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U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

ESEA : Section 9101(23)

Section 9101(23) of the ESEA states: the term highly qualifies (A) when used with respect to any public elementary school or secondary school teacher teaching in a State, means that (i) the teacher has obtained full State certification as a teacher (including certification obtained through alternative routes to certification) or passed the State teacher licensing examination, and holds a license to teach in such State, except that when used with respect to any teacher teaching in a public charter school, the term means that the teacher meets the requirements set forth in the State s public charter school law; and (ii) the teacher has not had certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary or provisional basis; (B) when use with respect to (i) an elementary school teacher who is new to the profession, means that the teacher (I) holds at least a bachelor s degree; and (II) has demonstrated, by passing a rigorous State test, subject knowledge and teaching skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and other areas of the basic elementary school curriculum (which may consist of passing a State-required certification or licensing test or tests in reading, writing, mathematics, and other areas of the basic elementary school curriculum); or (ii) a middle or secondary school teacher who is new to the profession, means that the teacher holds at least a bachelor s degree and has demonstrated a high level of competency in each of the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches by (I) passing a rigorous State academic subject test in each of the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches (which may consist of a passing level of performance on a State-required certification or licensing test or tests in each of thea cadmic subjects in which the teacher teaches); or (II) successful completion, in each of the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches, of an academic major, a graduate degree, coursework equivalent to an undergraduate academic major, or advanced certification or credentialing; and (C) when used with respect to an elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher who is not new to the profession, means that the teacher holds at least a bachelor s degree and (i) has met the applicable standard in clause (i) or (ii) of subparagraph (B), which includes an option for a test; or (ii) demonstrates competence in all the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches based on a high objective uniform State standard of evaluation that (I) is set by the State for both grade appropriate academic subject matter knowledge and teaching skills; (II) is aligned with challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards and developed in consultation with core content specialists, teachers, principals, and school administrators; (III) provides objective, coherent information about the teacher s attainment of core content knowledge in the academic subjects in which a teacher teaches; (IV) is applied uniformly to all teachers in the same academic subject and the same grade level throughout the State; (V) takes into consideration, but not be based primarily on, the time the teacher has been teaching in the academic subject; (VI) is made available to the public upon request; and (VII) may involve multiple objective measures of teacher competency.