The state should ensure that new elementary teachers know the science of reading instruction.
In its standards for early childhood education teacher preparation, Georgia 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.
Georgia's licensure test for early childhood education teachers, part of the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE), includes some questions on scientifically based reading instruction. However, the state does not provide a subscore for this specific area, so it is possible to pass the test without adequate knowledge of the science of reading.
Georgia Rules 505-3-.16 and 505-3-.75 http://www.gace.nesinc.com/PDFs/GA_fld001002_TD-Framework.pdf
Require teacher candidates to pass a rigorous assessment in the science of reading instruction.
Although Georgia 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. Since the state's assessment includes the science of reading but is combined with an assessment that also tests other elementary content, the state 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.
Georgia recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.