Adolescent Literacy: Florida

2017 General Teacher Prep Programs 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.

Best Practice

Analysis of Florida's policies

Informational Texts: Florida addresses the instructional shifts toward building content knowledge and vocabulary through careful reading of informational and literary texts associated with the state's college- and career-readiness standards for students through the state's reading competencies.  For example, the state's reading competencies require preparation programs to ensure candidates be able to:

  • Identify cognitive targets (e.g., locate/recall; integrate/interpret; critique/evaluate) and the role of cognitive development in the construction of meaning of literary and informational texts;
  • Understand reading as a process of constructing meaning from a wide variety of print and digital texts and for a variety of purposes;
  • Understand the reading demands posed by domain specific texts.
  • Select narrative or informational print or digital texts that are appropriate to the comprehension instruction to be provided; and
  • Use research-based guidelines for selecting literature and domain specific print and digital text appropriate to students' age, interests and reading proficiency (e.g., informational texts).
Literacy Skills: Florida's competencies for its Professional Education test require "knowledge of effective literacy strategies that can be applied across the curriculum to impact student learning," which includes the following:
  • Apply effective instructional practices to develop text reading skills in the appropriate content area
  • Select instructional practices for developing and using content area vocabulary
  • Determine instructional practices to facilitate students' reading comprehension through content areas
  • Apply appropriate literacy strategies for developing higher-order critical thinking skills
  • Select appropriate resources for the subject matter and students' literacy level.

Citation

Recommendations for Florida

Due to Florida's strong policies in this area, no recommendations are provided.

State response to our analysis

Florida recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis; however, the analysis was updated subsequent to the state's review.

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