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Jake Weigler, (503) 947-5650

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:

Core Classes




All Classes 90% 92% 94%
High Poverty Schools 90% 93% 95%
Self-Contained Classrooms 98% 98%98%
Self-Contained Classrooms High Poverty98% 98%98%
English 87% 89%92%
English High Poverty87%88%91%
Math90% 90%93%
Math High Poverty87%88%92%
Science High Poverty 86% 90% 95%
Social Sciences 86%92%94%
Social Sciences High Poverty84%94%91%
Foreign Language91% 89%94%
Foreign Language High Poverty 90% 87%95%
The Arts 90%92%94%
The Arts High Poverty 92% 92%95%

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 Excel Spreadsheet (MS Excel required).

Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Jake Weigler, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5650

Oregon Department of Education News Releases contain information that was originally released to the press as an official release.  Refer to each News Release for the details.

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Oregon Department of Education
Voice: 503-947-5600
Fax: 503-378-5156
255 Capitol Street NE
Salem, OR 97310-0203

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