COMET • Vol. 4, No. 22 – 16 September 2003


NCLB Teacher Requirements (“Highly Qualified Teacher”)–Update

The 45-day public comment period for the proposed Title 5 regulations addressing No Child Left Behind (NCLB) teacher requirements concluded on September 8 and was followed by a public hearing on September 9 in Sacramento. At the September State Board of Education (SBE) meeting two days later, a summary of the public comments and the revisions made to the proposed regulations as a result of these comments were discussed by the SBE (Agenda Item 28).

The revised Title 5 regulations will be released for a 15-day public comment period, commencing with the posting of the revisions to the California Department of Education’s Web page for “Proposed Rulemaking/Regulatory Actions” at  Look under the category “No Child Left Behind Teacher Requirements (Highly Qualified Teachers),” and be sure that the date of the regulations is 9/10/03 rather than 7/14/03.

“If no objections to the revisions are received during the 15-day public comment period, …staff [will] submit the revised rulemaking package to OAL [Office of Administrative Law: ] for approval, and if objections to the revisions are received during the 15-day public comment period, [staff will be directed to] place the matter on the next  [November] State Board agenda for action following consideration of the objections” (

The public comment summary, revised regulations, and accompanying memorandum have already been posted on the SBE Web site within the Agenda for the September SBE meeting. Go to Item 28 and double-click on the blue rectangle (“Last Min.”):     You can access this file directly by going to

More specific guidelines about the requirements for “new” and “not new” teachers are contained in the revised regulations, including details about the High Objective Uniform State Standard Evaluation (HOUSSE) for “not new” teachers (below):

Û 6104. High Objective Uniform State Standard Evaluation.

(a) The high objective uniform state standard evaluation shall consist of two parts. The first shall be a summation of (i) years of experience teaching in the grade span or subject, (ii) core academic coursework in assigned grade span or subject, (iii) in-depth standards aligned professional development, and (iv) service to the profession in the relevant core academic content area. In no event shall (i) years of experience account for more than half of the total necessary to demonstrate subject matter competency. The second part shall consist of direct observation and portfolio assessment in the grade span or subject taught. The second part of the high objective uniform state standard evaluation will only be conducted if Part One does not identify sufficient experience, coursework, professional development or service to demonstrate subject matter competence.

(b) The high objective uniform state standard evaluation observation and portfolio section (Part Two) may be conducted at the time and by the means utilized to satisfy Education Code section 44662, except that (1) subject matter shall be defined as the State Academic Content Standards for the grades and subjects taught, and (2) competency shall be demonstrated by satisfactorily meeting standards 3 and 5.1 of the California Standards for the Teaching Profession. The demonstration of subject matter competence shall include one or more of the following:

(1) Classroom observation,

(2) Demonstration of knowledge of the appropriate grade-level and subject State Academic Content Standards, and

(3) Portfolio review of lesson plans and student work for one academic year.

(c) A teacher’s supervising administrator shall be responsible for overseeing the high objective uniform state standard evaluation, and shall consult, if necessary, with a person or persons knowledgeable in the State Academic Content Standards for the grade span or subject for which the teacher is demonstrating subject matter competency. A teacher must demonstrate subject matter competency only once for each grade span or subject taught.

(d) If the teacher does not satisfactorily meet standards 3 and 5.1 of the California Standards for the Teaching Profession as part of the NCLB evaluation, then subject matter competency shall be demonstrated through completion of the Peer Assistance and Review Program for Teachers or other individualized professional development plan, pursuant to Education Code section 44664, aimed at assisting the teacher to meet standards 3 and 5.1 of the California Standards for the Teaching Profession…


(1) Science News For Kids


Science News for Kids is a new Web site devoted to science news for children, ages 9 to 13. The goal of the site is to offer timely items of interest to kids, accompanied by suggestions for hands-on activities, books, articles, Web resources, and other useful materials.

[The] emphasis is on making the Web site appealing by offering kids opportunities to comment on the subject matter, ask questions of scientists featured in articles, try out mathematical puzzles, and submit their own work for possible Web publication. [The site also offers] teachers creative ways of using science news in their classrooms.


Science Service, the publisher of Science News (, is a nonprofit corporation based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1921, Science Service has the mission of advancing the popular understanding of science through publications and educational programs. The organization administers the Intel Science Talent Search, the Intel Science and Engineering Fair, the Discovery Channel Young Scientists Challenge, and other programs in science education.

Published since 1922, Science News is an award-winning weekly newsmagazine covering important research in all fields of science. Its 16 pages are packed with short, accurate, timely articles that appeal to both general readers and scientists. Each issue of the magazine now reaches about 160,000 subscribers and more than 1 million readers…

Since 1996, Science News has had a presence on the Web as Science News Online. Updated weekly, this site offers a free sampling of stories from the print edition of Science News. Subscribers to the magazine can access all of the print articles online. Science News Online also provides articles written specifically for the Web. These cover two areas: food (including nutrition) and mathematics. The site attracts more than 18,000 visitors per day, including many students and teachers.

