Maine DOE clarifies Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) status under ESEA waiver

The Maine DOE is clarifying Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) status under the three-year waiver from the federal government allowing flexibility regarding specific requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

LD 692: An Act Regarding Educator Effectiveness that assisted in this waiver renewal request, mandates local development of systems to measure teacher and principal effectiveness based (at least in part) on student performance. However, the ESEA waiver does not release schools and districts from meeting the teacher qualifications and measurable objectives found in Section 1119 of No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Schools must still pay attention to Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) status.

Section 1119 of NCLB is not addressed in Maine DOE’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver. The expectation that all Maine public school K-12 teachers who provide instruction in core academic subjects meet the definition of HQT is still in effect, and will remain in effect until Congress re-authorizes the ESEA.

Please note that schools’ HQT data for the 2014-15 school year was due to be reported to the Department by March 31, 2015. If schools have not done so already, they should log in to MEDMS and complete the HQT form. Reports of HQT data submitted for past years can be found at the MEDMS Public Report Portal.

For more information contact Maine DOE’s Margaret (Meghan) Southworth at margaret.southworth@maine.gov or 624-6723.