Applications information may be found at: www.emsc.nysed.gov/nclb/allocations/0910/titleiallocfinal
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Question: What is the definition of a “highly qualified” teacher in NCLB?
Answer: Under No Child Left Behind (NCLB), a highly-qualified teacher must have:
A bachelor’s degree
Full state certification and licensure as defined by the state
Demonstrated competency, as defined by the state, in each core academic subject he or she teaches
Teachers who are hired after school year 2002-2003 must meet the requirements at the time they are hired
Elementary and secondary school teachers who are new to the profession must hold at least a bachelor’s degree and demonstrate a high level of competence by passing a “rigorous state test.”
Elementary teachers must demonstrate subject knowledge and teaching skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and other areas of the basic elementary school curriculum. Middle and high school teachers must demonstrate a high level of competency in each of the academic subjects they teach by passing a subject matter test in each subject or by successfully completing (in each of the academic subject areas in which the teacher teaches) an academic major, graduate degree, coursework equivalent to an undergraduate major, or advanced certification or credentialing. (For both elementary and secondary teachers, state-required licensing exams in subject areas count toward meeting this requirement.)
Teachers not new to the profession must hold at least a bachelor’s degree and be licensed by the state. These teachers must also meet the requirements for new teachers or demonstrate competence in each academic subject they teach based on a high, objective, and uniform standard of evaluation (HOUSSE) that is set by the state. The New York State Education Department has determined that the (HOUSSE) is an evaluation conducted after August 1, 2003 as part of a (1) pre-employment review or (2) Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) as required by Section 100.2(o) of Commissioner’s Regulations. For more information on HOUSSE, see NYSUT Information Bulletin # 200808.
2. Question: What are the provisions in ESEA to support teacher quality?
Answer: Title II, Part A of ESEA provides grants to state and school districts (local educational agencies or LEAs), state agencies for higher education, and eligible partnerships for improving teacher and principal quality. States are authorized to use the funds for professional development programs; implementing mentoring programs; teacher retention and recruitment programs; supporting the training of teachers to better integrate technology; and providing assistance to teachers to meet certification, licensure or other requirements--including the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. States may also use the funds to reform teacher and principal certification or licensure requirements and tenure. Although tenure reform, development of merit-based performance systems, and teacher testing are specifically mentioned as allowable uses of funds, there is no federal requirement.
3. Question: Is a school district required to target its Title II, Part A funds?
Answer: Yes. Districts must assure in their Title II plan to the state that funds are targeted to schools that have the lowest proportion of “highly qualified” teachers, have the largest average class-size, or are identified for school improvement under Title I.
ADVICE TO LOCAL LEADERS
1. Title II states that teachers and paraprofessionals must collaborate in the planning of Title II activities. Seek meaningful teacher involvement in determining how your district plans to spend Title II funds. Exercise your right to be involved in the development of the application to be sent to SED. Appoint teachers with planning and negotiations skills to planning committees.
2. Insist that the planning for all professional development activities financed through NCLB be a required part of the school district’s Professional Development Plan. Be sure that the district’s professional development committee provides the leadership and support for meeting the Title II requirements regarding professional development, including the local needs assessment. See NYSUT IB #200806, Professional Development Plans, for further assistance.
3. Determine which of the permitted activities listed on page 1 can be funded through Title II and strongly advocate for the inclusion of these in your district’s grant application.