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The term highly qualified teacher comes from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, now known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) (2002). As of the end of the 2006–2007 academic year, all public school teachers who provide direct instruction to students in core academic subjects must be “highly qualified.” The requirements apply differently to teachers at charter and private schools.

What the Law Requires

To be considered highly qualified under the NCLB, public school teachers who directly teach students in core subjects must meet the following requirements: hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education, have full state teaching certification through either a traditional or alternative route, and demonstrate subject matter competence in each of the academic subjects taught. ...

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