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Southern University named among best in nation for exemplary preparation of educators who teach reading
Undergraduate program one of only 48 in the U.S. to earn highest distinction from the National Council on Teacher Quality for preparing aspiring teachers in the most effective methods for teaching reading
From the National Council on Teacher Quality
The undergraduate teacher preparation program at Southern University and A&M College has been recognized by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) as among the best in the nation in preparing future elementary teachers to teach children to read, earning an A+ distinction in NCTQ’s new report, Teacher Prep Review: Strengthening Elementary Reading Instruction.
The program is among just 48 nationwide and four in Louisiana highlighted by NCTQ for going above and beyond the standards set by literacy experts for coverage of the most effective methods of reading instruction — often called the “science of reading.” The national report from NCTQ also features links to resources from Southern and a statement from Dr. Erin Scott-Stewart, assistant professor in the School of Education about how the program has approached this important work.
National data shows that more than one-third of fourth-grade students — over 1.3 million children—cannot read at a basic level. By preparing teachers in the methods that research has shown to work best, we can change these devastating results.
To evaluate the quality of preparation being provided, a team of experts at NCTQ analyzed syllabi, including lecture schedules and topics, background reading materials, class assessments, assignments, and opportunities to practice instruction in required literacy courses for undergraduate elementary teacher candidates at Southern University and A&M College. To earn an A+ distinction, programs needed to comfortably exceed NCTQ’s targets for coverage of the five core components of scientifically based reading instruction—phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension—and not teach any instructional practices that are unsupported by research, such as the debunked three-cueing method, which can inhibit students’ progress in reading.
While some portion of children will learn to read naturally, over five decades of research have established the components of explicit, scientifically based reading instruction that help most students become successful readers. Research suggests that over 90% of children could learn to read if their teachers used instructional methods grounded in the science of reading. Southern University and A&M College is proud to be recognized among the programs ensuring that future elementary teachers enter the classroom equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to help students become strong readers.
“The Southern University and A&M College program serves as a proof point,” said Dr. Heather Peske, NCTQ President. “Other teacher preparation leaders and faculty across the country must take note. There are programs that are doing this right, ensuring that their elementary teacher candidates get the preparation in how to teach reading that they both want and deserve.”
The new NCTQ analysis of teacher preparation programs’ coverage of the science of reading was developed over the course of two years, involving teams of literacy experts, researchers, teacher preparation leaders, and educators. NCTQ evaluated 693 traditional undergraduate and graduate programs across the country, including 15 in Louisiana. Overall, just 23% of programs earned an A or A+ grade (112 programs earned an A and 48 earned an A+).
See the NCTQ report for more information about Southern University and A&M College’s coverage of the science of reading and to see how Southern University and A&M College compares to other programs in Louisiana or across the country.
About the National Council on Teacher Quality
The National Council on Teacher Quality: NCTQ is a nonpartisan research and policy organization on a mission to ensure every child has access to an effective teacher and every teacher has the opportunity to be effective. We believe a strong, diverse teacher workforce is critical for providing all students with equitable educational opportunities. For more information about NCTQ, visit www.nctq.org.