No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Highly Qualified Teacher Information
What does “highly qualified” (HQ) mean?
Under NCLB, an HQ teacher satisfies the following requirements:
holds at least a bachelor's degree from a four-year institution; AND
Is certified (NYC Board of Examiners licenses included) and assigned to their certification area; OR
If not certified in the core subject assignment area, demonstrates subject matter competency. (See section on HQ
flexibility below for when teachers are permitted to teach outside of their certification area.)
Teachers are certified for a teaching assignment if they hold one of the following:
A valid New York State certificate; OR
A NYC Board of Examiners license- this is a license that NYC issued prior to 1990 and before NY State
certification was mandatory. This license is equal to NY State certification.
Do the HQ requirements apply to all teachers?
The HQ requirements apply to public school teachers (not including day-to-day substitutes) who teach in the core
academic subject areas of:
English, reading, language arts Foreign Languages
Mathematics The arts: art, dance, music, theater (including
Sciences public speaking), drama
Social Studies (history, geography, economics,
civics and government)
Please make every effort in core academic subjects to assign teachers to their area(s) of certification.
What flexibility exists regarding HQ? How can teachers teach outside of their certification?
Incidental Teaching- New York State permits a certified teacher to be assigned outside of their certification area
for no more than 1 period per day. Teachers must demonstrate subject matter competency* in their out-of-field
core subject assignment.
Middle School Experiment in Organizational Change- Teachers with common branches certificates can teach
common branch subjects (Math, Science, English, Social Studies) at the 7th and 8th grade level. Teachers using
this flexibility must demonstrate subject matter competency* in each core subject taught.
*What are some ways in which teachers can demonstrate subject matter competency for assignments?
Being certified (NYC Board of Examiners included) in the subject they are teaching; OR
All teachers teaching incidentally or with a Common Branches problem at the Middle School, will need to be
directed via emailed BEDS reports to use the online HOUSSE application, available at
If hired before the 2006-07 school year, using the HOUSSE (High Objective Uniform State Standard of
Evaluation). HOUSSE is a rubric that enables teachers to demonstrate subject matter competency for assignments
outside of their certification using education, credentials, teaching experience and professional development; OR
Holding an undergraduate or graduate degree or its equivalent in the subject; OR
Having passed a Content Specialty Test (CST) in the subject or an old NYC Board of Examiners test in the
What are the requirements for Special Education teachers?
When teaching a core subject, Special Ed teachers must be certified in special education AND demonstrate
subject matter competency for the core subject(s) they teach in self-contained classrooms. All special education
teachers, regardless of hire date, can use the online HOUSSE tool.
Some Useful Tips for Filling out the BEDS Survey
o Please list every assignment each teacher is teaching. For example, if a teacher is teaching 5 periods of math, please
list all 5 periods.
o Speech Teachers should be listed as Speech- Corrective. (Speech-Non-Corrective is Public Speaking)
o If you do not know how to code a class, please choose the most applicable course for which students will receive
o Special Education teachers providing special education programs and or services to identified students with
disabilities should report an assignment code in the Special Education section. General education teachers who may
teach students with disabilities should report the class under the assignment code in the specific subject area.
o Collaborative Team teachers, who are not the subject matter teacher, should be listed as Consultant Teachers- with the
appropriate grade level.
How can principals help their teachers become Highly Qualified?
Review BEDS Reports – The BEDS Survey reports principals received via email contain teacher certification
information and will help principals determine if teachers are assigned to their certification area(s) according to
federal and state requirements.
Consider the Conversion Program – The Conversion program helps teachers certified in a non-shortage area
subject obtain certification in a shortage area subject. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If a Title I School, use Title I Funding to help teachers become HQ – See Principals Weekly from 9.12.2006
General Information/ Questions
HQ Teachers and Qualified Paraprofessional Information
http://www.highered.nysed.gov/nclbhome.htm AND http://www.highered.nysed.gov/nclb022005apdb.htm AND
With additional questions, please contact: HighlyQualified@schools.nyc.gov