No Child Left Behind and Highly Qualified Status

How do I know if I am highly qualified?

According to the No Child Left Behind federal legislation, all teachers will be “highly qualified” by the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year.  Each teacher must hold a bachelor’s degree, a professional teaching certificate and must show competency in every content area that he/she is teaching.  To show this competency, a teacher must meet the MD qualifying score on the content praxis test(s), have an academic major or 30 credits of academic content in the subject area or complete the HOUSSE document.  Further information on the different HOUSSE documents is available on the MSDE website, (opens in new window).  For further information on determining whether or not you are HQ, please refer to the "How to Achieve 'Highly Qualified' Teacher Status in Maryland" (Adobe PDF File, opens in new window) chart.

How can I find out what to do to become highly qualified?

Most teachers have a bachelor’s degree and a professional teaching certificate. (Conditional teachers are preparing to gain a professional certificate and are not deemed HQ until they move to a professional certificate.)  Therefore teachers can show competency in their subject area by meeting the MD qualifying score (Adobe PDF File, opens in new window) on the content test(s) of the subject.  Teachers may show competence by having an academic major in the subject area or have 30 credits of content courses in that area.  (For an evaluation to determine if you have 30 acceptable credits, email Sarah Ianacone at

If I am determined HQ one year, does that mean I am still HQ the next year?

Since being HQ is dependent upon what a teacher is actually teaching, whether or not you are HQ is determined on a yearly basis.  If you teach the same subject each year, you will still be HQ. If you add even 1 section in another area, you must show competence in that subject area.

Do I have to be HQ for each class that I teach?

All teachers of any Core Academic course must be HQ.  The core academic subjects include Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, English, Language Arts/Reading, ESL, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, General Science, Environmental Science, Physics, Earth/Space Science, Geology, Physical Science, Social Studies, History, Geography, Economics, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Latin, Italian, Multiple Language Courses, other World Languages, Art, Dance, Music, and Theater.  Therefore, if you teach more than one of these subject areas, you must show competence in all areas that you teach.

Where can I get more information on becoming highly qualified?

Consult (opens in new window) or refer to the Highly Qualified Status FAQ.


Sarah Ianacone
Certification Personnel Officer
(301) 644-5110


How to Achieve "Highly Qualified" Teacher Status in Maryland 
(Adobe PDF File, opens in new window)

Praxis Tests & MD Qualifying Scores 
(Adobe PDF File, opens in new window)