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Educator Effectiveness

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Title I Paraprofessionals Hiring Requirements

Program Description

Section 1111 (g) (2) (J) of the Every Student Succeeds Act requires that the state educational agency will ensure that all instructional paraprofessionals working in a program supported with funds under Title I, Part A meet applicable State certification requirements. Additionally, Section 1111 (g)(2)(M) requires that the state has professional standards in place for instructional paraprofessionals. These may be consistent with those previously in place under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

Hiring Requirement Options

Massachusetts will not be changing its requirements for the hiring of paraprofessionals at this time. LEAs are required to have all instructional paraprofessionals in Title I schoolwide buildings, and all instructional paraprofessionals who are funded by Title I or working in a Title I Targeted Assistance program, meet hiring requirements.

Hiring Requirements1:

  • Have obtained an associate (or higher) degree, or
  • Have at least two years of post-secondary education that is equivalent to at least 48 credit hours from an accredited higher education institution, or
  • Have met a rigorous standard on one of the formal Massachusetts-endorsed Assessments: Parapro or WorkKeys

Note: Title I paraprofessionals must also work under the direct supervision of a teacher.

ParaPro Assessment

The ParaPro measures skills and knowledge in reading, writing and mathematics, as well as the ability to apply those skills and knowledge to assist in classroom instruction. As previously, a scaled score of 464 must be achieved in order to meet Massachusetts hiring requirements. ETS will report a single score for the ParaPro and will not give a score for each sub-category. Therefore, banking of subscores will not be possible. There will be, however, some information to the candidate on the score report as to his/her performance on each subcategory.

Massachusetts school districts and charter schools may enroll as an internet-based ParaPro testing site thereby allowing paraprofessionals to take the assessment in a computer lab designated by the district/school. Information for school districts and charter schools that are interested in becoming testing sites can be found at: ParaPro Assessment Application.

General questions regarding the ParaPro can be sent to . You can also visit the ParaPro website, located at: ParaPro Assessment.

WorkKeys Assessment

The WorkKeys Proficiency Certificate for Teacher Assistants consists of Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics, and Business Writing assessments and the Instructional Support Inventory (ISI). In order to meet Massachusetts hiring requirements, paraprofessionals must achieve at the following skill levels on all three sections of the ACT Work Keys Certificate of Proficiency for Teaching Assistants:

  • Reading for Information: Skill Level 5
  • Applied Mathematics: Skill Level 4
  • Business Writing: Skill Level 3
  • Writing (only used in lieu of Business Writing if districts request paper/pencil testing): Skill Level 4

General information about ACT and WorkKeys can be found at ACT WorkKeys.

Additional Resources

1 Note: Massachusetts public school districts may also choose to require their paraprofessionals to meet additional requirements.

Last Updated: June 27, 2023

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