Highly Qualified Teacher HQT

  • Highly Qualified Teacher Requirements

    No Child Left Behind requires all public school teachers with primary responsibility for direct instruction in one or more of NCLB’s core academic subjects to demonstrate that they satisfy the definition of a “Highly Qualified Teacher.” This includes special education teachers who provide direct instruction in one or more core academic subjects including: English, Reading/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Foreign Languages, Civics & Governments, Economics, Arts, History, and Geography.

    To satisfy the definition of a Highly Qualified Teacher in Pennsylvania, teachers must:

    1. Hold at least a bachelor’s degree;
    2. Hold a valid Pennsylvania teaching certificate (i.e., Instructional I, Instructional II or Intern certificate but not an emergency permit); and
    3. Demonstrate subject matter competency for the core academic subjects they teach.

    Who is Highly Qualified in Pennsylvania?

    1. All Elementary Certified Teachers who received Instructional certification and who currently teach ELEMENTARY students (see Note* for State HOUSSE plan that enables Elementary Ed teachers certified PRIOR to 1988 to be HQT)
    2. ALL Middle & Secondary Core Content Teachers who currently teach in their core academic subject and instruct students in grades 7-12
    3. ALL ESL teachers who hold an Instructional I in the core academic subject they are instructing and who teach ESL populations
    4. ALL Alternative Education teachers who hold an Instructional I in the core academic subject they are instructing and who teach ALT Ed populations
    5. ALL Special Education Certified Teachers who are teaching Elementary Level Special Education Students or students taking an Alternative Assessment and who took and passed the Praxis: Fundamental Subjects or its predecessor (thus proving ‘subject matter competency’)

    * In May 2006, the State Board of Education adopted a resolution acknowledging the State-level HOUSSE for Pennsylvania’s elementary school teachers who were certified before Pennsylvania implemented its standardized testing requirements, thereby recognizing that these teachers are “Highly Qualified” as defined by federal law.

    If you are NOT Highly Qualified, there are 3 basic ways to demonstrate subject matter competency:

    1. Pass the Praxis for the content area
    2. Complete a graduate degree or subject area major (Middle and Secondary teachers)
    3. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification (NOT New to the Profession, 3 years + experience)

    To Learn More about Pennsylvania’s HQT Requirements: 
    Pennsylvania Department of Education HQT Web Page