Statement from NCTQ President Kate Walsh on Reading Declines in 2019 Nation’s Report Card Results


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Statement from NCTQ President Kate Walsh on Reading Declines in 2019 Nation’s Report Card Results

Washington, D.C. -- On October 30 the 2019 Nation's Report Card results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) demonstrated stagnation in student academic performance across the country. Further, 17 states showed declines in 4th grade reading scores and 31 states showed declines in 8th grade reading scores.

"Declining student performance in reading is unacceptable," said NCTQ President Kate Walsh. "We must consider this a call to action. The science of how to best teach reading has been settled, and both teacher preparation programs and state policymakers have a responsibility to ensure that all teachers know this science. It should be noted that the only state to show an increase in 4th grade reading was Mississippi, which has also been working hard to ensure teacher candidates are trained and current classroom teachers are retrained in the science of reading. We cannot continue to fail our students by not making explicit scientifically-based reading instruction a national priority."

The National Council on Teacher Quality will be releasing updated scores for how well elementary teacher preparation programs prepare their teacher candidates in the five components of scientifically-based reading instruction early next year in the 2020 Teacher Prep Review.

See the 2016 Teacher Prep Review scientifically-based reading instruction scores for elementary teacher preparation programs here.

See the 2018 data for state requirements regarding scientifically-based reading instruction for elementary and special education teacher candidates here.


To schedule an interview with NCTQ, please contact Nicole Gerber at (202) 393-0020 ext. 712.

About the National Council on Teacher Quality: The National Council on Teacher Quality is a nonpartisan research and policy group, committed to modernizing the teaching profession and based on the belief that all children deserve effective teachers. We recognize that it is not teachers who bear responsibility for their profession's many challenges, but the institutions with the greatest authority and influence over teachers. More information about NCTQ can be found on our website,

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