Document Type


Publication Date



subject matter competency, teaching license, degrees

Series Title

Office for Education Policy

Series Number

Volume 06 Issue 06


In response to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, state departments of education, including the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), established rules to define a “highly qualified” teacher (HQT). While the spirit of this provision is clear and reasonable, the devil is, of course, in the details. That is, what exactly does highly qualified mean? Observers had good reason to be suspicious early on when many states claimed to have 95% or more of teachers being highly qualified. (For instance, according to Education Commission of the States, 100% of North Dakota teachers are considered highly qualified and 14 other states, including Arkansas, are at the 99% mark.) In response to these suspicions, state policymakers, in Arkansas and elsewhere, have been working to make adjustments, trying to strike the right balance between a law that is meaningful and one that is practical. In this policy brief, we aim to summarize the current rules (along with the proposed changes) that govern highly qualified teachers in Arkansas.