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The No Child Left Behind Act "Highly Qualified" Teachers and Paraprofessionals

“Highly Qualified Teacher Survey” State Baseline Data 2003-04



*NOTE: The actual “HQT” survey must be completed for each school in your district and submitted at the Superintendent level through the MEDMS database.

The purpose of this survey is to provide baseline data for a performance goal of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which states that by 2005-2006, all students will be taught by highly qualified teachers. Each state is required to collect baseline data and set annual targets for the percentage of classes being taught by “highly qualified” teachers, as defined in Section 9101(23) of NCLB.

This school-based survey must be completed individually for each school (both Title I and non-Title I) and then electronically entered into the MEDMS database and forwarded to the Department. The survey form can be accessed in MEDMS at the Superintendent level, in the drop down field under “FORMS.” Select the action “HQT” form. NOTE: this survey is for the 2003-04 school year only (last year). Data for the 2004-05 school year will be collected at a later date.

Responses to the survey questions must pertain to the teachers’ (2003-2004) teaching assignments (last school year). Please refer to page 4 of these directions for the definition of teaching assignment. In addition, schools should report solely on teachers who provide direct instruction in the core academic areas, as defined on page 3 of this document. Only teachers with primary responsibility for direct instruction in the core content areas are required to satisfy the NCLB definition of a highly qualified teacher.


To answer the survey questions, schools should use information gathered from the highly qualified teacher identification process conducted in the spring of 2004. More information on the process can be found in the Maine Model for Identifying Highly Qualified Teachers, available at Specifically, schools should refer to the Highly Qualified Teacher “Statement of Assurance” Statement Form, which was completed and signed by your teachers and a school official.

(All Public School Districts, including State Operated Schools,
and the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf)

Once the forms are completed for each of your schools they must be transmitted to the Maine Department of Education. You must enter the data for each school into the MEDMS data system.


The survey is divided into four sections:

  • Section A: School Organization Information – This section is to be completed for each school.
  • Section B: Elementary Schools - Self-contained, grades K-5, K-6, or K-8.
  • Section C: Secondary Schools – Any combination of Middle/Jr. High, High School and/or Vocational School.
  • Section D: Educational Technician Data – Applicable to Title I schools only (If yes is checked under Title I school, an Educational Technician portion will be included in your survey. If no is checked, no Ed. Tech. survey will be provided.)

Enter data in the school section(s) that correspond to the appropriate grade levels and organization(s) of your school.

Schools that contain both elementary (self-contained) as well as middle school grades (departmentalized) must complete the B. Elementary School section for their elementary grade classes in self-contained classroom settings, as well as the C. Secondary School section for their middle grade classes in departmentalized settings. Schools that contain both middle grades and high school/vocational settings need only fill out Section C. and combine all of your class data.

Based upon the school organization options that are checked in Section A., a school will be able to enter data for a particular school according to the appropriate grade levels and school settings that are contained within that school. For instance, if A.1 (a) K – 8 (combined elementary/middle) is checked off for a school, then the school will be able to complete section B. and section C. for that school. Please see School Organization in the section below for more information regarding the organizational structures of schools.


A class is defined as an individual group of students. In a self-contained setting, an elementary school teacher teaches only one class of the same students throughout the school day/year. In a departmentalized setting, a social studies middle school teacher, or a social studies high school teacher, for example, may teach as many as five or more different social studies classes throughout the school year, each class containing a different group of students. Even though the social studies teacher may teach each of the five classes of students five times a week, the teacher still only teaches five social studies classes.

According to Section 9101 of NCLB, core academic subjects include English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, history, geography, and the arts. Only teachers with primary responsibility for direct instruction in these content areas must satisfy the federal definition of a “highly qualified teacher”.

Direct instruction occurs when the teacher provides the sole or primary instruction in the core academic subject(s). This includes special education or basic skills replacement instruction. This does not include in-class support, pull-out support, or support provided through an inclusion program.

Note: For clarifications regarding “Highly Qualified Teachers”, schools should use information gathered from the highly qualified teacher identification process conducted in the spring of 2004.

More information on the process can be found in the Maine Model for Identifying Highly Qualified Teachers, available at Information pertaining to the Maine HOUSSE rubrics may be found at

The most typical organizational structures in the State are as follows:

  • Elementary Schools (K-5, K-6, or K-8) in which classes are self-contained and teachers provide instruction in the full range of content to a single class, all day;
  • Secondary Schools (5-8, 6-8, 7-8, 7-9 or 7-12, 9-12, or 10-12) in which classes are departmentalized and teachers provide instruction in one or more content areas to different classes of students throughout the day. This also applies to vocational school classes in which the core academic subjects are taught.

Basic skills teachers provide remedial instruction in language arts literacy or mathematics.

Content specialists provide direct instruction in specific content areas such as music, art, science, reading, or world languages. These teachers provide instruction in the specific content areas to more than one class of students. They must satisfy the federal definition of a “highly qualified teacher” for the content areas that they teach. In Maine, these teachers hold K-12 content area certificates in each of the subject areas they teach.

ESL teachers provide daily support to students with limited English proficiency and may co-teach classes with a language arts literacy instructor. ESL teachers may also provide direct instruction in English, reading, or language arts, science or math. When ESL teachers provide direct instruction they must satisfy the federal definition of a “highly qualified teacher” based on the grade level of the content/curriculum they teach rather than the chronological age of their students.

A teaching assignment is the grade level and/or core academic subject area(s) being taught. It is not the class schedule. Multiple sections of the same course (i.e., three classes of freshman composition or two periods of world history) count as a single teaching assignment. Teaching all subjects to one class of elementary or special education (elementary) students all day (i.e., grade 5, grade 2) is a single teaching assignment.

If you are not sure of whether your school is a Title I school, a list is available on the Department web site at the following link

If you still have questions and/or need clarification on how to complete this survey, please call John O’Brien at 207-624-6639 or e-mail at John.O'