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Jul 13, 2010

What does it mean to be "Highly Qualified?"

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act signed by President George W. Bush, required that all schools have the same percentage of "Highly Qualified" Teachers (or HQT). NCLB proposed that students in lower income and disadvantaged schools did not have access to the same percentage of quality teachers and resources as those students in the middle/high income area schools. 

Here are the basic "points to remember" about retaining your 'highly qualified' status: 

  • Accuracy: Keeping a license valid and accurate is the responsibility of the educator. When you receive a new teaching license, be sure to look it over carefully. If it is not exactly as you believe it should be, please contact the Office of Teacher Licensing immediately. If it is correct, detach the portion marked “Superintendent's Copy” and give it to the personnel office of the school system where you are employed.
  • Endorsements & Advanced Degrees: No endorsement or advanced degree for salary credit will be added to a license without an application requesting the change initiated by the license holder. Once an endorsement is added to a teacher license, it cannot be removed at the teacher's request.
  • Don't Forget To Renew" All licenses must be renewed, even if they are not actively being used.
  • Download Licensure Forms: All applications for licensure transactions are available for download from this web site.  Be sure to submit the most current forms to ensure meeting current requirements. Check Licensure Forms for specific applications needed.
  • Highly Qualified Status: The Office of Teacher Licensing is not responsible for determining an educator's "Highly Qualified Status". Tennessee educators must contact the personnel office of the local school system where they are employed or the Field Service Center of the Tennessee Department of Education in the area of their region of the state. Check Highly Qualified Plan pdf icon for additional information

For further information on the Highly Qualified requirements and the options in meeting the requirements, please review the following document (it outlines grade level requirements as well as options/timelines in meeting requirements if a teacher is not already considered "highly qualified.")

Other important licensing and renewal information can be found at the following link:

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