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"So, while I can't recall ever putting a title on one of my speeches before, I'm calling this one '9 and ¾ challenges for Title I.' As I'm sure you all know, when Harry Potter made his first trip to the Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, he left from track 9¾ at Victoria Station."

Playing off a Harry Potter book, Tom Corwin, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, found 9 3/4ths challenges for Title I in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in a speech at the National Title I Conference in Tampa, Florida:

“So, while I can’t recall ever putting a title on one of my speeches before, I’m calling this one ‘9 and ¾ challenges for Title I.’ As I’m sure you all know, when Harry Potter made his first trip to the Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, he left from track 9¾ at Victoria Station.”

The speech drew rave reviews from conference attendees and should be required reading for anyone addressing the higher standards and increased accountability that the Act requires. Deputy Assistant Secretary Corwin provides a detailed examination of several key changes from the old law and lists the following 9 3/4ths challenges for Title I:

1) Scientifically-Based Research
2) Adequate Yearly Progress
3) Accountability
4) Educational Choice
5) Supplemental Services
6) Implementing the new requirements for the education of children with limited English proficiency
7) Highly-qualified teacher requirement
8) Paraprofessionals
9) Greater Flexibility
9 3/4ths) “Putting it all together”

Complete speech

New Teacher and Teacher Aid Requirements in No Child Left Behind Represent a Major Change:The No Child Left Behind Act requires major changes in the way teachers and teacher aides are hired. These new requirements help states make certain that poor and minority children are not taught by inexperienced, unqualified or out-of-field teachers.


Under No Child Left Behind (NCLB), each school district receiving Title I funds must ensure that all new teachers hired are “highly qualified” by the beginning of the first day of the 2002-2003 school year. All teachers in the state must be “highly qualified” by the end of school year 2005-2006.

For teachers, “highly qualified” is defined as “a teacher with full certification or who has passed the state teacher licensing exam, and holds a license to teach in the state. No certification or licensure requirements may have been waived for the teacher (including on a temporary, emergency or provisional basis). New teachers must have an undergraduate degree and must have passed a rigorous test. New middle or high-school teachers must in addition have a major in their teaching area or have passed a rigorous subject matter test” (Source: Title I Monitor, January 2002 Special Issue).

Teacher Aides (Paraprofessionals)

Teacher aides hired one year or more after January 8, 2002, must have: “At least two years of higher education; an associate’s or higher degree; or pass a rigorous academic assessment. Existing paraprofessionals must meet these requirements within four years. There are exceptions for paraprofessionals who translate or work with parents. Regardless of hire date, all paraprofessionals must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Paraprofessionals may not provide instruction unless they are working under the direct supervision of a highly qualified teacher” (Source: Title I Monitor, January 2002 Special Issue).

A Guide for Paraprofessional Career Ladder

Despite a published date prior to the enactment of NCLB, A Guide to Developing Paraeducator-to-Teacher Programs, a publication offered byRecruiting New Teachers (RNT), is very helpful to school districts working to meet provisions of the Act. The guide examines how paraeducator-to-teacher programs across the country are working to create a more qualified and diverse teaching force for America’s schools. The report includes a directory of programs, profiles of model
programs, and valuable funding information to design career ladders for paraprofessionals to become fully-qualified teachers.

Receive a free copy of the Title I Monitor special issue
Recruiting New Teacher’s Guide

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