The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 5, 2009

Teacher marks dip on Carlisle’s NCLB report card

The number of core academic classes being taught by “highly qualified” teachers at Carlisle School dropped from 98.2% last year to 92.1% this year, a change that is temporary, according to Carlisle School Superintendent Marie Doyle. She explained in an email, “Three of our part-time teachers are not certified in their specific areas at this time, but are working to get certification. This is typical for districts to have some teachers not highly qualified as they are working towards certification and need to pass the test.”

Each year the state Department of Education (DOE) issues a No Child Left Behind (NCLB) report card, which includes a section on educator data (see This year 7.9% of Carlisle’s core academics are being taught by teachers who are “Not Highly Qualified,” as compared to only 1.6% in 2007 – 2008. Almost all (99%) of Carlisle School teachers have met state requirements to hold a teaching license. However, they still must demonstrate competency in their subject areas. See Table 1 for a comparison of area school districts.

The DOE defines a highly qualified teacher as holding a Massachusetts teaching license at the preliminary, initial, or professional level and demonstrating subject matter competency in the areas they teach.

Elementary teachers can demonstrate competency by passing the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL). Middle school teachers can show competency by one of five methods: the MTEL, a graduate degree in their subject, an academic major in their subject, coursework equivalent to an undergraduate major in their subject, or national board-certification.

According to the DOE, teachers hired after January 8, 2002 must be highly qualified and teachers hired earlier were to become certified by June 30, 2006. Schools with teachers who are not “highly qualified” must have plans in place to assist teachers to become certified.

Doyle went on to explain that all three teachers have been teaching four years or less in Carlisle. She said that one of the part-time teachers is leaving and another co-teaches a class and is expected to pass the MTEL this year. The third teacher’s native language is not English. “This has been a problem with the test,” Doyle added, saying it is difficult for teachers whose native language is not English to pass. “Two of the three have taken the test and we hope that they will be certified by this summer,” she added.∆

*From Massachusetts DOE:

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