5. Establish requirements for special education teachers teaching to alternate achievement standards.

When used with respect to a special education teacher who teaches core academic subjects exclusively to children who are assessed against alternate achievement standards established under 34 CFR 200.1(d), highly qualified means the teacher, whether new or not new to the profession, may either:
  • Meet the applicable requirements of section 9101 of the ESEA and 34 CFR 200.56 for any elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher who is new or not new to the profession; or
  • Meet the requirements of paragraph (B) or (C) of section 9101(23) of the ESEA as applied to an elementary school teacher, or, in the case of instruction above the elementary level, meet the requirements of subparagraph (B) or (C) of section 9101(23) of the ESEA as applied to an elementary school teacher and have subject matter knowledge appropriate to the level of instruction being provided and needed to effectively teach to those standards, as determined by the State.

[34 CFR 300.18(c)] [20 U.S.C. 1401(10)(C)]

Dialogue Starter - Cross-stakeholder

Reaction Questions

  1. Some students with disabilities participate in the state assessment and accountability system and are measured on ‘alternate achievement standards’. This means that their performance is measured on a scale that is different than their age and grade peers. Teachers who teach core academic content to these students must meet the highly qualified provisions. These teachers are required to meet the provisions for an elementary teacher license.

    • In your view, who might be students that are assessed under alternate achievement standards?
    • In what kinds of settings are these students served?

  2. Why would a teacher teaching to alternate achievement standards need to be certified as elementary educator?

Application Questions

  1. In your state, which students are assessed under alternate achievement standards? How are the assessments reviewed and rated?

  2. How does elementary teacher certification help prepare teachers to successfully teach students who will be assessed using these alternate achievement standards?

    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