The state should ensure that new elementary teachers know the science of reading instruction.
Maine does not require that teacher preparation programs for elementary teacher candidates address the science of reading. The state has neither coursework requirements nor standards related to this critical area. Maine only requires graduates of out-of-state elementary teacher preparation programs to complete three credit hours in elementary reading methods; however, this coursework does not explicitly require that teachers receive training in the five essential components of reading instruction.
The state also does not require teacher candidates to pass an assessment that measures knowledge of scientifically based reading instruction prior to certification or at any point thereafter.
Ensure that teacher preparation programs prepare elementary teaching candidates in the science of reading instruction.
Maine should require that teacher preparation programs in the state train candidates in the five instructional components of scientifically based reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.
Require teacher candidates to pass a rigorous assessment in the science of reading instruction.
Maine should 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. The assessment should clearly test knowledge and skills related to the science of reading, and if it is combined with an assessment that also tests general pedagogy or elementary content, 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.
Maine asserted that it recognizes approved programs completed by out-of-state applicants through the Interstate Agreement. Further, applicants going through transcript analysis must have not only three semester credit hours in methods of teaching elementary reading, but they must also have three additional semester credit hours from one of the following areas: methods of teaching elementary language arts, children's literature or methods of teaching the writing process.