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October 14, 2009
Oregon Increases Classes Taught by Highly Qualified Teachers
SALEM – State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo announced today that 94% of all core academic classes taught in Oregon’s public schools during 2008-2009 school year had a highly qualified teacher, according to the federally required definition under the No Child Left Behind Act. The total is an increase over last year’s 92% and the previous year’s 90%.
“Ensuring we put highly qualified teachers in our classroom is one of the most important things we can do to raise student achievement,” Castillo said. “I am especially proud of the work we have done to ensure students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds are receiving an education from well-qualified teachers. Last year, through good district hiring practices and staffing choices, 95% of classes in schools with high poverty were taught by a highly qualified teacher – higher than the average for the state as a whole.”
Oregon's results are included below:
Teachers of core academic subjects (English/language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, social sciences, and the arts) must meet the definition of highly qualified teacher. In order to be highly qualified, teachers must be fully licensed by the state, hold at least a bachelor’s degree, and meet state requirements to demonstrate mastery of subject knowledge, either by exam or by a major in the core academic area.
In addition, teachers may be designated “highly qualified” by meeting a rigorous review of their teaching experience, college course work and continuing professional development by the Teachers Standards and Practices Commission known as the High Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE).
It is possible for a teacher to meet all the qualifications above and still not meet the highly qualified definition if the individual teacher’s class assignment is outside the teacher’s academic certification. Schools receiving Title I funds from the federal government because of their high poverty levels must send letters to parents if a teacher who is not highly qualified is teaching students in one of the core academic areas.
Oregon is required by the U. S. Department of Education to develop a plan for increasing the number of highly qualified teachers as well as improving the equitable distribution of highly qualified and effective teachers amongst all schools. To see Oregon’s plan to ensure that all teachers are highly qualified, visit http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/results/?id=102 .
Detailed school-by-school information on highly qualified teachers is available on the Oregon Department of Education website here: http://www.ode.state.or.us/superintendent/priorities/hqtmedia0809.xls (MS Excel required).
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