Highly Qualified Paraprofessionals
Paraprofessionals play a valuable role in providing services to public school students. This is especially true in special education. No Child Left Behind also requires that paraprofessionals who work in Title I schools must be highly qualified by the end of the 2005–2006 school year. To be highly qualified paraprofessionals must have a high school diploma or recognized equivalent. Additionally, paraprofessionals must have completed at least 2 years of college or an associate’s degree or met rigorous quality standards by performing adequately on a designated state test. The state or local test should demonstrate that a paraprofessional has the knowledge of and ability to assist in teaching reading–language arts, writing, and mathematics or reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness.
No Child Left Behind allows paraprofessionals to provide instructional support services only when they are directly supervised by a teacher. The teacher is also responsible for (a) planning all instructional activities implemented by a paraprofessional and (b) evaluating the achievement of the students who work with a paraprofessional.
The NCLB definition of paraprofessional does not include individuals who perform only noninstructional duties, such as clerical tasks, playground supervision, translating services, or providing personal care services. If the paraprofessional performs only these duties and does not facilitate instruction, he or she does not have to meet NCLB requirements.
© ______ 2006, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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