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Highly Qualified Teachers

Classes taught throughout the school year, including summer school classes were reported. In addition, the elementary classes were weighted to account for all core academic subject instruction.

The federal "No Child Left Behind Act" (NCLB), enacted in January 2002, states that all teachers in core academic areas must be highly qualified in the core academic subjects they teach by the end of the 2005-2006 school year. It also requires that newly hired teachers in Title 1 programs or schools be highly qualified immediately. All teachers hired after the first day of the 2002-2003 school year in Title 1 schoolwide programs must be highly qualified. In Title 1 targeted-assistance schools, only those teachers paid with Title 1 funds need to be highly qualified immediately.

"Highly qualified" is a specific term defined by No Child Left Behind. The law outlines a list of minimum requirements both in content knowledge and teaching skills to meet the "highly qualified" status. The law requires teachers to have a bachelor's degree and full state certification and to demonstrate content knowledge in the subjects they teach. Under NCLB states decide what is necessary for certification and for determining subject-matter competency. Rules surrounding the requirements for highly qualified teachers continue to be developed and refined. For more information on the state requirements please go to: www.msde.maryland.gov.

Under NCLB, states are required to measure the extent to which all students have highly qualified teachers. We have incorporated statistics on the percent of not highly qualified teachers in high poverty schools and in low poverty schools. This calculation is based on ranking schools by the percentage of economically disadvantaged students. Maryland uses students receiving free and reduced priced meals for this measure. MSDE reports the percentage of not highly qualified teachers in the highest and lowest quartiles of schools in this ranking.