No Child Left Behind
• Highlights of the No Child Left Behind Act
Highlights of the
No Child Left Behind Act
The No Child Left Behind Act was signed into law in January, 2002, by President George Bush. The Act focuses on (1.) increased accountability for states, school districts and individual schools, (2.) greater choice for parents and students, especially those in low-performing schools, and (3.) greater flexibility for states and local education agencies in the use of federal dollars.
- The Act requires states to establish goals for "adequate yearly progress" and a system of reporting this to the public. With minor adjustments, South Carolina's school report cards will meet the requirement. Other states have already been looking to South Carolina's accountability system as a model.
- A school that fails to meet the state's defined "adequate yearly progress" for two consecutive years will be identified as "needing improvement." Any student in a school found to be in need of improvement may transfer to another school in the district.
- Each school district must develop a plan for the expenditure of federal funds provided by the No Child Left Behind Act. Chesterfield County School District's plan will address the following areas: tuition reimbursement for courses, costs of required exams, classes about effective teaching and learning, training to improve classroom behavior management, training on using technology in instruction, courses to ensure appropriate instruction, courses in subject area content, and training about teaching LEP, GT, and at-risk students.
- Schools that receive Federal Title I funds must notify parents when the child has been assigned to a teacher who has not received full state certification in the subject area/grade level being taught.
- Schools that receive Federal Title I funds must notify parents when the child has been taught for four or more consecutive weeks by a "long-term substitute," that is, one who has not received full state certification in the subject area/grade level being taught.
- Schools must make available, upon request and in an understandable and uniform format, to any parent of a student attending the school, information regarding the qualification of the student's classroom teacher with regard to the subject matter in which the teacher provides instruction.
- Paraprofessionals assisting in the classroom in any school that receives Federal Title I funds must possess a two-year associate's degree, 60 semester hours, or pass a test being developed for this purpose by the beginning of the 2005-2006 school year.
- Beginning with the 2005-2006 school year, no teacher may teach "out of field," that is, teach a subject/grade level in which he or she does not possess full state certification.
The local school district must disseminate a blanket statement that any parent can request information about any teacher of their child. Under federal law, parents have the right to know:
- whether a teacher has met state qualification and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction;
- whether a teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which state qualification or licensing criteria have been waived;
- the baccalaureate degree major of a teacher and any other graduate certification or degree held by the teacher, and the field of discipline of the certification or degree;
Teacher qualifications can be accessed at Teacher Qualification Search.
Parents should direct any questions or concerns about teacher qualifications to the Office of Teacher Quality at Chesterfield County School District Office, 843-623-5534. Written responses should be expected within two weeks.
In addition to the information that parents may request, a school that receives Title I funds must provide each individual parent a timely notice that the parent’s child has been assigned, or has been taught for four or more consecutive weeks by, a teacher who is not highly qualified.
The notice and information provided to parents must be in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practicable, provided in a language that the parents can understand. This applies to all teachers teaching core academic subjects in a Title I school, regardless if the school has a schoolwide or targeted assistance program.
Teacher Qualification Requirements
Definition Of Highly Qualified Teacher
Highly qualified teachers are those teachers who have:
- earned at least a bachelor’s degree,
- demonstrated content knowledge in each core content area he/she teaches,
- do not have any waivers of the requirements for full state certification
A teacher is considered to meet the certification requirements for being highly qualified if he/she has one of the following certificates:
All teachers hired after the first day of the 2002-03 school year to teach core academic subjects in Title I school-wide programs or Title I targeted assistance programs must be highly qualified. In addition, all teachers hired after the first day of the 2002-03 school year, for the purpose of reducing class size, whose salaries are paid through No Child Left Behind Act, Improving Teacher Quality Grand funds, who teach core academic subjects, must be highly qualified by the end of the 2005-06 school year and all schools must show annual progress towards having all core academic subjects teachers highly qualified by the end of the 2005-06 school year.
Teachers who instruct in the areas of physical education, health education, career and technology education, or driver education are not required to meet the highly qualified requirement. Teachers who do not provide the initial or primary instruction and do not assign a grade in a core academic subject are not required to meet the highly qualified requirement; such teachers may include English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) teachers, gifted and talented teachers, and exceptional education teachers in resource, inclusion, and itinerant settings.
Paraprofessional Qualification Requirements
According to the No Child Left Behind Act, all Title I instructional paraprofessionals must meet one of three requirements. The paraprofessional must either
1. obtain an associates degree or higher;
2. complete two years of coursework at an institution of higher education, or
3. meet a rigorous standard of quality and demonstrate, through a formal state or local academic assessment,
a) knowledge of, and the ability to assist in instructing, reading, writing and mathematics; or
b) knowledge of and the ability to assist in instructing, reading readiness, writing readiness, or mathematics readiness as appropriate.
In order to be hired in a Title I school or a Title I targeted assistance program after January 8, 2002, instructional paraprofessionals must meet one of the above requirements. All Title I instructional paraprofessionals employed before January 8, 2002, must meet one of the above requirements by January 8, 2006. Chesterfield County School District strongly encourages paraprofessionals in non-Title I schools to become highly qualified by meeting one of the three requirements listed above.