Additionally, data collected in 2004-05 only, indicated that 4.1% of core academic classes in the highest poverty elementary schools and 9.4% of classes in the highest poverty secondary schools were taught by non-HQ teachers.
Accuracy of Data at the Classroom Level
These reported increases in the percentages of non-HQ were troubling since ADE had been working diligently with district and charter schools statewide to help teachers meet the HQT requirements and anecdotal and certification evidence indicated increases in the numbers of teachers who now met the requirements but had not done so in 2003-04.
In 2004-05, ADE began reviewing the district data collection processes used in reporting HQT data to ADE and also reviewing the accuracy of reported data through on site monitoring visits statewide.
In their HQT reports for school year 2004-05, states were asked to report information both for elementary and secondary schools overall and for the highest-poverty quartile and lowest poverty quartile for each elementary and secondary. To arrive at this determination, Arizona combined all schools together (both elementary and secondary) and then extracted the data for schools, whether they were secondary or elementary, from the top and bottom quartiles of the combined list of schools. Thus the number of core academic classes taught by highly qualified teachers in 2004-05 in high poverty and low poverty fields does not equal 50% of the number of core academic classes taught by highly qualified teachers in all elementary and in all secondary schools. For future reporting Arizona will create two separate lists, one for all elementary schools statewide and one for all secondary schools statewide and report the top and bottom quartile figures from each list.
Additionally it became apparent that HQT data collection needed to be expanded to assure it included all teachers working in Arizona’s schools, including those in the state’s 469 charter schools. In many cases, information from charter schools had not been solicited because charter schools are, by state law, exempt from statewide reporting requirements regarding teacher qualifications. However based on USDE’s non-regulatory guidance, as Local Education Agencies (LEAs), charter schools are now responsible for reporting federal data required under NCLB to the same extent and on the same timelines as all other LEAs in Arizona.
ADE monitors also reported in their findings that the self reporting system employed in the data collection from each school and district lacked the controls necessary to assure its accuracy. Findings by the state monitors indicated numbers and percentages of teachers not meeting HQT requirements at levels higher in many districts than those contained in the reports provided to ADE.
Monitors also reported that many districts did not clearly understand the HOUSSE requirements and it appeared that some districts were reporting teachers as qualified under HOUSSE that did not meet the requirements.