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Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

All teachers are still required to be "Highly Qualified" per the guidelines set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Core Academic Subjects as Defined by ESEA

All public elementary and secondary school teachers who teach “Core Academics”—elementary education, English/language arts, reading, mathematics, science, social studies (civics, government, economics, history, and geography), foreign language, and the arts (visual, drama, instrumental, and vocal music). Teachers who do not teach a “core academic” subject do not have to meet the "Highly Qualified" requirements of ESEA.

Calculate  your class credits and determine whether you are qualified under the ESEA requirements.

Elementary and Middle Level Teacher Requirements

Elementary School (K-5) Teacher & Middle Level (Grade 6) Teacher - Highly Qualified

  • Bachelors Degree from accredited college or university.
  • Completed an approved or alternative teacher preparation program in elementary education.
  • Passed the state’s approved content-area test (PLACE or PRAXIS II). This requirement does not apply to teachers who were fully licensed at the time of initial licensure, who currently hold a valid license, and who are teaching ONLY in their area of endorsement.
  • Have a valid Colorado teacher license – endorsed in a field consistent with academic major (elementary education, music, art).

Secondary Teacher Requirements

Secondary School Teacher - Highly Qualified (teaching in only his/her academic major field)

  • Bachelors Degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Completed an approved or alternative teacher preparation program in secondary education.
  • Passed the state’s approved content-area test (PLACE or PRAXIS II). This requirement does not apply to teachers who were fully licensed at the time of initial licensure, who currently hold a valid license, and who are teaching ONLY in their area of endorsement.
  • Have a valid Colorado teacher license – endorsed in a field consistent with academic major.

Secondary School (Grades 6-12) Teacher - Highly Qualified (teaching more than one field)

  • Must meet all of the previous qualifications AND
  • have at least 24 semester hours of specific college preparation in each field or subject matter area in which he/she teaches; OR
  • have at least the equivalent of 24 semester hours of specific state-approved, district-level professional development coursework in each of the fields in which he/she teaches; OR
  • some combination of college and state-approved, district-level professional development coursework totaling 24 semester hours or the equivalent in each of the fields in which he teaches; OR
  • passed the Colorado state teacher content area test (PLACE or PRAXIS II) in each of the fields in which he/she teaches.

Parapro Requirements

All Title I and Special Education paraprofessionals must be Highly Qualified under ESEA.

  • 48 college credits or Associates Degree and/or
  • passed the Work Keys Assessment prepared and administered by ACT

Paraprofessionals providing technical support for computer, instructional support in a general classroom setting or performing clerical duties do not need to meet the Highly Qualified requirements.

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