Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Kirby, Peggy

Second Advisor

Theodore, George

Third Advisor

Oescher, Jeffrey


As part of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act the federal government has added the requirement that all schools receiving Title I funds must have "highly qualified teachers" in every classroom. The term "highly qualified teacher" comes from the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. What exactly is a "highly qualified" teacher? This part of the law is widely debated throughout the fifty states, but most agree that a teacher's subject-matter knowledge and experience result in increased student achievement.(Ansell& McCase, 2003) Some states have made progress in meeting the "highly qualified" requirement of NCLB. However, most states have merely established the criteria for determining if a teacher is highly qualified (Keller, 2003). The Education Trust has called for clarification from the Department of Education on the guidelines for the teacher quality provision of the law. Ten states have put into law all the requirements of the federal law, 22 have done some work toward that goal, and 18 states still have a long way to go (Keller). With so many states still grappling with compliance to the law, this study may well give policy makers in those states options that are being used in other states to consider. In addition, the study focuses on middle school and the possible impact these requirements will have on staffing of middle schools. Policy makers would do well to look at this aspect closely since middle school is often where education "loses" many students to dropping out. Also, the middle school is where the greatest number of non-certified teachers are working and where the greatest percentage (44%) of teachers are teaching without even a minor in the subject they teach (Ingersoll, 2002).


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