Teaching Profession

Rules Clarify Changes On Teacher, Paraprofessional Qualifications

By Erik W. Robelen — August 07, 2002 | Corrected: February 23, 2019 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Corrected: This story should have said that any teacher who is hired after the first day of the 2002-03 school year in a core academic subject and whose salary is supported with Title I money - whether in a targeted-assistance program or in a school where Title I is used for a schoolwide program - must meet new teacher qualification requirements. All teachers hired on or before the first day of this school year in such schools have until the 2005-06 school year to meet these requirements under the “No Child Left Behind” Act of 2001. The story also should have said that if a teacher has had certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis, the teacher would not meet the new qualification requirements.

The Department of Education sought last week to clarify new federal requirements on teachers and paraprofessionals, an aspect of last year’s federal education law that has had state and district officials especially nervous.

The draft regulations address ambitious provisions of the “No Child Left Behind” Act of 2001 that dictate the kind of credentials and content knowledge that will be demanded of many teachers before they reach the classroom. The law, a revision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, mandates that all public school teachers meet a definition of “highly qualified” by the 2005- 06 school year, and that teachers whose salaries come from federal Title I funds meet the requirements this coming school year.

Generally speaking, to be considered highly qualified under the draft rules, a teacher must hold a bachelor’s degree and either have obtained full state teacher certification or have passed the state licensing exam and hold a license to teach. The rules also include more specific requirements for elementary teachers and for middle and high school teachers. The requirements for new teachers are somewhat different from those for teachers already in the classroom.

Paraprofessionals supported with Title I funds also now face a higher standard. In general, such aides must have done one of the following: completed at least two years of college; obtained an associate’s degree or higher degree; or passed a state or local evaluation to demonstrate knowledge and ability to assist in teaching reading, writing, and mathematics.

Newly hired aides must meet the requirements immediately; those hired before the law was signed in January must meet them within four years.

Here are some highlights from the draft regulations that seek to clarify issues where, according to the Education Department, the law was ambiguous:

Teachers

  • The qualification requirements do not apply to a teacher who does not teach a core academic subject, or to a provider hired to meet the law’s mandate on supplemental educational services.

  • By the start of the 2002-03 school year, any teacher supported with Title I money—whether in a targeted-assistance program or in a school where Title I is used for a schoolwide program that is not limited to needy students—must meet the new qualifications.

  • A teacher meets the “alternative route” certification requirements by making satisfactory progress toward full certification as prescribed by the state.

  • For states with probationary, provisional, or initial certification for new teachers, such designations meet the full certification and licensure requirements under federal law.

Paraprofessionals

  • The paraprofessional requirements apply only to those performing instructional-support duties and not to employees performing strictly noninstructional duties.
  • The requirements apply to Title I aides both in targeted-assistance programs and in schoolwide programs.
  • The rules define what constitutes “direct supervision” of paraprofessionals by teachers. The ESEA, to avoid situations in which aides literally take over a class, now requires such supervision.

A version of this article appeared in the August 07, 2002 edition of Education Week as Rules Clarify Changes On Teacher, Paraprofessional Qualifications

Events

Jobs October 2021 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Using Integrated Analytics To Uncover Student Needs
Overwhelmed by data? Learn how an integrated approach to data analytics can help.

Content provided by Instructure
Professional Development Online Summit What's Next for Professional Development: An Overview for Principals
Join fellow educators and administrators in this discussion on professional development for principals and administrators.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Joe and Jill Biden Honor Teachers at Long-Delayed White House Ceremony
The president, with the first lady in attendance, called teachers the "single most consequential people in the world beyond our parents."
4 min read
First lady Jill Biden hugs Juliana Urtubey, 2021 National Teacher of the Year, at a ceremony to honor the 2021 State and National Teachers of the Year, on the South Lawn of the White House Oct. 18.
First lady Jill Biden stands beside Juliana Urtubey, 2021 National Teacher of the Year, at a ceremony to honor the 2020 and 2021 State and National Teachers of the Year at the White House on Monday.
Evan Vucci/AP
Teaching Profession Opinion Wellness Can't Be Just Another Task for Teachers to Do
If we want teachers to remain in the profession, state departments of education, school districts, and parent groups must step up.
Beth Pandolpho
4 min read
Vibrant hand drawn illustration depicting mindfulness concept
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Teaching Profession Thousands of Teachers Who Were Denied Loan Forgiveness Will Get a Second Chance
A settlement between the American Federation of Teachers and the U.S. Department of Education establishes a review process for borrowers.
4 min read
Teaching Profession Teachers May See Student Loans Forgiven Under New Ed. Dept. Changes
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, long criticized for its complicated and poorly communicated processes, is getting an overhaul.
4 min read
Image of Money, Benjamin Franklin Close Up
Getty