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  News Release
The following is a news release from the Oregon Teacher Standards and Commission. If there are more details that we can provide for you, please feel free to contact us (see Contact Us).
  NCLB Information
  Released: Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 5:00 PM
Dear District Administrators and Teachers:

The TSPC has worked closely with the Oregon Department of Education, Oregon Education Association, Confederation of Oregon School Administrators, Oregon School Boards Association, Oregon School Personnel Association and public and private institutions of higher education to develop this set of guidelines regarding the definition of "Highly Qualified Teacher".

Several things must be noted however, in order to assist you in this process.

1. The Oregon Department of Education will be required to report the percentage of "highly qualified teachers" teaching core academic subjects in the state. In the meantime, we will work diligently to assist you with identifying which of your teachers are highly qualified under the federal law.

2. We recommend you use the attached tables to quickly identify which of your teachers are clearly "highly qualified". This exercise should be the easiest with elementary self-contained classrooms and high school class assignments. The remaining questions can be addressed by examining the teacher's education and experience to determine whether they are highly qualified. Please call or email us.

3. Attached is a table that represents the allowed assignments for Oregon licenses in the absence of No Child Left Behind. Use only the tables titled "Middle Level NCLB Licenses and Endorsements Authorized Subject matter competency for departmentalized 5-6-7-8 grades Teachers holding these licenses are authorized to teach any number of periods in the subject-matter areas" to assist you in determining middle-level highly qualified teachers.

4. The middle-level area is the most complex. Please review the rules surrounding the middle-level area for a detailed explanation. TSPC is developing a "new middle-level endorsement" for purposes of implementing this federal law. We will determine whether a teacher is qualified for the new endorsement based on their coursework, time teaching the subject (if not new to the profession) and whether they have passed any type of test in the area. Please call our office for verification of your middle-level teachers' licensure qualifications. If the teacher already holds a full endorsement in the subject as they would if they are eligible to teach the subject at the high school level, there is no need to call our office.

5. After you have identified teachers which may have a question with regard to their qualifications, please do not hesitate to call TSPC for guidance and assistance in the process. It is our goal to issue licenses for every teacher indicating clearly what subjects a teacher is highly qualified to teach under the federal law.

6. Please keep in mind that Oregon's standards for teaching in the departmentalized middle-level grades are substantially more flexible than the federal government's standards. The Oregon Department of Education has helped with this area substantially. If your classroom is operated as a self-contained classroom, (regardless of its location within any particular building or school), and is within grades preK through 8, then the qualifications for a highly qualified elementary teacher would apply. Please see the charts titled "Self-contained Elementary Licenses that are Highly Qualified Pre-K through 8 These License apply for ANY self-contained classroom"

7. The regulations with regard to conditional assignments will be changing, but will not be posted publicly until this summer. We will make every attempt to keep this as simple as possible, but significant changes to be aware of will be:

a. All districts will need to report conditional assignments annually.

b. You may be able to "legally" assign a teacher on an Oregon license, but the assignment may not be considered "highly qualified" under the federal law. (More information will be available at a later date.)

c. All periods that are conditionally assigned will need to be reported in the future (not just the ones over 10 hours per week.)

8. By no later than May 15, 2003, TSPC will mail a list to each district indicating which teachers we believe are highly qualified for the assignment information we have. We will work with you to achieve accuracy for your records and ours throughout the summer.

9. Remember: All teachers teaching in the core academic subject must be highly qualified by the end of the 2005-2006 school year.

Please do not hesitate to call our staff with questions or send an email. Working together, we can make these adjustments and see what is needed to fully comply with the federal law.

Because this federal law is so new to all of us, several questions will arise that we cannot possibly anticipate now. With your patience and assistance, together we can identify the path that meets the letter and spirit of the federal law, yet is also realistic for your school and community. So, please be prepared for a few possible "changes" as we iron out the kinks of implementing this massive mandate.

Our phone contact number is: (503) 378-3586; our email contact is: contact.tspc@state.or.us and our Web page containing this information is at: www.tspc.state.or.us.

Very truly yours,

Victoria Chamberlain
Executive Director


  Archived: June 15, 2004  [MH:90-1] 
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