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"Highly Qualified" deadline approaches

Veteran teachers of core academic subjects who are using the Highly Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE) to be identified as "highly qualified" must do so by June 30, 2007.

The Massachusetts HOUSSE will expire for all teachers, except those teaching English as a Second Language and Special Education.

Core academic subjects include: English, reading, language arts, mathematics, foreign languages, science, economics, history, civics, geography and fine arts.

Teachers must be licensed and demonstrate subject matter competence by having one of the following in each subject taught:

  • An undergraduate major or equivalent.
  • A graduate degree.
  • National Board certification.
  • MTEL content test (passing the MTEL Early Childhood or General Curriculum test satisfies the subject requirement for all core subjects taught by early childhood and elementary teachers, respectively.)

Those who cannot use one of the above must meet the requirements of the Massachusetts HOUSSE: Teachers may use Professional Development Points earned between June 1999 and June 2007 to demonstrate they are highly qualified.

The HOUSSE must include at least at total of 96 PDPs earned between 1999 and 2007 in the subject(s) to be covered. For core academic subject taught, there must be at least 10 PDPs in that content area. Massachusetts regulations allow any teacher to teach up to 20 percent outside of his/her licensed areas. If this applies, at least 30 PDPs must have been earned in that core academic subject.

MTA recommends that every teacher have his/her supervisor/principal sign the Highly Qualified Certificate that can be downloaded here.

One copy should be maintained in the personnel file, and the other should be kept by the educator.

Being "highly qualified" is portable. This means that if one district identifies a teachers as "highly qualified," then all districts must recognize that teacher as highly qualified.