Create New Licenses for Elementary School Teachers

Nearly 1/3 of all fourth-graders fail to reach a “basic level or reading ability” according to the 2017 National Assessment of Education Progress’ Nation’s Report Card on Reading. By the eighth grade, nearly a quarter of students still lack the basic skills to identify statements regarding simple inferences  from texts or interpreting the meaning of a word based on how it is used. Hispanic and African-American students scores are even lower.

Elementary school teachers in the United States are generalists. They are licensed in elementary education. They are rarely specialists and may not be proficient in math, science, technology or teaching reading. If we wish to emphasize S.T.E.A.M. subjects or Special Education, we should create new licenses in elementary education which include reading, math and science in elementary education training in schools of education at the college level.

According to the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), 40 states do not have sufficient licensing tests on the science of reading in place for elementary and special education teachers. If reading is fundamental and essential for eventual success in graduation and employment than schools need to emphasize the teaching of reading.