DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
SUPTS. MEMO NO. 43
February 23, 2007
Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Revisions in Criteria to Designate Teachers
In June 2006, the United States Department of Education (USED) reported to the Virginia Department of Education the results of the USED Academic Improvement and Teacher Quality Programs team review of the state's progress in meeting the highly qualified teacher provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) and Virginia's administration of the Title II, Part A, Improving Teacher Quality State Grants program.
In the report, USED cited
· Virginia's using the Praxis II middle school assessments for newly-hired high school special education teachers to demonstrate content knowledge did not meet the requirements of NCLB or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA); and
The Virginia Department of Education was
advised by USED that these issues regarding highly qualified teachers must be
resolved by December 29, 2006, and the approved definition reflected in the
2005-2006 data reported on highly qualified teachers.
High school special education teachers new to the profession must meet one of the following options to demonstrate subject-matter competency in the subject(s) they teach. The criteria for highly qualified teachers do not apply to special education consultative teachers who are collaborating with a core academic teacher.
1. Options provided by the No Child Left Behind Act, including an academic major in the content area, graduate degree in the teaching content area, or coursework equivalent to an undergraduate major. [New secondary special education teachers who teach two or more academic subjects who are highly qualified in mathematics, language arts, science, or social studies have two years after the date of employment to be highly qualified in the other core academic subject area, which may include HOUSSE. If teaching core academic subjects exclusively to children assessed on alternate achievement standards, the teacher must meet highly qualified requirements for an elementary teacher.]
3. Rigorous State Academic Subject Test: Pass the appropriate Middle School Praxis II assessment(s) in the subject(s) they teach if the special education teacher new to the profession is teaching classes at a high school campus in which the students are not earning standard credit in core academic areas towards a high school diploma.
To address the citation regarding the option of allowing licensed elementary, middle, and secondary teachers not new to the profession to become highly qualified by the completion of an earned advanced degree (with any major) from an accredited college or university, the Board of Education approved an amendment to Virginia's High Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE). The completion of an earned advanced degree from an accredited college or university must be in the subject(s) the teacher is teaching. Attached is the amended HOUSSE reflecting this change.
Each state was required to submit
a plan to limit the use of the HOUSSE. Attached is
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs. Patty S. Pitts, assistant superintendent for teacher education and licensure, at (804) 371-2522; Patty.Pitts@doe.virginia.gov.