The recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) rescinded the Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) provisions in No Child Left Behind.
The Arkansas Department of Education has instituted Arkansas Qualified Teacher (AQT) requirements. AQT only applies when:
1. A teacher is teaching in a Core Academic Subject Area for which licensure is otherwise required but where the licensure requirements have been legally waived by one of the following provisions:
1. Act 1240 of 2015 Approval to Waive Licensure
2. Charter School Approval to Waive Licensure
3. School of Innovation Approved Waiver of Licensure, or
2. A teacher is teaching Core Academic Subject Areas in Special Education or in an Alternative Learning Environment (ALE)
An Arkansas Qualified Teacher must have (1) a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and (2) demonstrated content knowledge in the Core Academic subject area being taught (See AQT Rules
), and, when applicable
(3) a Special Education license for a Special Education class, or a teaching license when teaching in an Alternative Learning Environment (ALE); except where licensure is officially waived.
Core Academic Subject Areas are:
Early Childhood (Elementary) | English Language Arts | Science
Social Studies | Foreign Language | Mathematics | Music | Art
Teachers in the above circumstance(s) must be designated as AQT for that subject content and grade level.
Demonstration of content knowledge may be achieved by any one of the following:
Passed a content area assessment approved by the State Board of Education for the subject/content/grade level the educator will teach
Passed a content exam which was accepted as demonstration of content knowledge for a teaching license in another state that is acceptable through reciprocity for an Arkansas teaching license
Has a bachelor’s degree or advanced degree in the content area
Has a minimum of 18 college credit hours in the content area
Has National Board Certification in the content area
Has documented successful, relevant work experience in the content area to be taught, established by at least one year of employment in a specific field or occupation that required the educator to demonstrate knowledge and skills in the content area. This is to be supported by two professional letters of recommendation from the educator’s employers or supervisors.
For Special Education or ALE teachers who do not meet any of the above conditions, demonstration of content knowledge may be met by either:
A. Achieving a passing score on the Praxis® Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge Exam (5511), with a minimum score of 148, or
B. Having the appropriate number of points via the Arkansas High Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (ARHOUSSE) matrix on one of the AQT Designation Forms below:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
about transitions from previous Highly Qualified Teacher legislation, Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), can be found in items A-4b, C-7, D-1a, D-1b, D-2, D-3 and D-4 at ESEA Transition FAQs
For more information, please contact:
Arkansas Department of Education
Office of Educator Effectiveness and Licensure
Four Capitol Mall, Room 104-B
Little Rock, AR 72201