Mississippi Department of Education Highly Qualified Teacher Criteria The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

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1 Mississippi Department of Education Highly Qualified Teacher Criteria The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 General Information 1. Mississippi issues teacher licenses at four levels to persons who have completed a state-approved teacher education program (through a traditional or alternative route) and earned a degree from a regionally/nationally accredited Institution of Higher Learning: Class A at the baccalaureate level; Class AA at the master s level; Class AAA at the education specialist level; and Class AAAA at the doctorate level. Licenses issued at the Class AA, Class AAA, and Class AAAA are considered to be advanced degree licenses. 2. Mississippi offers three alternative route programs that lead to full state licensure, each of which requires at least a baccalaureate degree from a regionally/nationally accredited Institution of Higher Learning and successful completion of a rigorous state-required test, the PRAXIS. 3. Mississippi requires all new teachers seeking initial certification in a discipline through traditional or alternative routes to pass the PRAXIS I, (unless exempt by the state designated score on the ACT and SAT/traditional teacher preparation program) and PRAXIS II. 4. Mississippi does have one charter school that was established and now operates in accordance with Section , Mississippi Code of 1972 annotated. 5. Mississippi provides for additional endorsement areas to be added to a current Class A Educator License for middle and high school teachers of core academic subjects as defined in NCLB to include English, reading or language arts, science, mathematics, foreign languages, civics, government, economics, arts, history and geography. 6. In this document, teacher refers to elementary school teachers (K-6) and to middle (7-8) and secondary school teachers (9-12) of core academic subjects as defined in No Child Left Behind (NCLB) to be English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography. The NCLB definition is not applicable to teachers of non-academic core subject areas.

2 7. In the 15 Mississippi bachelor degree-granting institutions of higher learning, teacher education programs shall be subject to the following requirements: a. Current standard: Elementary programs must include an interdisciplinary program of study. The minimum course requirements for the Interdisciplinary Program of Studies are as follows, or its equivalent: English- 12 semester hours Mathematics- 9 semester hours Science- 9 semester hours Social Studies- 12 semester hours Fine Arts/Teaching of Fine Arts- 6 semester hours Reading- 15 semester hours Special Education- 3 semester hours Classroom Management Data Analysis/Evaluation b. Current standard: *[4-8 Subject Area Candidate] = 21 semester hours of academic content courses, a total which can include 3-6 hours of pedagogy courses in each of the concentration areas. c. Current standard: 7-12 programs and other special area programs shall require a major in an academic field other than education or a combination of disciplines. 8. Mississippi issues a One-Year Veteran Educator License upon the request of a local school district for core and non-core academic subject areas if the applicant holds a standard educator license but is teaching in a subject area outside of his/her area of endorsement. The veteran educator can demonstrate competence by completing an academic major, a graduate degree, coursework equivalent to an academic major, or passing a rigorous State academic subject test. Those educators holding the one-year veteran educator license in a core academic subject area are to be reported as not Highly Qualified as defined in NCLB. 9. Mississippi issues a One-Year Interim Certificate upon the request of a local school district for core and non-core academic subject areas only if the applicant holds a bachelor s degree and can demonstrate competence by completing an academic major, a graduate degree, coursework equivalent to an academic major, or passing a rigorous State academic subject test. Those educators holding the one-year interim certificate in a core academic subject area are to be reported as not Highly Qualified as defined in NCLB. 10. Mississippi issues the Expert Citizen License upon the request of a local school district for non-core academic subjects. A local school district can request the Expert Citizen License in core academic subject areas only if the applicant holds at least a bachelor s degree and demonstrates competency through advanced certification or credentialing.

3 The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB Act) Mandates that Teachers New to the Profession (employed for the first time in a Mississippi public school after the first day of school, ) meet the highly qualified definition: A new elementary teacher (K-6) obtains an initial license by: 1. Holding a baccalaureate degree: and 2. Acquiring the necessary pedagogical skills by completing one of the following: an approved pre-service teacher preparation program for elementary education from a regionally/nationally-accredited Institution of Higher Learning; OR an approved alternate route to certification program (4-8 only) for elementary education; 3. And, demonstrating content knowledge by passing rigorous State approved tests (PRAXIS) covering subject knowledge and teaching skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and other areas of the basic elementary school curriculum. A new middle (7-8)/ secondary teacher who teaches a core academic subject (English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography) holds at least a bachelor s degree subject the teacher teaches. The initial license is obtained by: 1. Holding a baccalaureate degree: and 2. Acquiring the necessary pedagogical skills by completing one of the following: an approved pre-service teacher preparation program for middle/secondary education from a regionally/nationally-accredited Institution of Higher Learning, (Number ten outlines the new requirements for middle school teachers) OR an approved alternate route certification program for middle/secondary education; 3. And, demonstrating content knowledge by passing rigorous State approved tests (PRAXIS).

4 The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB Act) Mandates that Teachers Not New to the Profession (employed in a Mississippi public school before or on the first day of school, ) have until the end of the school year to meet the highly qualified definition: A veteran elementary school teacher (K-6) who holds at least a bachelor s degree and at least a valid Class A Educator License and is assigned to a grade covered by that license meets the highly qualified teacher definition. A veteran middle school teacher (7-8) who teaches a core academic subject, (English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography) holds at least a bachelor s degree, subject the teacher teaches meets the highly qualified definition. Teachers who do not meet the highly qualified requirement(s) may achieve highly qualified status by: Passing the PRAXIS II (specialty-area assessment), OR Passing the PRAXIS II specialty-area assessments for middle school teachers, OR Obtaining National Board Certification in each core academic subject area being taught outside of area of endorsement, OR Having a master s degree in each of the core academic subjects the teacher teaches, OR Obtaining continuing education units through the Middle Grades Professional Development Institute hosted by the local school district, OR Taking the additional hours to fulfill the content requirement for a major (a minimum of 21 hours with a grade of C or higher). High Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE)

5 A veteran secondary school teacher (9-12) who teaches a core academic subject, (English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography) holds at least a bachelor s degree, subject the teacher teaches meets the highly qualified definition. Teachers who do not meet the highly qualified requirement(s) may achieve highly qualified status by: Passing the PRAXIS II (specialty-area assessment), OR Passing the PRAXIS II specialty-area assessments for middle school teachers (tentatively available in September 2004), OR Obtaining National Board Certification in each core academic subject area being taught outside of area of endorsement, OR Having a master s degree in each of the core academic subjects the teacher teaches, OR Taking the additional hours to fulfill the content requirement for a major (a minimum of 21 hours with a grade of C or higher). High Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE)

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