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No Child Left Behind defines teacher qualification
lpd Delilah Norris
By Delilah Norris, Director of Personnel
Liberty County School System

A significant provision of No Child Left Behind requires that all K-12 teachers of core content areas be “highly qualified.”
To be fully certified and “highly qualified” a teacher must meet all state’s certification requirements and be assigned appropriately for the field in which he/she is teaching. In order to be considered “highly qualified” the teacher must (1) hold a bachelor’s degree from a Georgia Professional Standards Commission-accepted accredited institution of higher education, (2) hold a valid  professional teaching certificate and (3) have a teaching assignment that is appropriate for the field(s) listed on the certificate.
Realizing that many people hear the call of the classroom at various points in their lives, there are alternate routes to certification. The most common path is the provisional non-renewable certificate, which allows the individual three years to meet certification requirements. However there are several prerequisites. The individual must meet the following requirements: (1) hold a bachelor’s degree from a GAPSC-approved accredited institution of higher education, (2) have passing scores for all three parts of  the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators Basic Skills Exam or be exempted by SAT or ACT scores, and (3) have passing scores on the appropriate GACE content area assessment.
Once the provisional certificate has been obtained, that is just the start of the journey to certification and becoming “highly qualified.” Coursework, a student teaching/internship experience and the fulfillment of the two special Georgia requirements are essential stepping stones on the path to certification. Before enrolling in a program, confer with PSC to ensure that it will be recognized as an approved program.
A wealth of information is available on the PSC Web site at Most colleges and universities have advisers available to evaluate transcripts and create individual plans of work for potential students. The GACE website at is your best source for the most up-to-date information on test dates, selections and preparation materials.
One of the most valuable and lasting gifts that we can offer to our children is a quality education in a conducive learning environment. We, as a district and community must uphold the commitment to excellence in education by staffing our classrooms with dedicated and “highly qualified” instructional staff.

School notes is written by different employees of the Liberty County School System, and appears on an education page in each Friday’s Coastal Courier. It is the opinion of the writer.
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