Adolescent Literacy: California

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 California's policies

Informational Texts: California's preparation standards for secondary school teachers address some of the instructional shifts associated with college- and career-readiness standards toward building content knowledge and vocabulary through careful reading of informational and literary texts. Single-Subject Credential holders are required to teach students to "read a variety of informational texts and reference works, including but not limited to magazines; newspapers; online information; instructional manuals; consumer, workplace, and public documents."

See Goal 2-C: Elementary Teaching Reading for a discussion of college- and career-readiness requirements for teachers teaching middle grades on California's Multiple Subjects Credential.

Literacy Skills: California's educator preparation standards address the incorporation of literacy across core content areas. Teachers with either a Multi-Subjects or Single Subjects credential must be able to "teach students to independently read and comprehend instructional materials that include increasingly complex subject-relevant texts and graphic/media representations presented in diverse formats." This requirement is repeated in all educator preparation standards related to multiple and single subject credentials in core subject areas, including: reading/language arts, science, and social science.

Single-Subject credential candidates must be able to:

  • "Provide content-based literacy instruction (i.e., reading, writing, speaking, listening) to facilitate learning of subject matter for the full range of learners in the classroom
  • Identify California Content Standards for their subject that require literacy strategies and approaches (e. g., using historical research to interpret events in history-social science, using professional journal articles for science research)."
See Goal 2-C: "Elementary Teaching Reading" for a discussion of literacy requirements for teachers teaching middle grades on California's Multiple Subjects Credential.

Citation

Recommendations for California

Incorporate informational text of increasing complexity into classroom instruction.
Although California's preparation standards address a secondary teacher's ability to challenge students with texts of increasing complexity, the state should strengthen its policy and ensure that secondary teachers are able to do so with informational texts.

State response to our analysis

California declined to respond to NCTQ's analyses.

Updated: December 2017

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