Elementary Teacher Preparation in Reading
Instruction : Florida

Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy


The state should ensure that new elementary teachers know the science of reading instruction.

Nearly meets goal
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Elementary Teacher Preparation in Reading Instruction : Florida results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/FL-Elementary-Teacher-Preparation-in-Reading-Instruction--6

Analysis of Florida's policies

In its standards and competencies for elementary teacher preparation, Florida requires teacher preparation programs to address the science of reading. Programs must provide training in the five instructional components of scientifically based reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

All new elementary teacher candidates are also required to take the Florida Teacher Certification Exam, which includes items on reading instruction. Although the items related to reading instruction include the science of reading, the state does not provide a subscore for this specific area; therefore, it is possible to pass the test without adequate knowledge of the science of reading.


Recommendations for Florida

Ensure that the state's reading assessment adequately measures skills related to the science of reading instruction.
Florida is commended for requiring teacher preparation programs to address the science of reading and for administering an assessment to measure teachers' preparation to teach reading. However, Florida's assessment should clearly test knowledge and skills related to the science of reading and 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.

State response to our analysis

Florida recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that it is currently working on revisions that would result in the reporting of a reading subscore on the elementary education K-6 subject-area exam. 

Research rationale

For evidence on what new teachers are not learning about reading instruction, see NCTQ, "What Education Schools Aren't Teaching About Reading and What Elementary Teachers Aren't Learning" (2006) at:

For problems with existing reading tests, see S. Stotsky, "Why American Students Do Not Learn to Read Very Well: The Unintended Consequences of Title II and Teacher Testing," Third Education Group Review 2 No. 2 (2006); and D. W. Rigden, Report on Licensure Alignment with the Essential Components of Effective Reading Instruction (Washington, D.C.: Reading First Teacher Education Network, 2006) at: 

For information on where states set passing scores on elementary level content tests for teacher licensing across the U.S., see chart on p. 13 of NCTQ "Recommendations for the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Removing the Roadblocks: How Federal Policy Can Cultivate Effective Teachers," (2011).