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TO:                   Superintendents of Schools, Principals, and Directors

FROM:             Susan Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:              April 11, 2005

RE:                   UPDATE: Title II, “Highly Qualified Teacher and Paraprofessional” State Results, 2003-2004

I am pleased to inform you that the Department, in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act’s reporting requirements, submitted “Highly Qualified” (HQ) teacher and paraprofessional data to the U.S. Department of Education as part of Maine’s No Child Left Behind Consolidated State Report.   As we suspected, a significantly high percentage of Maine’s teachers already meet the federal definition of a “Highly Qualified” teacher and a high percentage of educational technicians also meet the “HQ” designation.   During a recent monitoring visit by a team from the U.S. Department of Education, we were given positive feedback that Maine has made great strides in implementing the “Highly Qualified” teacher and paraprofessional components of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Maine reports the following statewide percentages in the area of “Highly Qualified”:   2003-04 data on the Percentage of Core Academic Classes Taught by Teachers Meeting the Federal Definition as “Highly Qualified”:

All Schools: 90.1%

Elementary Schools:   92.6%

Secondary Schools:   89.1%

* High Poverty Schools:   90.6%

* Low Poverty Schools: 91%

  Paraprofessionals:   86.74%

The data reported above is reflective of data reported to the Department via the MEDMS, “HQT” reporting system as of January 20, 2005.   At that time, 93% of Maine’s public schools had reported “HQT” data.   There are currently 43 schools that still need to report data.   The link below can be used to access the full report for every public school in the State.  If any of your district’s schools have not reported, please contact John O’Brien at (207) 624-6639 or John.O’ for technical support.

*Poverty Metric used is the Free and Reduced Lunch Percentages.   High Poverty schools have 50% or more of their students identified for Free and Reduced Lunch.   Low Poverty schools have less than 25% of their students identified.

Link for accessing State school by school “HQT” data:

Subsequent Informational Letters will address data collection procedures and timelines for this school year (2004-05), any changes in “HQT” procedures (specifically in Special Education as a result of the reauthorization of IDEA), and the availability of PRAXIS II content tests this fall.

Please continue to visit the “HQT” website, as we expect new guidance to be forthcoming from the U.S. Department of Education within the next few weeks surrounding “HQT” social studies teachers, and Special Education Teachers.