It appears I’ve offended some teachers by the post and comments on “Fifth grader is reading at 2.7 grade level. Should he be tested for Special Ed?”
Before describing the purpose of that article, I have a question for you: If your child was in 5th grade and reading on the 2.7 grade level, wouldn’t you be alarmed?
Wouldn’t you want a research based reading program that has a proven record of success before your child falls even further behind?
To clarify, that article is a critique of teacher education programs, not an attack on teachers.
When writing articles, we use research by respected organizations, including the American Federation of Teachers and The National Council on Teacher Quality. We recommend publications from these organizations to those who are interested in reading instruction and teacher preparation. Here are some excellent publications and reports on teacher preparation and reading:
Teaching Reading IS Rocket Science, What Expert Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do by Louisa Moats, published by the American Federation of Teachers.
Teacher Education: Coming up Empty – Describes a study in which leading teacher educators admit that there’s little evidence to prove the effectiveness of teacher ed programs. http://www.nctq.org/p/publications/docs/Teacher_Education_fwd_20080316034429.pdf
The National Council on Teacher Quality examined what aspiring teachers learn about reading instruction in college. NCTQ analyzed a representative sample of reading courses to assess the degree to which students are taught the five essential components of effective reading instruction (http://www.wrightslaw.com/nclb/4defs.reading.htm): phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
Raising the Bar on Teacher Prep – National Center on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) aims to strengthen teacher education by rating programs on standards that measure key elements of teacher preparation program design and were developed in consultation with a broad range of experts. http://www.nctq.org/teacherPrep/2016/home.do
A Closer Look at Early Reading: Key Findings. Teaching children how to read is “job one” for elementary teachers because reading proficiency underpins all later learning. Unfortunately, 30 percent of all children do not become capable readers.
2015 State Teacher Policy Yearbook summarizes how the states are doing in developing policies that improve the teaching profession. The Yearbook describes teacher quality and preparation by state. State by State Summary.
Teacher Prep Review for 2014 uncovered early evidence that teacher prep programs are beginning to make changes.
Among their findings:
- Reading proficiency underpins all later learning. Unfortunately, about 30 percent of all children do not become capable readers.
- Two in five (39 percent) of the 820 undergraduate elementary ed programs evaluated provide instruction in all five essential components of early reading instruction.
- Most programs’ course designs include comprehension (75 percent), and two-thirds include vocabulary (64 percent) and phonics (62 percent). Only about half include fluency (48 percent) and phonemic awareness (46 percent)
- Quality of Most Reading Textbooks is Poor, Inaccurate and Misleading.
Given the strength of the scientific research in reading instruction, there is genuine cause for concern … we will not be surprised to find that it took several decades for the science of reading to be absorbed into thinking and practice … [that means ] yet another generation of children have been deprived of the benefits of the science.