The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) required teachers to be “highly qualified” by meeting certain conditions. ESSA does away with the term “highly qualified” and federal standards; instead each state will determine its own qualification standards for its teachers. In Texas, TEA will determine the requirements for Texas teacher certification.
NCLB required teachers in core content areas to be “highly qualified." In order to be considered “highly qualified” the teacher needed the following: a bachelor’s degree, demonstration of subject matter knowledge, and full state certification.
ESSA has replaced the term “highly qualified” with “effective.” ESSA states for a teacher to be considered “effective," the teacher must meet all applicable state certification and licensure requirements, including any requirements for certification obtained through alternative routes to certification.
Practically speaking, some the Texas requirements for licensure are similar to the "highly qualified" requirements under NCLB. Certified Texas teachers must hold a bachelor's degree and demonstrate content knowledge via a passed content exam.
Though certain aspects of the “highly qualified” requirements still exist, Texas will need to provide specific oversight for the term “effective” and how this will affect teacher certification.
As Texas responds to ESSA, iteachTEXAS will continue to inform our candidates and districts with new updates.