Help us send a resounding message to colleges of education

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We haven't been able to take our eyes off of the story out of Ohio showing that a third of the state's third-graders failed the state reading test this past fall--a story that came out just as the nation learned that 16 other countries scored higher on reading in PISA.

This isn't just an appalling coincidence.

Reading failure is a national epidemic. Three out of ten children never learn to read. And one of the biggest reasons for the high rate of reading failure is that most teachers never get trained in effective methods in reading instruction.  This is a huge disservice to future teachers and the children they will teach. Reading is the gateway to all other learning--ensuring our teachers are prepared is our best defense against a child falling behind academically for years to come.

Over a decade ago, the National Reading Panel systematically reviewed thousands of studies and identified five core components of reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.  In our review of over 600 elementary teacher preparation programs, we found only 29 percent were teaching these reading fundamentals. Rather than train teachers in the proven skills they need, programs often encourage teachers to develop their own philosophy of reading.

We can reduce the rate of reading failure to less than one in ten kids simply by giving teachers the skills they need. That's why we are asking for your support to send a resounding message to colleges of education: ALL YOUNG CHILDREN DESERVE A TEACHER WHO CAN TEACH THEM TO READ.

If you agree, please sign our petition, and pass it along to your friends, family and colleagues.