Elementary Teacher Preparation in Reading
Instruction : Idaho

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 : Idaho results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/ID-Elementary-Teacher-Preparation-in-Reading-Instruction--6

Analysis of Idaho's policies

Idaho requires that teacher preparation programs for elementary teacher candidates address the science of reading.

Prior to initial licensure, candidates must pass the Idaho Comprehensive Literary Assessment, which includes phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, writing, and assessments and intervention strategies.


Recommendations for Idaho

Ensure that the state's reading assessment adequately measures skills related to the science of reading instruction.
Although the state is commended for requiring teacher preparation programs to address the science of reading, it should consider being more explicit about its requirements for fluency and vocabulary, especially because an independent source has not confirmed that Idaho's test is rigorous enough to ensure that its elementary teacher candidates are adequately prepared in scientifically based reading instruction before entering the classroom

State response to our analysis

Idaho recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

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).