Elementary Teacher Preparation in Reading
Instruction : Pennsylvania

Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should ensure that new elementary teachers know the science of reading instruction.

Meets
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Elementary Teacher Preparation in Reading Instruction : Pennsylvania results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/PA-Elementary-Teacher-Preparation-in-Reading-Instruction--6

Analysis of Pennsylvania's policies


Pennsylvania 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.

As of April 2, 2012, the state will require the Pennsylvania Educator Certification Test (PECT) for grades PK-4. This will be a modular test that will report a specific score for the science of reading. 

Citation

Recommendations for Pennsylvania

Monitor new assessment to ensure rigor.
Pennsylvania will need to monitor this new assessment to make sure it really is rigorous and an appropriate measure of teachers' knowledge and skill of effective reading instruction. 

State response to our analysis

Pennsylvania was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis.

Research rationale

For evidence on what new teachers are not learning about reading instruction, see NCTQ, "What Education Schools Aren't Teaching About Reading and What Elementary Teachers Aren't Learning" (2006) at:
http://www.nctq.org/nctq/images/nctq_reading_study_app.pdf

For problems with existing reading tests, see S. Stotsky, "Why American Students Do Not Learn to Read Very Well: The Unintended Consequences of Title II and Teacher Testing," Third Education Group Review 2 No. 2 (2006); and D. W. Rigden, Report on Licensure Alignment with the Essential Components of Effective Reading Instruction (Washington, D.C.: Reading First Teacher Education Network, 2006) at: 
http://www.tegr.org/Review/Articles/vol2/v2n2.pdf.

For information on where states set passing scores on elementary level content tests for teacher licensing across the U.S., see chart on p. 13 of NCTQ "Recommendations for the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Removing the Roadblocks: How Federal Policy Can Cultivate Effective Teachers," (2011).