Highly Qualified Teachers in MUSD
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 set forth new requirements for the qualifications of teachers. Under these guidelines, in order to be considered “highly qualified,” teachers must meet certain criteria: holding a bachelor’s degree, possess a valid state certificate, and demonstrate subject matter competency. All teachers were required to meet the requirements for “highly qualified” by the end of the 2005-2006 school year, while teachers in Title I schools were required to meet the guidelines beginning in 2003.
In MUSD, we support the idea that teachers should have the necessary depth of knowledge to help children develop deep and meaningful understandings. We know that children are inspired by teachers who are passionate about the content and who engage students in active inquiry and exploration. Teachers with in-depth knowledge of content are better able to make critical instructional decisions that high quality teaching and learning demand. To this end, MUSD administrators have always been diligent in hiring teachers who are highly qualified, although shortages in certain content areas and changing requirements sometimes make this difficult. In the 2015-2016 school year, principals report that 99.7% of MUSD teachers meet all criteria for highly qualified; the few who do not have submitted a specific plan detailing the steps they will take to reach highly qualified status.
If your child attends a Title I school, you have a right to know the professional qualifications of the teachers who instruct your child. You have the right to ask for the following information: whether the teacher has met the state qualifications for certification; whether the teacher is teaching under an emergency certificate; information on the teacher’s degree major; and whether your child receives services from paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications. If you would like to receive any of this information, please contact the principal of your child’s school.
MUSD encourages the ongoing growth and learning of teachers through professional development offered in a variety of settings: annual In-service Day, coursework for new teachers, school level trainings, professional conferences, and regularly scheduled professional development workshops. In this way, we support teachers in maintaining a high level of professional knowledge and instructional expertise.