What is the general definition of a “highly qualified” teacher?
All teachers teaching in any core academic subject area (including early childhood and elementary) must:
- Hold at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education (IHE);
- Hold a valid Standard Professional Certificate or Advanced Professional Certificate or Resident Teacher Certificate in the subject area they are teaching; and
- Satisfy the requirements associated with specific teaching levels and experience listed below.
Note: Teachers hired after January 8, 2002, are considered NEW teachers. Those hired before January 8 are considered EXISTING teachers
Early Childhood/Elementary teacher hired after January 8, 2002
In addition to the above general “highly qualified” requirements, the teacher must demonstrate content knowledge and pedagogy competency by passing state tests that assess subject knowledge and teaching skills in reading, writing, math, and other areas of basic early childhood or elementary school curriculum.
Middle or Secondary teacher hired after January 8, 2002 (New Teacher)
In addition to the above general “highly qualified” requirements, the teacher must demonstrate a high level of competency in each of the core academic subjects in which he/she is teaching by:
- Passing the applicable state content test in each of the core academic subjects in which the teacher is teaching, OR
- Completing an academic major or course work equivalent to a major (30 credit hours from a regionally accredited institution with 50% of the course work at the upper division level), a graduate degree, or an advanced certification (issued by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and/or an Advanced Professional Certificate issued by MSDE) in each of the core academic subject areas in which the teacher is teaching.
Early Childhood/Elementary, Middle, Secondary teacher, or K-12 (Art and Music) teacher hired before January 8, 2002 (Existing Teacher)
- Meet the applicable standards listed for teachers NEW to the profession, OR
- Demonstrate competency in each of the core academic subjects in which the teacher is teaching based on a Highly Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE), which has been developed by the Maryland State Department of Education.
Continue to the next section, “Maryland’s HOUSSE.”