Office of Accountability

Equitable Distribution of Highly Qualified and Effective Teaching
Improving Teacher Quality State Grants – ESEA/NCLB Title II A

USDOE emphasis on equitable distribution of highly qualified teaching

In October 2005, Secretary Spellings sent a letter external link to every State’s Chief School Officer, acknowledging that most States seemed unlikely to reach the initial NCLB goal of 100% highly qualified teaching (HQT) by the end of the 2005-06 school year. In this letter, the Secretary indicated that States would not lose federal funds if USDOE was able to determine that a State was making a good-faith effort to reach the HQT goal in NCLB as soon as possible. The Department’s criteria for good-faith efforts were:

  • The State’s definition of a highly qualified teacher is consistent with NCLB law and is used to determine the status of all its teachers;
  • States and districts provide parents and the public with accurate, complete reports on the number and percentage of classes in core academic subjects taught by highly qualified teachers;
  • States submit complete and accurate data to the U.S. Secretary of Education on their implementation of the HQT requirements, including reporting of differences between high poverty/minority schools and low poverty/minority schools; and
  • States take action to ensure that inexperienced, unqualified, or out-of-field teachers do not teach poor or minority children at higher rates than other children.  

Required State plans to achieve equitable distribution of highly qualified teachers

All States were subsequently required to submit, by July 2006, a plan detailing the specific steps the State would take to reach the HQT goal in the 2006-07 school year. States were “…expected to pay particular attention to staffing schools identified as ‘in need of improvement’ and those with high concentrations of poor and disadvantaged students with highly qualified and effective teachers”.

New York’s revised State Plan to Enhance Teacher Quality (September 2006) outlined New York’s strategies and activities to ensure that all students have access to highly qualified and effective teaching. During a monitoring visit in February 2010, USDOE found that NYSED had not updated or recently reported progress on this plan, and required a corrective action plan from the Department to address this finding.

NYSED is developing a revised State Plan to reflect recent Commissioner and Board of Regents initiatives (see Board of Regents meeting materials, particularly for December 2009 and April 2010, at The new plan will be completed in January 2011, will be posted on this site, and will be revised as needed thereafter, to document Statewide successes and continuing needs as we move towards the goal of equitable access to effective teaching and learning.

New York State’s equity gap, 2010

While New York’s teaching equity gap has shown modest improvement each year, it continues to be a significant challenge, especially at the secondary level, where students in high poverty/minority schools were 9.81% more likely, in 2008-09, to experience not-highly-qualified teaching of a core academic subject than were students in low poverty/minority schools.

National HQT and equitable distribution charts (2008-09 data)

District and School distribution of highly qualified NYS teachers - in the "Accountability and Overview Report" for each district and school in NYS School Report Cards, see page 3 for demographic information and page 4 for teacher qualification information.

Progress Report on Highly Qualified Teachers – Report to the Higher Education Committee of the Board of Regents, April 2008 (‘Word’ version brings up a more readable version of the tables)

Teacher Supply and Demand Reports (including Analysis Tables)

Highly Qualified Teachers in NYS districts and schools (for 2010, based 2008-09 data)external link


Last Updated: June 2, 2015