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Highly Qualified Teachers/Paraprofessionals Washington DC Apartments

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 I programs or elsewhere) to be highly qualified by the end of school year 2005-06.

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 or certification.

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 support 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 state or local assessment. 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 support services, an aide or paraprofessional must have the academic background required by No Child Left Behind.

Source from Washington DC Public Schools


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