options include only schools in the same
There may be situations where children in Title I schools have
school options outside their own district. For instance, a school
district may choose to enter into a cooperative agreement with another
district that would allow their students to transfer into the other
district's schools. In fact, the law requires that a district try
"to the extent practicable" to establish such an agreement
in the event that all of its schools have been identified as needing
improvement, corrective action or restructuring.
Is transportation available for children who exercise their
right to attend another school?
Subject to a funding cap established in the statute, districts
must provide transportation for all students who exercise their
school choice option under Title 1. They must give priority to the
lowest-achieving children from low-income families.
What are supplemental educational services?
Supplemental educational services include tutoring and after-school
services. They may be offered through public- or private-sector
providers that are approved by the state, such as public schools,
public charter schools, local education agencies, educational service
agencies and faith-based organizations. Private-sector providers
may be either nonprofit or for-profit entities. States must maintain
a list of approved providers across the state organized by the school
district or districts they serve, from which parents may select.
States must also promote maximum participation by supplemental educational
services providers to ensure that parents have as many choices as
When are children eligible to receive supplemental educational
Students from low-income families who remain in Title I schools
that fail to meet state standards for at least three years are eligible
to receive supplemental educational services.
Are parents notified about supplemental educational services?
Yes. Local education agencies are required to provide annual notice
to parents of eligible children about the availability of services
and information on the approved providers.
Can parents choose providers for tutoring and other supplemental
Yes, parents of eligible children can choose from the list of state-approved
providers. Most states have approved a diverse list of providers,
as mentioned above. Upon request, the local education agency will
help parents determine which provider would best fit their child's
needs. When parents have made their selection, the local education
agency must then contract with that provider to deliver the services.
What action can parents take if their child is eligible
for tutoring or other supplemental educational services, but their
school or district does not offer them?
Districts receiving Title I funds must offer free tutoring and other
extra help to eligible students, as described above. If eligible
students are not being offered these services, parents are encouraged
to contact their state department of education.
How are providers of supplemental educational services held
States must develop and apply objective criteria for evaluating
providers and monitor the quality of services that they offer. In
addition, supplemental services providers must give to parents,
as well as to the school, information on their children's progress.
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Where can I find more information on ESEA,
No Child Left Behind or local information?
Titles of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA),
as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged - Sandy
Preparing, Training, and Recruiting High Quality Teachers,Principals,
and Paraprofessionals - Mary Ann Hale
Technology - Mary Ann Hale
Safe and Drug Free Schools - Mary Ann Hale
21st Century Schools - Andrea Caudill
Promoting Informed Parental Choice and Innovative
Programs - Sandy Pappas
Flexibility and Accountability - Rural and Low-Income - Mary
Special Education - Debra Andrews
Early Childhood Special Education - Debra Andrews
Superintendent - John D. Simmons
The direct link to this legislation online is www.ed.gov/legislation/ESEA02/index.html.
To access a title-by-title summary of the law, check www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/esea/progsum
Call toll-free at 1-800-USA-LEARN
No Child Left Behind
U.S. Department of Education www.ed.gov
The White House
Ohio Department of Education www.ode.state.oh.us
Quick Links NCLB (ESEA)
Center for Students, Families, and
Center for School Reform and Options
Center for Teaching Profession
Center for School Finance and Accountability
Report Card Data
Adequate Yearly Progress