The state should ensure that new middle school and secondary teachers are fully prepared for the instructional shifts related to literacy associated with college-and career-readiness standards. This goal was reorganized in 2017.
Alabama's preparation standards and tests for all middle and secondary school teachers do not address the instructional shifts associated
with college- and career-readiness standards toward building content knowledge
and vocabulary through careful reading of informational and literary texts.
Literacy Skills: The Alabama Quality Teacher Standards state that "effective teachers...model and actively teach their students the fundamentals of reading, writing, and oral communications across all content areas." The standards require that teachers must have the "ability to integrate reading instruction into all content areas that one teaches." However, these standards do not go far enough to ensure that teachers are fully prepared to include literacy skills across the core content areas.
Alabama Administrative Code 290-3-3-.07
Ensure that middle and secondary school teachers are prepared to meet the instructional requirements of college- and career-readiness standards for students.
Incorporate informational text of increasing complexity into classroom instruction.
Alabama should specifically address the instructional shifts toward building content knowledge and vocabulary through increasingly complex informational texts and careful reading of informational and literary texts associated with the state's college- and career-readiness standards for students. The state may consider addressing these shifts either through testing frameworks in tests taken by all middle or secondary teachers regardless of subject area (such as a teaching methods tests), or through teacher preparation standards.
Incorporate literacy skills as an integral part of every subject.
Alabama should ensure that teacher preparation standards include literacy skills and using text to build content knowledge in history/social studies, science, technical subjects and the arts to ensure that middle and secondary school students are capable of accessing varied information about the world around them.
Alabama recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis, however this analysis was updated subsequent to the state's review.
3C: Adolescent Literary
The state should ensure that all middle and secondary teachers are sufficiently prepared for the ways that college- and career-readiness standards affect instruction in all subject areas. Specifically,
States must ensure that middle school and secondary teacher preparation programs prepare teachers to incorporate complex text into instruction and student practice. These are critical years of schooling when far too many students fall through the cracks.
With that said, college- and career-readiness standards are influencing significant shifts in literacy instruction.
College- and career-readiness standards for K-12 students adopted by nearly all states require from teachers a different focus on literacy integrated into all subject areas. The standards demand that teachers are prepared to bring complex text and academic language into regular use, emphasize the use of evidence from informational and literary texts, and build knowledge and vocabulary through content-rich texts. While most states have not ignored teachers' need for training and professional development related to these instructional shifts, states must also attend to the parallel need to align teacher competencies and requirements for teacher preparation so that new teachers will enter the classroom ready to help students meet the expectations of these standards.