The state should ensure that new elementary teachers know the science of reading instruction.
In its coursework requirements for teacher preparation programs, Michigan requires all programs to address the science of reading. Elementary teacher candidates must take six credit hours in reading; secondary teachers are required to take three credit hours. Programs must provide training in the five instructional components of scientifically based reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.
However, Michigan does not require teacher candidates to pass a reading assessment prior to certification or at any point thereafter to verify that they have been effectively trained in the science of reading instruction.
Require teacher candidates to pass a rigorous assessment in the science of reading instruction.
Although Michigan is commended for requiring coursework in reading and requiring 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. 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.
Michigan recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.