Thousands of Teachers Deemed Not Highly Qualified

HONOLULU (KHNL)--Thousands of experienced Hawaii teachers must prove their teaching credentials, even though some have been in the classroom for decades.

More than 3,000 teachers are deemed "not highly qualified" by federal government standards and that's made some of them angry.

How many Hawaii teachers are highly qualified? That's what the federal government wants to know.

About 3,000 teachers received letters informing them they are not recognized as highly qualified teachers.

"The letter to teachers regarding no child left behind and highly qualified teachers is the state's responsibility to meet No Child Left Behind requirements," explained Bob Campbell with the State Department of Education.

The state has to report the number of classes taught each year by non highly qualified teachers.

According to the Hawaii State Teacher's Union some veteran teachers who got the letters were upset at their classification. The union feels the No Child Left Behind program needs to be modified because too much energy is spent complying with paperwork.

Campbell added, "The outreach letter the teachers got are because the Department is unable to confirm with our records and our information that a teacher is highly qualified. for the content area he or she is teaching."

The federal governments believes students will benefit from the background checks.

"Research shows that teachers who content competent in the subject they're teaching have higher achievement results for students," concluded Campbell.

This month teachers can attend meetings to learn more about the requirements.