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            Earlier this week we sent the following Administrative Letter # 32 to each of you that included an attached PowerPoint presentation for your use in providing orientation to your staff around the NCLB “Highly Qualified Teacher” requirements.  Unfortunately, the PowerPoint was in a format that did not allow you to draw the attachment down as a PowerPoint.  We are providing the Maine Plan for Highly Qualified Teachers – Presentation (PowerPoint Version) again in the correct format for your use.  The document can be found at:


            We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.









TO:                 Superintendents of Schools


FROM:           Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner


DATE:            March 29, 2004


SUBJECT:     No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) – Highly Qualified Teachers


****Please forward to Assistant Superintendents and School Principals****


No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requires every teacher who teaches a core academic subject to be “Highly Qualified” – that is, to have a bachelor’s degree, full state certification, and subject-matter competency in each subject taught.


Maine has some of the most qualified teachers in the country, and we are extremely proud of our teaching force.  Together, we work hard to assure that every class has a teacher with the appropriate background, experience, and credentials for his or her teaching assignment.  Together, we will provide the opportunity for all teachers to be recognized as meeting the federal definition of “Highly Qualified.”


States have the flexibility to set their own standards and to develop plans that will assure compliance with the NCLB “Highly Qualified Teachers” requirement. And, states have full authority over certification requirements that they may redesign at any time according to state law and to assure alignment with NCLB requirements as necessary.


School districts are required to identify the teachers who meet the “Highly Qualified” definition.  In administering this requirement, schools have the flexibility to design a local model that most effectively and efficiently meets their needs and serves their staff.  Districts may design an administrative process that places responsibility for administration at the building level, designating the building principal in each school as the “Highly Qualified Teacher” (“HQT”) official.  Some districts would prefer to connect this process to the teacher support teams in the schools or district, designating the team or team chair as the “HQT” official(s).  And, some districts have already chosen to create a new NCLB “HQT and Paraprofessional Team” as the “HQT” official designee, rather than the building principal or teacher support team chair, to carry out the functions associated with the administering of this requirement. 


Maine has developed the Maine Plan for “Highly Qualified Teachers”.  To assist you in administering the NCLB “Highly Qualified Teacher” requirements, I am providing you the first in a series of informational materials for your use in orienting all staff to the NCLB “Highly Qualified Teacher” requirements.  Attached is a slide / PowerPoint presentation, which is an introduction to Maine’s Plan, as well as a United States Department of Education publication “Toolkit for Teachers”, which provides straightforward information about NCLB and answers frequently asked questions.  It is critical that each teacher in your district receive a copy of this “Toolkit.” Please make it available in either hard copy or electronic format.


I am preparing a comprehensive package of materials for your use.  This is a “Toolkit for Administrators” which will include all orientation materials, information, documents, and frequently asked questions in a reproducible format for use with your teachers and administrators.  In addition, I am scheduling eight (8) regional informational meetings that will be held in April, 2004 to serve as follow-up to your local orientation on NCLB “Highly Qualified Teacher” requirements for clarifying issues and addressing questions.  Notice of the regional informational meetings will be provided once meeting dates and locations have been finalized.


I thank you for your assistance in recognizing the many caring, competent, and qualified teachers in your schools and for assisting your teachers to meet the NCLB “Highly Qualified Teacher” requirement.





Handout Enclosures:


A Toolkit for Teachers (Adobe PDF Version)  

A Toolkit for Teachers (Text Version)


The Maine Plan for Highly Qualified Teachers 

Presentation (PowerPoint Version)

Presentation (Adobe PDF Version)

Presentation Handout