Document Type


Publication Date



Strong verbal and math skills, certified, content knowledge

Series Title

Office for Education Policy

Series Number

Volume 01 Issue 11


One of the key features of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 is a requirement that all teachers in core academic areas be “highly qualified” before the 2005-2006 school year. Even more quickly, by the end of the 2002-2003 school year, all newly hired teachers in Title I schools had to be highly qualified. The core academic areas— which must be taught by a “highly qualified” teacher—are English, reading or language arts, math, science, arts and foreign language, economics, geography, civics or government, and history. Teachers of special education and English language learner students are not required to be “highly qualified” unless they are teaching these core courses. The question, however, concerning many teachers, administrators, and parents is—what does “highly qualified” mean? This brief provides a background for NCLB’s “highly qualified” teachers, defines “highly qualified,” and summarizes the actions taken by the State of Arkansas to ensure a “highly qualified” teacher will be in every classroom by the end of the 2005-2006 academic year.