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Title II-A: Preparing, Training, and Recruiting High Quality Teachers and Principals

HOUSSE

  1. What is HOUSSE?

    HOUSSE stands for High Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation. NCLB requires teachers to be Highly Qualified by, possessing a teaching license and demonstrating subject matter competency in each of the core academic subjects that a teacher teaches. The legislation defines several options for teachers to demonstrate subject matter competency (teacher tests, academic majors, advanced degrees, etc.). One of these options allows states to define a High Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE) as an additional option. In Massachusetts, the HOUSSE option allows educators to demonstrate subject matter competency through an approved* Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP). Please refer to Question #12 for an update on the availability of the HOUSSE option.

    *Note: HOUSSE plans must be initially approved by the principal/designee.



  2. What is meant by IPDP?

    IPDP stands for Individual Professional Development Plan.

  3. What are the HOUSSE requirements? (revised on 2/7/11)

    Currently, special education and veteran ESL teachers (those who have at least one year of experience teaching ESL) who were HQ in math, science, English or reading/language arts at the time of hire may use an Individual Professional Development Plan that meets the requirements of HOUSSE to demonstrate subject matter competency in the core subject areas they are teaching. As "generalist" teachers, those who teach more than one core academic subject, these Special Education and ESL teachers would be required to demonstrate subject matter competency in each of the core academic areas they teach. At least 96 PDPs in their plan should be distributed across each of these core areas, with a minimum of 10 PDPs in each core subject they teach. If there is a reason for the plan to focus more PDPs on one core academic subject than the other (such as alignment of PDPs to school/district goals, or specific professional development needs of teachers), then the PDPs may be flexibly distributed as long as the distribution ensures that the teacher has at least 10 PDPs in each of the core academic subjects that he/she teaches and maintains 96 PDPs across the core subjects included in the plan.

  4. Although the total PDP requirements for HOUSSE are 96, an educator will need to accrue a total of 150 PDPs in his/her relicensure plan for the next round of relicensure. How can an educator use their next relicensure IPDP to meet the HOUSSE requirements when the total number of PDPs for the two plans are different? (Revised on 2/7/11)

    For the Special Education and veteran ESL teachers, the current relicensure IPDPs may not meet the HOUSSE requirements. These teachers may have a current relicensure IPDP that focuses on the content of their license, and not on all of the core academic subjects that they teach, as required in a HOUSSE plan. Therefore, their current relicensure IPDP would not automatically enable them to be considered Highly Qualified.

    Administrators must review IPDPs to ensure that they meet the HOUSSE requirements before they deem someone to be Highly Qualified, and must sign off on the plan, verifying that it has been approved. Once a Special Educator or veteran ESL teacher has completed a HOUSSE plan, a copy of the plan should be kept on file with the district.

  5. Can a teacher who does not yet have a Professional license (Standard licensure) demonstrate subject matter competency through HOUSSE? (revised on 1/11/10)

    Yes. While this plan will not count toward relicensure, and the PDPs accrued cannot be applied to future relicensure, an individual who teaches ESL or SPED can use the individual professional development plan as a means for demonstrating subject matter competency.

  6. What are the responsibilities of the principal in relation to the individual professional development plan for purposes of relicensure and the Highly Qualified requirements?

    The principal (or designee/supervisor) is responsible for approving the plan and ensuring that the IPDP goals are aligned with school and district goals.

    In relation to the HOUSSE IPDP, Title IIA of NLCB requires principals of schools that receive Title I funding to attest that they are in compliance with the Highly Qualified teacher requirements. It is the expectation of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education that all school principals, regardless of whether or not they receive Title I funding, must attest to their school's compliance. In order to make this attestation, school principals should review the qualifications of their core academic teachers and assess whether or not they have met the Highly Qualified teacher requirements.

    If a teacher is using a HOUSSE individual professional development plan to demonstrate subject matter competency, it is the responsibility of the principal (or designee) to ensure that the HOUSSE plan contains a total of 96 PDPs that focus on the core academic subject or subjects that the teacher teaches. For generalist teachers, the principal (or designee) should ensure that these teachers' plans (or supplemental logs) have the proper distribution of PDPs, as discussed in Question #33.

  7. Can teachers apply previous professional development points toward their current or new professional development plan? (updated 5/19/10)

    Although teachers are able to go as far back as needed for other options (graduate degree, coursework equivalent to a major, etc.), this flexibility is not offered through HOUSSE. The Massachusetts HOUSSE policy meets the federal criteria because it includes provisions regarding end-of-course assessments and products, which allow educators the opportunity to demonstrate subject matter competency. The HOUSSE log for highly qualified may include PDPs gained from the last renewal (relicensure) cycle. Note: for information regarding who can currently use HOUSSE, refer to question #12.

  8. What happens if individuals have dual licensure in reading and elementary education, teach reading for 100% of their time, yet have chosen to focus their individual professional development plan, for purposes of relicensure, on their elementary license? What should their plan look like for purposes of demonstrating subject matter competency in reading?

    For purposes of HOUSSE, the teachers' plans should reflect 96 PDPs on reading - the primary content area in the elementary curriculum they teach. In order for the plan to fulfill relicensure requirements for both licenses, the plan should contain 150 PDPs for the primary license (elementary) and 30 PDPs in the additional license (reading).

  9. If a teacher switches his or her content mid-way through the year, how would this impact his/her individual professional development plan for purposes of HOUSSE?

    If a teacher changes his or her content area, the individual professional development plan needs to be amended to reflect the change. This would include ensuring that the educator plans to complete 96 PDPs in the new content area. This teacher may be able to apply professional development activities from the previous plan, if these activities address the new content area.

  10. After the elimination of the HOUSSE option in July 2007, what options do teachers licensed in or prior to 1999 have in demonstrating subject matter competency? (revised on 2/7/11)

    Regardless of licensure date, the HOUSSE has been completely phased out for all teachers except SPED and veteran ESL teachers. Refer to Question #12 for the remaining options to elementary and middle/secondary schoolteachers in demonstrating subject matter competency.

  11. How does a Special Education teacher at the middle or secondary level who teaches a separate classroom across all core academic subjects of the curriculum demonstrate subject matter competency through an individual professional development plan?

    Refer to Question #33.

  12. How can veteran ESL teachers demonstrate subject matter competency in the core academic subjects that they teach through an individual professional development plan?

    Refer to Question #33.


Last Updated: February 23, 2011
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