ERIC Number: EJ759432
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Feb-16
Reference Count: N/A
Subject Qualification Vexing for Teachers in Special Education
Samuels, Christina A.
Education Week, v24 n23 p1, 22 Feb 2005
Subject qualification for teachers in special education is a requirement that comes from the federal No Child Left Behind Act and the reauthorized Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Both laws require states to define what makes a highly qualified teacher. Meeting the standard may be a particular challenge for special education teachers, who might not have majored in a discipline such as English, science, or math before entering the classroom. Under the federal special education law, teachers must be highly qualified in special education as well as every subject they teach. The reauthorized IDEA requires that teachers of special education students must meet the same standards of quality as teachers of general education students. The deadline is the same for all teachers--the end of the 2005-06 school year, but many teachers and special education advocates maintain that the law's requirement that special education teachers be highly qualified in subject areas has caused more confusion than clarity. One option for new and veteran teachers, provided under the No Child Left Behind law, is called HOUSSE, for "high, objective, uniform state standard of evaluation." Every state is developing its own evaluation standard, which is intended to offer an alternative for teachers other than taking a test or going back to school. Many of the HOUSSE procedures around the U.S. use a combination of experience, professional training and leadership activities to evaluate teachers. With the deadline to become highly qualified just a year away, not all states have a HOUSSE in place for teachers of multiple subjects.
Descriptors: Federal Legislation, State Standards, Professional Training, Disabilities, Special Education Teachers, Teacher Qualifications, Compliance (Legal), Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Policy Analysis, Pragmatics
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001