Summary of HOUSSE


        New York State Requirements for HOUSSE: High Objective Uniform State Standards of Evaluation as per Field Memo: NCLB NYS #05-2003 and Addenda
Summary by Peter Kozik
What is the “high objective uniform State standard of evaluation” (HOUSSE)?
     To be “highly qualified,” teachers must have a bachelor’s degree, be certified for the classes they are teaching (except certain charter school teachers) and demonstrate subject matter competency in all core subjects they teach. A teacher’s highly objective qualifications are measured by HOUSSE Rubrics. HOUSSE is one option for teachers beyond their first year of teaching to demonstrate their competency.
Which teachers can use the HOUSSE?
     The NCLB makes the HOUSSE available only to teachers who are “not new to the profession.”   SED defines “new to the profession” as the first year following the effective date of a teacher’s first teaching certificate,
For example, a teacher whose first-ever certificate took effect on September 1, 2003 is “new to the profession” until September 1, 2004, when the teacher would become “not new to the profession.”
What non-HOUSSE options can teachers use to demonstrate their subject matter competency?
     Teachers beyond the first year of their first certification have different non-HOUSSE options, depending on their teaching assignments.
§        Elementary school teachers of core academic subjects -- defined as the teachers of record in pre-kindergarten (pre-K) through 6 common branch classes and in special education classes covering instructional content at the level of grades pre-K through 6 in any setting -- have only one non-HOUSSE option, examinations. 
§        Middle and secondary school teachers of core academic subjects -- defined as core subject teachers in grades 7 through 12 and teachers of foreign languages, the arts and reading at all grade levels -- have five non-HOUSSE options for demonstrating their subject matter competency, including: (1) passing an appropriate exam in the subjects; (2) completing a college major in the subjects; (3) completing coursework equivalent to a major (30 semester hours) in the subjects; (4) having a graduate degree in the subjects; and (5) having a New York State permanent or professional certificate in the subjects. 
Which teachers may want to use the HOUSSE?
Teachers may want to use the HOUSSE to be “highly qualified” to teach classes in core academic subjects if they:
§        are past their first year of teaching; and
§        have a bachelor’s or higher degree; and
§        are State certified for the classes they are teaching (except certain charter school teachers); and
§        are teaching a core academic subject; and
§        have not demonstrated their subject matter competency with any of the other options permitted by the NCLB.
Teachers who may meet the above criteria include, but are not limited to: 
§        teachers with common branch or special education certificates issued before examinations were required for certification in 1984 and who teach common branch classes or other classes with instructional content at the level of grades pre-K through 6;
§        teachers with certificates for grades 7 through 12 and extensions to teach specific subjects at the elementary level;
§        teachers of core academic subjects in grades 7 and above who have common branch certificates or special education certificates;
§        teachers in alternative education programs;
§        teachers of Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes who have a bachelor’s degree, who are teaching classes that can be used for credit in a core academic subject and who are certified as CTE teachers rather than in the core academic subjects they are teaching;
§        teachers doing “incidental teaching” in core academic subjects.
NOTE ON SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS:Some special education teachers are not subject to the NCLB’s requirements. Special education teachers who do not directly instruct students in any core academic subject or who provide only consultation to “highly qualified” teachers need not be “highly qualified” in core academic subjects. Indirect consultant services include adapting curricula, using behavioral supports and interventions, and selecting appropriate accommodations.