Adolescent Literacy: South Carolina

2017 Secondary Teacher Preparation 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.

Meets in part

Analysis of South Carolina's policies

Informational Texts: South Carolina's preparation standards and tests for all middle and secondary school teachers do not 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.

Literacy Skills:
South Carolina's competencies for middle and secondary teachers requires teachers to be able to "use knowledge of text complexity and student interests to match texts to readers and help students select texts with which they will be successful." South Carolina requires all middle and secondary school candidates to take six credit hours in literacy, including a course in content-area reading. Programs must "ensure that all teacher candidates possess the necessary knowledge and skills to assist effectively all adolescents in becoming proficient readers." In addition, the state's literacy competencies require teachers to "select and implement content area reading and writing instructional approaches based on evidence-based rationale, student needs, and purposes for instruction." South Carolina's reading course requirements mandate that teacher preparation programs ensure that all middle and secondary teachers "have the knowledge and skills to provide effective instruction in reading and numeracy to all students."

Citation

Recommendations for South Carolina

Ensure that middle and secondary school teachers are prepared to meet the instructional requirements of college- and career-readiness standards for students.

Incorporate informational text of increasing complexity into classroom instruction.
South Carolina should specifically address the instructional shifts toward building content knowledge and vocabulary through increasingly complex informational texts and careful reading of informational and literary texts associated with the state's college- and career-readiness standards for students. The state may consider addressing these shifts either through testing frameworks in tests taken by all middle or secondary teachers regardless of subject area (such as a teaching methods tests), or through teacher preparation standards.

State response to our analysis

South Carolina noted that all middle level and high school preparation programs must include preservice courses in the Foundations of Reading and in Content Area Reading and Writing to meet requirements of the Read to Succeed Act. The state indicated that its College and Career Ready Academic Standards for all content areas address the development of content knowledge and vocabulary as well as the use of varied, complex texts and academic language. Teacher candidate effectiveness in providing subject-specific content and facilitating student learning is evaluated through the ADEPT formative and summative evaluation processes.

Updated: December 2017

Last word

NCTQ awards credit for specific teacher preparation standards that are incorporated into policy, rather than standards that are simply referenced by name or nested. This includes student academic standards.



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