Highly Qualified FAQs

 What does it mean to be considered "Highly Qualified"?

Essentially, it means that the teacher has the knowledge base and background needed to teach a specific subject. The requirements needed to be considered "Highly Qualified" can be acquired through a variety of ways.

 By when do I need to meet the requirements of the NCLB "Highly Qualified" mandate?

The requirements must be met by the end of the 2005-2006 school year.

 Who has to meet the "Highly Qualified" requirements?

All teachers with the primary responsibility for instructing students in the core academic subject areas.

 What criteria are used to determine if I am considered "Highly Qualified"?

There is no one answer. However, all teachers must hold a valid certificate for the grade levels they teach.

New (first-year) teachers will normally meet the Highly Qualified requirements upon completion of their teacher education program in their subject area.

Veteran teachers (at least one year teaching experience) can normally meet the requirements under the Illinois HOUSSE criteria for their subject area.

 What are the Illinois HOUSSE criteria?

They are the High Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation criteria, a set of about 20 different activities that can qualify teachers to teach their subject area.

Veteran teachers need to accrue at least 100 points under the HOUSSE criteria to be considered "Highly Qualified".

 What about special education, bilingual education and English as a Second Language teachers?

There are also state requirements and HOUSSE criteria for each of those areas.

 What if I teach more than one grade level and/or subject area?

You must meet the requirements for whatever grade level and subject area you teach.

There are some situations, such as in elementary education (K-5) and special education where that principle does not apply.

 What do I personally need to do to make sure I'm "Highly Qualified"?

Check to make sure that you meet the certification requirements and, for some, the HOUSSE criteria as established by the Illinois State Board of Education for the grade level and subject area(s) that you teach.

You can do that by taking the ISBE online quiz found at the top of this page (to be available soon). You should also check your state certification and endorsements by going to OTIS. There is a link located at the top of this page.

 Whom do I notify to confirm that I am considered "Highly Qualified"?

You should notify the district personnel office and let them know that you "passed" the ISBE quiz.

 What happens if I don't meet the requirements to be considered "Highly Qualified"?

You go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200 ... or .. You need to discuss the matter with the district personnel office.