What is a “highly qualified teacher” according to the NCLB Act, and how does this requirement affect charter school teachers?
The NCLB Act applies to teachers employed by public schools, and requires that all public school teachers be highly qualified. Under the NCLB Act, a highly qualified teacher: • Holds appropriate state certification. • Holds a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. • Has demonstrated subject area competence in each of the academic subjects in which the teacher is assigned to teach. NCLB defers to state law for credentialing requirements. EC Section 47605(l) (Outside Source) requires charter school teachers to hold a Commission on Teacher Credentialing certificate, permit, or other document equivalent to that which a teacher in other public schools would be required to hold. However, this law also states that it is the intent of the Legislature that charter schools be given flexibility with regard to noncore, non-college preparatory courses (although this flexibility is not currently extended to countywide benefit charter schools approved under EC Section 47605.6) (Outside Source). Teachers of