Elementary Teacher Preparation in Reading
Instruction : Tennessee

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 : Tennessee results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/TN-Elementary-Teacher-Preparation-in-Reading-Instruction--6

Analysis of Tennessee's policies

In its reading standards pertaining to what early childhood, elementary and middle school teachers must know, Tennessee 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.

Tennessee also requires all new elementary, middle and special education teacher candidates to pass a reading pedagogy test, the Praxis "Reading Across the Curriculum," which covers the five components of reading.

Citation

Recommendations for Tennessee

State response to our analysis

Tennessee recognized the factual accuracy of 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).