Federal A State Capitals Roundup

Utah Teachers OK’d as ‘Highly Qualified’

By Michelle R. Davis — March 01, 2005 1 min read

A dispute between Utah and the U.S. Department of Education over the qualifications of the state’s veteran elementary and early-childhood teachers has been settled.

Last week, federal education officials announced that 8,500 Utah teachers in that category were considered “highly qualified” under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, said Ray Timothy, Utah’s associate superintendent of education.

In November, federal officials said the state’s teacher-quality standards were not stringent enough, rendering many certified elementary and early-childhood teachers not “highly qualified” under the law. But, after a series of clarifications and discussions, federal officials were satisfied with Utah’s teacher requirements, Mr. Timothy said.

Susan Aspey, a spokeswoman for the Education Department, said the agency worked with Utah to provide guidance on what the law requires to aid state officials in developing a plan to help veteran teachers meet the standards for becoming highly qualified under the federal law.

Utah Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr. said Feb. 23 the matter had been resolved: “The approval received today will recognize the superior quality of teaching which is delivered in the classrooms throughout our state.”

Following similar negotiations involving North Dakota teachers, federal officials also approved that state’s teacher-certification program.

A version of this article appeared in the March 02, 2005 edition of Education Week

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