Magazine article Perspectives on Language and Literacy

From the President's Desk

Magazine article Perspectives on Language and Literacy

From the President's Desk

Article excerpt

As I read the articles in this issue I could not stop thinking about the current national debate regarding teacher training triggered by a recent report from the National Council on Teacher Quality' and the serious problems in our country with illiteracy and overall poor academic competence. The report concluded that higher education programs have "become an industry of mediocrity, churning out first-year teachers with classroom management skills and content knowledge inadequate to thrive in classrooms with ever-increasing ethnic and socioeconomic student diversity." The National Assessment of Educational Progress report in 2012 also indicated that approximately one third of our fourth grade students are reading below basic. The sad reality is that these statistics have not changed significantly since 1992.2

As practitioners in this field we see the daily anguish experienced by those who struggle with reading. In our conversations we often discuss our frustration with the lack of progress in reading instruction in spite of the incontrovertible evidence supporting best practices.

In an effort to address this problem, IDA published the Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading (the IDA standards; http://www.interdys.org/standards.htm) in 2010. Based on this initiative, IDA set the goal to recognize university training programs for teachers, reading curricula/programs, and individuals who had training consistent with the IDA standards. Last year IDA recognized nine university programs that offered evidence-based reading curricula for teachers. IDA's Board is currently seeking funding to expand this program.

During the last year, IDA also recognized several reading programs/curricula that are in alignment with the IDA standards. Finally, we began collaborative work with IMSLEC (International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council), ALTA (Academic Language Therapy Association), and the Alliance for Accreditation & Certification to recognize individuals who have completed the certification examination. …

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