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2. Establish requirements for special education teachers in general.

When used with respect to any public elementary school or secondary school special education teacher teaching in a State, highly qualified requires that:
  • The teacher has obtained full State certification as a special education teacher (including certification obtained through alternative routes to certification), or passed the State special education teacher licensing examination, and holds a license to teach in the State as a special education teacher, except that when used with respect to any teacher teaching in a public charter school, highly qualified means that the teacher meets the certification or licensing requirements, if any, set forth in the State's public charter school law;
  • The teacher has not had special education certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis; and
  • The teacher holds at least a bachelor's degree.

[34 CFR 300.18(b)(1)] [20 U.S.C. 1401(10)(B)]

Dialogue Starter - Cross-stakeholder

Reaction Questions


  1. In your view, how do the highly qualified provisions provide new opportunities to examine the relationship between special and general education?

  2. In your view, how do these provisions provide new opportunities to examine the preparation of special and general educators?

  3. In your experience, how likely is it that the highly qualified provisions will advance co-teaching across special and general education?

Application Questions


  1. Teacher preparation programs are approved by the state and are developed in accordance with state standards.
    • Do you know what standards are directing the preparation of special and general educators in your state?
    • Do you know how to find out?

    Note: Do you know about model standards for all teachers of students with disabilities, both special and general education? Go to http://www.ccsso.org/content/pdfs/SPEDStds.pdf to see the standards that have been proposed by the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) at the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

  2. NCLB emphasizes serving all students well, including students with disabilities. In order for this to happen, what should preparation programs teachers look like:
    • For special education teachers
    • For general education teachers

  3. What are some of the ways institutions of higher education could create preparation programs that will help all teachers to serve all students well, including students with disabilities?

    Note: For some ideas about how these changes might occur, see The Action Guide for Higher Education and Policymakers developed by the Center for Teacher Quality an investment by the Office of Special Education Programs at CCSSO: http://www.ccsso.org/projects/center_for_improving_teacher_quality/Resources_Links/

    These questions were developed by the following

    stakeholders working together:


    Role: Teacher
    Location: Pennsylvania

    Role: Family
    Location: Georgia

    Role: Teacher
    Location: Florida

    Role: Service Provider
    Location: Kentucky

    Role: Administrator
    Location: Illinois

    Role: Technical Assistance Provider
    Location: California

    Role: Administrator
    Location: Wyoming

    Role: State Education Agency
    Location: Arkansas

    Role: Higher Education
    Location: Florida

    Role: Higher Education
    Location: Pennsylvania