NEW HANOVER COUNTY -- State school districts recently completed an evaluation of their teachers. How did educators in our area fare? The federal "No Child Left Behind" act requires all teachers hired before the 2003 school year to meet several requirements. They can then be called a 'highly qualified teacher,' which is what a new test is designed to measure. Each school district conducts its own evaluation using a standardized form. And each form is specific to each subject. It asks whether a teacher meets state standards. But it's not a one-time pass/fail evaluation. If a teacher is not making the grade in a particular area, the school can work with that teacher to bring them up to standard. John Welmers is Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources New Hanover County Schools. He said, "It kind of sounds silly that it would be a normal thing to test of a teacher, but sometimes that's hard to find. And working with our folks and using professional development to get them there, we have gotten our teachers to that standard." Te goal for each school district is to get as close to 100 ercent of its teachers rated 'highly qualified' as possible. Its important to note that the more teachers a school system has, the more difficult it is to meet the requirement. As one of the large school systems -- districts with more than 1,000 teachers -- New Hanover County scored number one in the state.
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