The state should ensure that new elementary teachers know the science of reading instruction.
In its standards for preparation of elementary teachers, Colorado
requires teacher preparation programs to address the science of reading.
Programs must provide training in "phonological and linguistic skills
related to reading," including phonemic awareness; concepts about print
and systematic, explicit phonics; reading comprehension; and vocabulary
However, the state does not require teacher candidates to pass a reading assessment prior to certification or at any point thereafter to verify that candidates have been effectively trained in the science of reading instruction.
Require teacher candidates to pass a rigorous assessment in the science of reading instruction.
Although Colorado is commended for requiring teacher preparation programs to address the science of reading, the state should also require a rigorous reading assessment tool to ensure that its elementary teacher candidates are adequately prepared in the science of reading instruction before entering the classroom. The assessment should clearly test knowledge and skills related to the science of reading, and if it is combined with an assessment that also tests general pedagogy or elementary content, it should report a subscore for the science of reading specifically. Elementary teachers who do not possess the minimum knowledge in this area should not be eligible for licensure.
Colorado recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.