The No Child Left Behind Act requires that all teachers of core academic subjects be highly qualified. Core academic subjects include English, reading, language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history and geography (NCLB Section 9101). NCLB emphasizes teacher quality as a major factor in improving student achievement. This emphasis grows out of the research showing that teachers' mastery of the academic content they teach is critical to engaging students and is a significant factor in raising levels of student achievement.
There are three parts to meeting the HQT requirement:
- Teachers must have at least a bachelor's degree.
- Teachers must have a certificate/license that is appropriate to the grade and subject they are teaching; AND
- Teachers must be able to demonstrate their subject area expertise in the core academic subjects they teach.