Not Highly Qualified Teachers

As part of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), states are to implement plans for ensuring that students receive instruction from a highly qualified teacher. The U. S. Department of Education defines Highly Qualified Teachers (HQT) state requirements as follows:


  • Highly Qualified Teachers: To be deemed highly qualified, teachers must have:

      1. A bachelor's degree

      2. Full state certification or licensure, and

      3. Demonstrate knowledge of each subject taught.

  • State Requirements: NCLB requires states to 1) measure the extent to which all students have highly qualified teachers, particularly minority and disadvantaged students, 2) adopt goals and plans to ensure all teachers are highly qualified, and 3) publicly report plans and progress in meeting teacher quality goals.

  • Demonstration of Competency: Teachers (in middle and high school) must demonstrate subject knowledge with: 1) a major in the subject they teach, 2) credits equivalent to a major in the subject, 3) passage of a state-developed content assessment, 4) High, Objective, Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE), 5) certification from the state, or 6) a graduate degree.

  • High, Objective, Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE): NCLB allows states to develop an additional way for current teachers to demonstrate subject-matter competency and meet highly qualified teacher requirements. Proof may consist of a combination of teaching experience, professional development, and/or knowledge in the subject garnered over time in the profession.


In Georgia, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GAPSC) has the full responsibility for the preparation, certification, and conduct of the certified, licensed, or permitted personnel employed in the public schools of the state of Georgia. Its mission is "to provide a qualified teacher in every classroom by setting and applying high standards for the preparation, certification, and continued licensing of Georgia public educators." To learn more about the GAPSC and teacher certification in Georgia, visit:


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