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Improving Teacher & Principal Quality

California's plan to implement NCLB Title II, Part A regulations/requirements to prepare, train and recruit highly qualified teachers and principals.

Program Overview

The California Department of Education (CDE) believes that the teacher is at the heart of student academic success and therefore key to closing the achievement gap between poor and minority students and their more affluent peers. Teachers who are appropriately credentialed have a deep understanding of the content they teach, have been trained in a variety of instructional strategies, and are in the best position to aid California students in reaching academic proficiency. The CDE is committed to ensuring that highly qualified, experienced, and effective teachers teach all students, regardless of ethnicity or socio-economic status. Equally the CDE is committed to ensuring that every child has the same opportunity to attend a school with an effective, experienced administrator.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requires all teachers of core academic subjects to provide evidence of their highly qualified teacher status. Per the United States Department of Education, a Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) is one who: (1) holds a bachelor's or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning, (2) is appropriately licensed by the state, and (3) has demonstrated subject matter competence in each core academic subject assigned to teach.

In California, ESEA core academic subjects are defined as:

  • Mathematics (including math intervention and California High School Exit Exam [CAHSEE] math classes);
  • Biological sciences, chemistry, geosciences, and physics;
  • Social science (history, government, economics, geography);
  • Foreign languages (specific);
  • Drama/theater, visual arts (including dance), and music; and
  • English/language arts and reading (including reading intervention and CAHSEE - English classes).

Certificate of Compliance (DOC)
California's verification of ESEA compliance. Certificates of Compliance are to be completed by trained Local Educational Agency (LEA) personnel and signed by the LEA Superintendent or designee. A copy must be provided to the HQT.

High Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE) Form
An option provided to teachers who are “not new” to the profession (issued their original state teaching or intern license prior to July 1, 2002) to verify subject matter competence based on the assessment of qualifications and experience. This option is also available to special education teachers who are highly qualified in English, mathematics, and/or science upon hire.

Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) Guide (DOC)
This guide provides clarification of both federal and state HQT requirements and helps to support California school districts and county offices of education as they continue to implement these requirements.

Title II Compliance Monitoring Intervention and Sanctions
Resources, templates and forms related to monitoring, intervention and sanctions.

California's 2015 State Plan to Ensure Equitable Access to Excellent Educators (PDF)
This plan details a theory of action and progress toward achieving equitable access to excellent teachers and leaders for all students.

California’s Teacher Equity Plan (TEP) (DOC)
Addresses Requirement Six of the State’s Plan for Highly Qualified Teachers (HQT), written and approved by the State Board of Education (SBE) in September 2010. It reflects the steps the State is currently taking to ensure that students from low-income families and minority students are not taught at higher rates than other students by inexperienced, unqualified, or out-of-field teachers.

Paraprofessional Requirements for Title I Programs
ESEA requirements for paraprofessionals working in Title I programs.

Parent Information Relating to Teacher and Principal Quality
Information for parents regarding ESEA requirements for teacher and principal quality.

Educator Evaluation Systems
Information for districts, the general public, and interested parties who wish to learn more about Teacher and Principal Evaluation at the local, state, and national levels.

State and Federal Resources and Guidance
Related guidance, resources, templates, and forms for ESEA, Improving Teacher and Principal Quality.

California’s Subject Matter Verification Process for Secondary Teachers in Special Settings (VPSS) (DOC)
Outlines program requirements as established by the State Board of Education and subsequent Title 5 regulations. Process will provide advanced certification for teachers in special settings.

School Staffing Report
Provides information on HQT status and teacher and principal evaluation for each local educational agency in the state.

Regulations and Requirements

California Code of Regulations External link opens in new window or tab.
To access the relevant section of the regulations, follow these steps:

  • Browse to the above Web site.
  • Select the hyperlink "Title 5. Education."
  • A pop-up warning will appear. Choose the link "Continue to WebLinks."
  • Expand the item "Division 1. California Department of Education."
  • Then expand the item "Chapter 6. Certified Personnel."
  • And, finally expand the item "Subchapter 7. "
  • You will now be able to expand Article 1 through 6 to view links with information.

Sample Notifications for Title I Programs

The two templates for parent notifications, as required by Title II, Part A, may be modified by schools for communications with local parents.

Parents' Right to Know Letter Regarding Teacher Qualifications (DOC)
Available Translations of the Parents' Right to Know Letter Regarding Teacher Qualifications
Federal law requires that parents be notified at the beginning and/or when appropriate anytime during each year of their right to know the professional qualifications of their child's teacher(s) in core academic subject areas.

Parents' Four-Week Notice Regarding Teacher Qualifications (DOC)
Available Translations of the Parents' Four-Week Notice Regarding Teacher Qualifications
Federal law requires that parents be notified when their child has been taught for four or more consecutive weeks at any time during the school year by a teacher who has not met the High Quality Teacher Requirements set forth in ESEA.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions:   Educator Excellence Office | | 916-445-7331
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, March 15, 2016

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