Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy
The state should ensure that new elementary teachers know the science of reading instruction.
In its standards for elementary teacher preparation, Vermont 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, Vermont 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.
Supplement A (5440) to the Vermont Standards Board for Professional Education Manual of Rules
Require teacher candidates to pass a rigorous assessment in the science of reading instruction.
Although Vermont is commended for requiring teacher preparation programs to address the science of reading, Vermont 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.
Vermont recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that it is considering the adoption of new Praxis II elementary content tests.