Highly Qualified Teacher Requirements

Wednesday, September 1, 2010, 10:04 am




September 2010



TO:                  Montana School Administrator


FROM:             Linda Vrooman Peterson, Administrator


SUBJECT:       Highly Qualified Teacher Requirements


The purpose of this letter is to provide information about the federal highly qualified teacher (HQT) requirements for new-to-the-profession and experienced elementary and secondary teachers teaching core academic subject classes, and what these requirements mean to a school administrator.


To meet the federal HQT requirements, every teacher must have demonstrated content knowledge prior to teaching core academic subject classes. The core academic subjects, as defined by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, include: English, reading, mathematics, science (biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, and physical science), civics and government, economics, history, geography, world languages, visual arts, and elementary curriculum. Teachers with endorsements in other subject areas (e.g., music, library media, health enhancement, technology education, family and consumer sciences) are not required to pass a subject area test to teach non-core academic subject classes. Every teacher teaching in Montana accredited schools must be licensed and subject area endorsed.


The ESEA HQT requirements apply to all teachers assigned to teach core academic subject classes.

·         K-8 Elementary teachers new-to-the profession must pass the Praxis II (0014) Elementary Content Knowledge Test prior to being assigned to teach the elementary curriculum. (Teacher candidates recommended for licensure from a Montana accredited educator preparation program will have completed this requirement prior to graduation.)

  • K-8 Elementary teachers who hold a Class 5 Alternative License must pass the Praxis II (0014) Elementary Content Knowledge test prior to teaching the elementary curriculum.
  • Elementary and secondary teachers with a minor in a core academic subject must pass the applicable Praxis II subject knowledge test prior to teaching a core academic subject class.
  • Experienced K-8 elementary and secondary teachers, K-12 special education teachers, and Title I teachers teaching core academic subject classes must meet HOUSSE requirements or pass the appropriate Praxis II subject area test prior to teaching a core academic subject class.
  • Teachers with a secondary major, course work equivalent to a major, or an advanced degree in a core academic subject meet the federal requirements and are not required, for HQT purposes, to pass a subject area test.
  • For registration information refer to the Praxis Series Bulletin. The link to the Praxis Series is located on the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Web site at  Once at the Praxis Series home page, follow these steps: 1) Go to the heading, "For Test Takers" click "About the Test"; 2) Click Praxis II: Subject Tests; and 3) Click the tab labeled "Get Bulletin."


Attached are the Montana passing scores used only for HQT purposes.  For more information refer to the Highly Qualified Teacher link on the Office of Public Instruction Web site: /Accred/HQT.html.  For comments or questions contact me by telephone, (406) 444-5726 or by e-mail,



For more information, contact Linda Peterson, (406) 444-5726