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