Meeting the Highly Qualified Paraprofessional Challenge

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There are 900,000 teachers' aides, or paraprofessionals, across the U.S. By 2006, Just like teachers, the No Child Left Behind Act expects more from them if they are to continue in the classroom: they must have an associate's degree, pass a basic skills test, or have had two years of college. And just as with teachers, there are many complaints from paraprofessionals who currently do not meet the standard. Indeed the problem among teachers' aides is much starker than with teachers. In Massachusetts, estimates state that as many as 75% of the state's 10,000 teachers' aides currently in the classroom do not meet the new standards.