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Highly Qualified (HQ) is a term used to define whether teachers have met specific teacher professional development standards. It is a term that is most closely associated with the provisions in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), more commonly referred to as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Quite often excellent, veteran teachers with years of experience and wonderful pedagogy are still not deemed Highly Qualified under the provisions of this law. Nevertheless, there are a number of steps teachers can take to become Highly Qualified in social studies.
Becoming Highly Qualified
Sometimes teachers can be Highly Qualified from the standpoint of NCLB for part of what they are teaching, but not qualfied under Utah State Office of Education (USOE) guidelines for all of their teaching assignments. This may occur, for example, when a teacher has a history background with a history major and a history endorsement and is assigned to teach geography. In this case, even though the teacher is Highly Qualified in history, without the endorsement in geography the teacher will not be Highly Qualified or USOE qualified to teach geography.