Alternative Education Highly Qualified Teacher


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the definition of a highly qualified teacher?
  2. What is meant by “core academic subjects?”
  3. I am certified in a core academic subject, but I have not taken the Oklahoma Subject Area Test (OSAT) in that area. Am I considered highly qualified?
  4. As the only teacher in a small alternative education program, I teach every subject offered in school. Do I need to build a HOUSSE for every class I teach?
  5. I have taught all core subjects in an alternative education program for several years. Does this experience count towards my HOUSSE?
  6. Will the information for the HOUSSE be put on the SDE’s Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) system as it is in the traditional schools?
  7. The HQT system does not show any current class assignments for our district’s alternative education teacher. What can we do to correct this information on the HQT system?
  8. If I need to teach something new this school year, can I enter information to update my highly qualified status after school starts?
  9. Can psychology or sociology count when building a HOUSSE in social studies?
  10. Can college course work in Humanities count for any core academic subjects when building a HOUSSE?
  11. Can college course work in speech, drama, journalism, or communication count when building a HOUSSE in language arts?
  12. Can you count out-of-state years of teaching experience when building a HOUSSE?
  13. When building a HOUSSE, can service in the content area (Column 3) count if accrued out of state?
  14. I am highly qualified in several areas of social studies but not all of them. What do I need to do?
  15. Do subjects taught in GED classes count toward core class experience, even though it is not listed on teaching certificate?
  16. How can districts assist their teachers in becoming highly qualified?

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1. What is the definition of a highly qualified teacher?

“Highly qualified” means that the teacher:

  1. Holds a minimum of a bachelor’s degree; and
  2. Has obtained full Oklahoma certification or holds an Oklahoma teaching license and does not have certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis; and
  3. Has demonstrated subject matter competency in each of the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches, in a matter determined by the State.

The requirement that teachers be highly qualified applies to all public early childhood, elementary, middle, or secondary school teachers employed by a local school district who teach a core academic subject.

2. What is meant by “core academic subjects?”

The term “core academic subjects” means early childhood education, elementary education, English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign language, civics and government, economics, arts (art and music), history, and geography.

3. I am certified in a core academic subject, but I have not taken the Oklahoma Subject Area Test (OSAT) in that area. Am I considered highly qualified?

To meet the highly qualified requirements under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) you must document subject matter competency by building a High Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE) or passing the appropriate OSAT.

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4. As the only teacher in a small alternative education program, I teach every subject offered in school. Do I need to build a HOUSSE for every class I teach?

You must build a HOUSSE for each core academic subject that you teach, but you do not have to build a HOUSSE for elective classes that are not considered core. This includes, but is not limited to courses such as Physical Education, Journalism, Psychology, and Keyboarding.

5. I have taught all core subjects in an alternative education program for several years. Does this experience count towards my HOUSSE?

Yes. You may count this experience for each core subject HOUSSE if you were teaching the core academic subject any portion of the day. However, teaching experience prior to Fall 1981 and out-of-state experience will not count.

6. Will the information for the HOUSSE be put on the SDE’s Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) system as it is in the traditional schools?

The only difference between alternative education teachers and teachers in the traditional setting is that alternative education teachers may become highly qualified in subjects other than those in their certificate area by building a HOUSSE in each core subject taught or by passing the appropriate OSAT test.

7. The HQT system does not show any current class assignments for our district’s alternative education teacher. What can we do to correct this information on the HQT system?

Your district will need to print a copy of the Accreditation Application, make the necessary additions/corrections on the report, and submit the corrected version by fax to the SDE Accreditation Section at 405-521-1519.

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8. If I need to teach something new this school year, can I enter information to update my highly qualified status after school starts?

Yes. Please complete the paper HOUSSE form for all core subjects for which you are highly qualified. If your teaching assignment changes, you may enter the HOUSSE information on the HQT system after the new teaching assignment information is reported on the 2007 Accreditation Report. Please check for changes to your teaching assignment in October.

9. Can psychology or sociology count when building a HOUSSE in social studies?

No. NCLB specifically identified the social studies core academic areas as civics and government, economics, history, and geography. When counting coursework for social studies only these specific core academic social studies areas may be counted.

10. Can college course work in Humanities count for any core academic subjects when building a HOUSSE?

Yes. When a teacher is teaching a Humanities course for art or music credit, they may count Humanities when building a HOUSSE.

11. Can college course work in speech, drama, journalism, or communication count when building a HOUSSE in language arts?

No. These courses are not considered core academic subjects.

12. Can you count out-of-state years of teaching experience when building a HOUSSE?

No. Each state must develop their HOUSSE based on their state standards.

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13. When building a HOUSSE, can service in the content area (Column 3) count if accrued out of state?

No. Each state must develop their HOUSSE based on their state standards.

14. I am highly qualified in several areas of social studies but not all of them. What do I need to do?

The federal government has defined the social studies subjects as the following:

  1. Civics and Government
  2. Economics
  3. History
  4. Geography

You will need to build a HOUSSE for each of the above subjects; however, you may use the same coursework for each social studies HOUSSE. For example, your credit hours, teaching experience, and service in the subject area for an American History HOUSSE can also be used to build a Geography HOUSSE.

15. Do subjects taught in GED classes count toward core class experience, even though it is not listed on teaching certificate?

No, since a GED class is not required to meet Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS) requirements, it will not count towards the teaching experience requirement.

16. How can districts assist their teachers in becoming highly qualified?

Districts may use Title II(A) funds to financially assist their teachers with participation in high quality professional development to earn points to build the HOUSSE. For more information about using Title II(A) funds to assist teachers, please contact the Office of Grants Planning at 405-521-2846.

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Last updated on April 2, 2012