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NCLB Outrages

Highly Qualified Paraprofessional Requirements Under NCLB

NOTE: Section 1119(c) through 1119(h) of the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) requires that
all paraprofessionals who provide instructional support AND who work in a program supported
with Title I, Part A funds, regardless of the grade level they work with, must meet certain federalqualification requirements to achieve “Highly Qualified Paraprofessional” (HQP) status.

The following are the minimum federal
requirements for Title I, Part A instructional
paraprofessionals to achieve HQP status:

I. All Title I instructional paraprofessionals must have a high school diploma or its
recognized equivalent.

II. In addition, Title I instructional paraprofessionals must also have:

A. Completed at least 2 years of study (defined as a minimum of 48 credit hours) at
an institution of higher education; or

B. Obtained an associate's (or higher) degree; or

C. Met a rigorous standard of quality and can demonstrate through a formal State or
local academic assessment:

1. Knowledge of and the ability to assist in instructing reading, writing,
mathematics; and

2. Knowledge of and the ability to assist in instructing, reading readiness,
writing readiness, and mathematics readiness, as appropriate.

The latter option (II-C) may be fulfilled through standardized assessments such as the ETS Parapro Assessment or through a locally developed portfolio process.

By Georgia Hedrick

Up Close an Personal

Desert Heights School, which is 45% Anglo, 42% Latino and 59% poverty. Although Great Schools give the school just 2 out of 5 according to test scores, parents rate the school 4 out of 5 on community satisfation.

In September a Latina was hired for the Mi Amigoes program. At that time she was told it was funded by a one year grant, and nothing was said about being tested to see if she was 'highly qualified' to walk kindergarten children to and from class and to read stories to them.

However, last week she was informed that she must now take the 'ParaPro' test to see if she is 'highly qualified' to walk those kindergarten children to and from class and read stories to them. The Principal also told her if she does not pass this test, she will be let go. This para is paid $9/hr for only 21 hours a week, and therefore gets no benefits.

I saw the sample test and the instructions as to how to understand it and pass it. It contains English grammar and parts of speech, reading of a complicated nature, algebra, geometry, history and so on. It is very complicated. I think there is more going on here than simply testing a kindergarden aide.

Is there a test showing that schoolboard members are highly qualified?

Where's the test for Arne Duncan?

If an aide is expected to take and pass such a test, certainly all Boardmembers have been required to do the same. Am I correct?

It seems only just and fair that such be so.

— Georgia Hedrick


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