The federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 requires teachers in K-12 schools to meet the definition of Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) through three criteria: 1) minimum of a bachelor's degree, 2) full state teacher certification, and 3) demonstrated subject matter knowledge in each core academic subject assigned to teach, including in Bilingual, English as a Second Language and Special Education classrooms.
Generally, subject matter knowledge may be demonstrated by 30 semester credits, a degree, National Board certification, or a passing score on the WEST-E test in the applicable core academic subject: (English/Language Arts, Reading, Mathematics, Science, World Language, Civics and Government, Economics, History, Geography, Visual Arts, Music, Dance, Theatre).
Impact on Teacher Candidates
Candidates intending to teach in the following classroom situations should determine how they can meet the Washington State Classroom Assignment Policy and the federal HQT requirement for teaching core academic subjects.
- Elementary teacher candidates wishing to teach core academic subjects in departmentalized grade 6, and grades 7-8
- Secondary teacher candidates wishing to teach in a middle level block program that includes a core academic subject in which their teaching certificate will not be endorsed
- Special Education teacher candidates wishing to teach core academic subjects in a non-consultative role
- All teacher candidates earning endorsements to teach in Bilingual and/or English as a Second Language classrooms