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NCLB/Highly Qualified Teacher Requirements Update

To:Superintendents, Principals and Leaders of Charter School
From:David P. Driscoll, Commissioner of Education
Date:June 1, 2007

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The federal NCLB deadline for all teachers of core academic subjects to meet the Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) requirements was June 30, 2006. Massachusetts, which had achieved a rate of 95 percent as of the October 2006 staffing data collection, has made strong progress but is still short of the required 100 percent. I am writing to remind you of provisions that are included in the Massachusetts HQT plan extension, as approved by the U.S. Department of Education, and that may have an impact on your district.

  1. HQT "Mid-Year" Report
    The Department forwarded a streamlined "mid-year update report" template to district HQT contacts on May 21, 2007. This report is due to the Department on June 15, 2007 via email to hqthelp@doe.mass.edu.

  2. Updated HQT "Q&A"
    The Department has updated its Highly Qualified Teachers "Questions and Answers" web page at http://www.doe.mass.edu/educators/title-iia/hq/hq_faq.html.

  3. HQT "Certificate"
    Many teachers are contacting the Department to confirm whether or not they have been designated "Highly Qualified." The Department has developed a sample "HQT Certificate" (http://www.doe.mass.edu/educators/title-iia/hq/) and we encourage districts to provide it, or a comparable alternative, to teachers so they have confirmation of their HQT status.

  4. The consequences of not meeting the HQT requirement as detailed in our state plan are below. I strongly encourage districts to use their Title IIA funding toward achieving 100 percent HQT to avoid future constraints on their Title IIA and Title IA funding.

HQT Corrective Action Provisions:

Based on the data, monitoring reports and visits, the MA DOE requires the applicable school districts to implement the following corrective action provisions:

  1. Districts that have between 97 and 99 percent of their core academic teachers designated as highly qualified by the end of the 2006/2007 school year, or for any subsequent year, will be required to submit an updated Teacher Quality Improvement Plan.

  2. Districts that have less than 97 percent of their core academic teachers designated as highly qualified by the end of the 2006/2007 school year, or for any subsequent year, will be required to submit an updated Teacher Quality Improvement Plan, and will be required to target their Title IIA funds toward achieving 100 percent HQT. Such districts will need to meet the HQT goal before they can resume applying Title IIA funding to other eligible activities, such as "class size reduction." {NOTE: Since the EPIMS data collection is not conducted until October 2007, this provision will go into effect for districts at less than 97 percent HQT beginning FY 2009.}

  3. Districts that have less than 97 percent of their core academic teachers designated as highly qualified for two or more consecutive years after the end of the 2006/2007 school year will submit an updated Teacher Quality Improvement Plan, will be required to target their Title IIA funds as well as Title IA funds toward achieving 100 percent HQT. These districts will need to meet the HQT goal before they can resume applying Title IIA funding to other eligible activities. They will also be denied access to the automated licensure waiver request process, and will instead be required to submit a detailed rationale for each waiver requested and obtain specific written approval from the Commissioner.

    The Department's HQT Specialists will work closely with these schools and districts, and provide targeted technical assistance to address the issues preventing forward progress toward their annual measurable objectives. Those schools that are not making AYP and are also having difficulty with meeting the HQT provisions will work directly with their assigned MA DOE School and District Accountability liaison to incorporate the HQT goals into their improvement plans and initiatives, and to address any issues implementing the HQT provisions. The accountability liaisons will collaborate with the Department's HQT Specialists.

  4. Districts that have failed to make progress toward their HQT annual measurable objectives for three consecutive years and have failed to meet AYP for three consecutive years will enter into an agreement with the Department per the provisions of the law. This agreement will allow the State to collaboratively develop, with the district, professional development strategies and activities to help the district meet its HQT goals. As part of the agreement, the Department will also work with the districts to target their Title IIA and Title IA funds to the most appropriate activities, strategies and programs available to help them assist their non-HQT teachers to become HQT quickly. Districts will work directly with the MA DOE School and District Accountability staff, HQT Specialists and Title IIA Coordinator. In addition, through the agreement the same provisions and restrictions outlined in (c.) above will apply to these districts.



Last Updated: June 5, 2007
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