The state should ensure that new elementary teachers know the science of reading instruction.
In December 2010, Indiana approved new and detailed teacher content standards that require its teacher preparation programs to provide teacher candidates with training in the foundations of scientifically based reading instruction.
Indiana requires early childhood and elementary teacher candidates to pass the Praxis II "Reading Specialist" test prior to licensure. However, two studies of Praxis reading tests have deemed most tests in this series inadequate for assessing knowledge of scientifically based reading instruction.
http://www.doe.in.gov/educatorlicensing/pdf/ElementaryGeneralist.pdf http://www.doe.in.gov/educatorlicensing/pdf/EnglishLanguageArts.pdf Stotsky, S. (2006). 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; Rigden, D.W. (2006). Report on Licensure Alignment with the Essential Components of Effective Reading Instruction. Washington, DC: Reading First Teacher Education Network.
Ensure that the state's reading assessment adequately measures skills related to the science of reading instruction.
Indiana is commended for requiring teacher preparation programs to address the science of reading but could do more by ensuring that the reading assessment it uses with elementary teacher candidates is rigorous. The state's assessment needs to adequately test knowledge and skills related to the science of reading.
Indiana recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that it has contracted with Pearson to develop all new teacher licensure exams. "The SBRR-based reading is the most important exam they are developing."
NCTQ commends the state for its plans to require a test in this area and looks forward to reviewing the state's progress in future editions of the Yearbook.