Adolescent Literacy: New Hampshire

2017 Secondary Teacher Preparation Policy

Goal

The state should ensure that new middle school and secondary teachers are fully prepared for the instructional shifts related to literacy associated with college-and career-readiness standards. This goal was reorganized in 2017.

Meets in part

Analysis of New Hampshire's policies

Informational Texts: New Hampshire's preparation standards and tests for all middle and secondary school teachers do not address the instructional shifts associated with college- and career-readiness standards toward building content knowledge and vocabulary through careful reading of informational and literary texts.

Literacy Skills: Testing frameworks in other content areas do not address incorporating literacy skills. However, according to the state's standards, social studies teachers must "promote adolescent literacy by using literacy strategies in order to foster comprehension and develop social studies skills." Middle-level science teachers must be able to "design activities and investigations which teach literacy through integrating" the following:

  • Knowledge of the methods of teaching reading, writing, communication and study skills essential to the effective mastery of middle school science content
  • Use of scientific drawings, diagrams, bulleted lists and graphing essential to science investigations and expression of ideas
  • Appropriate quantitative literacy skills and concepts in a science lesson.
 Secondary standards in other content areas also address incorporating literacy skills. Secondary social studies teachers must "promote adolescent literacy by using literacy strategies in order to foster comprehension and develop social studies skills." Chemistry teachers must be able to "design activities and investigations which teach literacy through integrating" the following: 
  • Knowledge of the methods of teaching reading, writing, communication and study skills essential to the effective mastery of middle school science content    
  • Use of scientific drawings, diagrams, bulleted lists and graphing essential to science investigations and expression of ideas
  • Appropriate quantitative literacy skills and concepts in a science lesson. A similar requirement exists for life sciences teachers.

Citation

Recommendations for New Hampshire

Ensure that middle and secondary school teachers are prepared to meet the instructional requirements of college- and career-readiness standards for students.

Incorporate informational text of increasing complexity into classroom instruction.

New Hampshire should specifically address the instructional shifts toward building content knowledge and vocabulary through increasingly complex informational texts and careful reading of informational and literary texts associated with the state's college- and career-readiness standards for students. The state may consider addressing these shifts either through testing frameworks in tests taken by all middle or secondary teachers regardless of subject area (such as a teaching methods tests), or through teacher preparation standards.

State response to our analysis

New Hampshire recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state also indicated that Secondary Science, Social Studies, and English Language Arts certification and PEPP rules are currently in the rulemaking process undergoing significant revisions.

Updated: December 2017

Last word

NCTQ looks forward to reviewing the state's progress in future editions of the Yearbook.

How we graded

3C: Adolescent Literary 

The state should ensure that all middle and secondary teachers are sufficiently prepared for the ways that college- and career-readiness standards affect instruction in all subject areas. Specifically,

  • Middle School Preparation: The state should ensure that all new middle and secondary teachers are prepared to incorporate informational texts of increasing complexity into instruction.
  • Secondary Preparation: The state should ensure that all new middle and secondary teachers are prepared to incorporate literacy skills as an integral part of every subject.
Middle School Preparation
One-half of the total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • One-half credit: The state will earn one-half of a point if at least one of the two components is "fully addressed" and one is "partially addressed."
  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if one of the two components is "fully addressed" or two are "partially addressed."
Secondary Preparation
One-half of the total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • One-half credit: The state will earn one-half of a point if at least one of the two components is "fully addressed" and one is "partially addressed."
  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if one of the two components is "fully addressed" or two are "partially addressed."

Research rationale

States must ensure that middle school and secondary teacher preparation programs prepare teachers to incorporate complex text into instruction and student practice. These are critical years of schooling when far too many students fall through the cracks.

With that said, college- and career-readiness standards are influencing significant shifts in literacy instruction.
College- and career-readiness standards for K-12 students adopted by nearly all states require from teachers a different focus on literacy integrated into all subject areas.[1] The standards demand that teachers are prepared to bring complex text and academic language into regular use, emphasize the use of evidence from informational and literary texts, and build knowledge and vocabulary through content-rich texts. While most states have not ignored teachers' need for training and professional development related to these instructional shifts, states must also attend to the parallel need to align teacher competencies and requirements for teacher preparation so that new teachers will enter the classroom ready to help students meet the expectations of these standards.


[1] Student Achievement Partners. (2015). Research supporting the Common Core ELA/literacy shifts and standards. Retrieved from https://achievethecore.org/content/upload/Research%20Supporting%20the%20ELA%20Standards%20and%20Shifts%20Final.pdf