Not Highly Qualified

As in past years, the Office of Information and Reporting Services (IRS) will provide school districts, BOCES and charter schools with reports of teachers identified as not highly qualified and/or teaching out of certification. These reports are posted on the IRS Portal

Highly Qualified (HQ) status is determined based on the assignments teachers selected on their ePMF forms and a match with the certifications they have on file with the Office of Teaching Initiatives. This match is based on the teacher having appropriate certification in place on BEDS Day, which was October 1, 2014 for the 2014-15 school year.

Highly Qualified is a term used at the federal level to determine if a teacher has properly demonstrated content knowledge in order to be assigned to teach a core course. In New York State, core courses are: ELA, Reading, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies (including history, geography, economics, civics and government), Foreign Languages, and Arts (including art, dance, music, theater, public speaking, and drama).

If a teacher is assigned to teach a core course that falls within the state-approved area of certification, that teacher is considered HQ. If a teacher is assigned to teach a core course that does not fall within the state-approved area of certification, the teacher must meet additional criteria in order to be qualified. The Highly Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE) is one such way.

Using alternative measures to become HQ for a core course assignment may demonstrate compliance for federal ESEA purposes; however, using alternative measures to become HQ for a core course may, in certain circumstances, violate compliance for NYS certification purposes.

Commissioner Regulations Section 80-5.3, concerning Incidental teaching allows a NYS certified teacher to teach one course out of the teacher’s area of certification upon approval of the Commissioner. However, in circumstances where that single course is a core course, federal requirements for highly qualified status still apply. See for additional information.

Federal regulations prohibit the use of Title I and Title IIA funds to pay any portion of salary for a teacher that is not highly qualified. If a teacher becomes highly qualified through use of the HOUSSE, documents should be maintained in the personnel file of each teacher to whom HOUSSE applies and must be available upon request of the Department.

For additional information concerning NCLB and IDEA requirements for teachers, refer to Field Memo #03-2008 from the NYSED Office of Accountability