The new Science News for Kids Web site, funded by grants from several corporations and foundations, enhances the usefulness of Science News in the middle-school classroom and offers recreational reading and activities for students interested in science.

A section of the Science News for Kids Web site is devoted to particular interests. At present, [there are] six such zones: a weekly brainteaser for those who enjoy solving and inventing puzzles (PuzzleZone), entertaining science-fiction composition exercises for those interested in writing (SciFiZone), and weekly science fair profiles and tips (ScienceFairZone). The GameZone contains a small selection of logic and memory games, implemented as Java applets. The TeacherZone has materials (some related to the feature article of the week) so that teachers can bring science news topics to the classroom. The LabZone features a weekly hands-on activity. In the future, additional zones [might be added] for kids interested in topics such as robotics, the environment, computers, mathematics, or veterinary medicine and animals.

(2) One-Stop Shop for Free NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) Journal Articles

Source:  NSTA Express – 15 September 2003

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) posts one article per month to the open section of its Web site from each of its four highly regarded, grade-specific journals. Those journals are Science & Children, for elementary school teachers; Science Scope for middle school teachers; The Science Teacher, for high school teachers; and Journal of College Science Teaching, for college and junior college science educators. A table of contents lists and links to all the free articles by magazine and by issue month since September 2001: see

Of special interest to parents and students–and now accessible free of charge in each issue–are the Home Connection department from Science & Children( and the Careers in Science department from The Science Teacher (, linked under the Table of Contents. If you’d like to know more about these and other benefits of membership in NSTA, please visit

(3) Online Journals of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics


The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) provides online access to its journals and free downloads of journal articles for members who subscribe to those journals. In addition, free downloads of selected articles are available to non-subscribers. The Web pages for the NCTM journals are listed below:

(a) Teaching Children Mathematics–A monthly journal for elementary school teachers:

(b) Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School–A monthly journal for middle school teachers:

(c) Mathematics Teacher–A monthly journal for high school teachers:

(d) Online Journal for School Mathematics (ON-Math)–A peer-reviewed school journal designed exclusively for the electronic medium:

(e) Journal for Research in Mathematics Education–A research journal for mathematics educators at all levels:

(4) TV Show, Webcast to Highlight Ways No Child Left Behind Empowers Parents  (Press release: 15 September 2003)


The Department of Education’s monthly TV show, “Education News Parents Can Use,” kicked off its 2003-04 season tonight by spotlighting how the No Child Left Behindlaw empowers parents to help their children succeed in school. A webcast of this show and earlier broadcasts can be found at

“Thanks to No Child Left Behind, parents have more authority than ever to hold their schools accountable for promoting educational excellence, while empowering them with choices to assure that their children receive the best education possible,” said Education Secretary Rod Paige…

Tuesday’s broadcast addressed such issues as:

*  How does the law empower parents to ensure their children get the best possible education?

*  What types of information is available to parents on the academic performance of their child’s school and the quality of their teachers?

*  How does annual testing and reporting hold schools accountable for achieving results?

*  What options exist for parents whose children attend underperforming or unsafe schools?

*  What are “supplemental educational services” and how can they help children achieve?

*  What are the most effective ways for parents to get involved in and support their child’s education?

…”Education News Parents Can Use” is broadcast on the third Tuesday of every month during the school year. The show offers one-on-one interviews, how-to demonstrations, and brief conversations with parents, educators and community leaders. Viewers can call in questions to a phone number that will be posted on the screen. Details about the series are available at:  [Past Webcasts are archived at]

The next program, “Keeping Your Child Safe at Home and in School,” airs on October 21.

(5) President Bush Highlights New Tools for Teachers under No Child Left Behind  (Press release – 9 September 2003)


President Bush…unveiled a new toolkit designed to provide educators with accurate, straightforward information about No Child Left Behind, as well as helpful information about loan forgiveness, tax credits and liability protection for teachers, links to helpful Web sites, information about data-driven decision-making, and guidance on understanding the federal, state and local roles in the No Child Left Behind law.

The Department of Education will distribute No Child Left Behind toolkits for teachers to various education organizations, education leaders and teachers across the country.  In addition, the kit will be available online at .

Teachers can order a copy of the toolkit by contacting the Department at 1-877-4-ED-PUBS (1-877-433-7827), TTY/TDD: 1-877-576-7734; or by fax at: 1-301-470-1244. Requests for the toolkit may be made online at; by e-mail at; or by mail at ED Pubs, P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398…

For more information about the No Child Left Behind Act, visit .