The state should ensure that new elementary teachers know the science of reading instruction.
In its coursework requirements for all teacher candidates, Ohio requires teacher preparation programs to address the science of reading. The state requires all teachers to take at least three credit hours of coursework in reading instruction. To obtain licensure in early or middle childhood or special education, teacher candidates must complete 12 credit hours in the teaching of reading, which must include a distinct three-credit-hour course in the teaching of phonics. Programs must provide training in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary and comprehension.
However, Ohio 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 Ohio is 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.
Ohio recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.