Adolescent Literacy: Louisiana

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 Louisiana's policies

Informational Texts: Louisiana's preparation standards for both middle and secondary school teachers address the instructional shifts associated with college- and career-readiness standards toward building content knowledge and vocabulary through careful reading of informational and literary texts. The state's new literacy competencies require the following:

"The teacher candidate selects, assesses the accuracy and credibility of, and uses a range and volume of print, digital, visual, and oral discipline-specific texts (e.g., primary and secondary sources in social studies or current research, informational journals, and experimental data and results in science) as instructional tools."

Literacy Skills: Louisiana has requirements for the preparation of middle or secondary school teachers that address the incorporation of literacy skills into the core content areas. Louisiana clearly states that the point of its Disciplinary Literacy Competencies is to "identify what a teacher candidate must know and be able to do to teach reading and literacy effectively in the context of certification areas other than English Language Arts (e.g., middle grades and secondary science or social studies). These competencies are applicable to teacher candidates who are pursuing certification for grades 4-8 or 6-12 in any content area other than English Language Arts." These competencies that apply broadly to all middle and secondary teachers require for example that the teacher candidate:
  • "Applies knowledge of disciplinary literacy to select and use appropriate and varied instructional approaches to build all students' ability to understand and express their understanding of discipline specific content through reading, writing, speaking, and language. 
  • Provides opportunities for students to learn and use vocabulary and language specific to the certification content area, practice discipline-specific reading and writing strategies, and gain and express understanding of content by exploring key questions through grade-level print, digital, visual, and oral discipline-specific texts. "

Citation

Recommendations for Louisiana

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

State response to our analysis

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

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