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Expert Connection

TeachingLD provides answers to common questions about teaching students with learning disabilities. We solicit questions (submit your own question), select those that are of general interest, and ask professionals with expertise about those specific aspects of learning disabilities to summarize—in practical terms—the research relevant to those questions. The Editors of TeachingLD have been supported by the un-compensated assistance of people with substantial knowledge and experience in preparing answers.

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"Highly Qualified" Teachers: What Does it Mean for Me?—Bonnie Billingsley

Q:I've heard so much about IDEA's definition of "highly qualified" teachers and what this means for teachers of students with learning disabilities. Does this mean we will have to go through more training and take more tests in order to keep our jobs? Can you explain what highly qualified really means? Monica, Ocala, Florida
We asked Dr. Bonnie Billingsley to be our Expert for this question. Dr. Billingsley is an Associate Professor at Virginia Tech and she has written extensively on special education teacher issues.

Monica, thank you for your question. The topic of what makes a "highly qualified" special educator is important to teachers, administrators, school personnel, parents, and those studying to be special educators. I'll answer your question by giving you an overview of the requirements of NCLB and IDEA and I'll also provide you with some resources to consult for further information.