The state should ensure that new elementary teachers know the science of reading instruction.
In its standards for elementary teacher preparation, Mississippi 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. However, the state 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.
Mississippi Educator Preparation Programs, Process and Performance Reviews http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/ed_licensure/teacher_education.html
Require teacher candidates to pass a rigorous assessment in the science of reading instruction.
Although Mississippi is to be 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. 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.
Mississippi recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.