No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) Requirements


Updated Information on Washington State ProceduresFebruary 2006




Washingtons definitions and procedures to meet NCLB highly qualified teacher requirements are currently under revision due to advisement from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) based on a May 2005 monitoring of the Title II program. A HQT stakeholder workgroup, in cooperation with OSPI, is addressing EDs concerns expressed in a September 2005 letter, in the following areas (refined and/or new HQT procedures are in italics):


  • Pre-87 (Unendorsed) Certificate High Objective State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE)Annual Evaluation, and Post-87 (Endorsed) Certificate HOUSSEfor teachers teaching out of their area of endorsement, a Plan of Assistance as outlined in WAC 180-82-110 procedures.

Refined procedures for the above areas:  Both processes will remain available to meet HQT. However, the proposed refinements require the use of GLEs or EALRs as the standards that will make the application of the processes uniform from teacher to teacher, grade level to grade level for each core academic area from school to school throughout the state of Washington.

  • Elementary EducationTeachers at the K5 or K6 grade levels, as defined by NCLB statutory language, must meet HQT through one of two ways: a state test or a HOUSSE.
  • Middle School GradesTeachers meeting HQT through the use of the Elementary Education (K8) Endorsement need additional depth of knowledge in the subject areas they are teaching.
  • Special EducationSpecial education teachers at all levels, who teach core academic content as part of their teaching assignment, are required to meet NCLB content area knowledge requirements. The exception is for teachers whose teaching assignment is identified as consultative.
  • Social Studies Endorsement for Middle and High SchoolTeachers assigned to teach (1) History, (2) Geography, (3) Civics and Government, or (4) Economics, as defined by NCLB statutory language, must meet HQT in each separate area, rather than through a broad area Social Studies Endorsement.

New procedures for the above four (4) areas: A newly developed Points-Based HOUSSE process will soon be available. There are six (6) categories in the points-based HOUSSE: college coursework; years teaching experience; professional development; internships and work experiences outside teaching; professional leadership and awards and publications. This process may be used, giving teachers two (2) options to meet HQT.  The advantage of this process is that it is completed one time for each teaching assignment and gives teachers two (2) options for meeting HQT requirements.

o        Elementary education teachers who previously met HQT through an endorsement, a major or degree, coursework equivalent to a major, or National Board Certification, may still use these areas to meet HQT through a Points-Based HOUSSE.

o        Middle school teachers with a K8 endorsement may continue to use the endorsement through the Points-Based HOUSSE, receiving points for the endorsement and any additional point accrual through the remaining categories.

o        Social Studies, Special Education and Alternative Education teachers will be able to meet HQT through a Multiple-Subject Points-Based HOUSSE using points for multiple subjects.


Next Steps

  • Refined and new procedures were pilot tested in Moses Lake School District the first week of February.
  • Pre-87 HOUSSE and Post-87 HOUSSE procedural instructions will be available in early March.
  • Points-Based HOUSSE procedures for general and special education teachers of elementary grades (K-5 or K-6) will be available in early-March.
  • All other Points-Based HOUSSE procedures will be available in late-March, including multiple-subjects points-based HOUSSE procedures for special education and alternative education teachers.


For additional information, please contact Mary Jo Johnson at OSPI through or by calling 360-725-6340.