The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) recently recognized the Adams State University Teacher Education Department for their strong preparation in reading instruction for future elementary educators. The Adams State Teacher Education undergraduate program earned an ‘A’ in the 2020 Teacher Prep Review.

“We are pleased that our elementary education program was one of only five in Colorado recognized with this rating and we believe it accurately reflects the high quality of teacher training we provide at Adams State University,” said Curtis Garcia, Teacher Education Department Chair.

According to NCTQ, the Adams State Teacher Education program was part of a small group – only about a quarter of programs nationwide – to qualify for an ‘A’ by providing a combination of the following:

  • Explicit instruction on each of the five components of reading instruction;
  • Support for instruction with high-quality textbooks that accurately detail established principles of scientifically-based reading practices; and,
  • Evidence that teacher candidates must demonstrate mastery through in-class assignments, tests, and fieldwork.
Carolyn Casale, Ph.D. education class
Carolyn Casale, Ph.D. assistant professor of teacher education, (center) has students take time to connect on their first day of class in the fall of 2019.

The latest national findings are a positive sign for newly energized movement across the nation to bring down notoriously high rates of illiteracy in the United States. Each year, well over a million public school students arriving in the fourth grade are added to the nation’s ranks of nonreaders. Two-thirds are black and Hispanic children struggling in the face of an inequitable education system. Reading ability is a key predictor of future educational gains and life success, making successful reading instruction essential to achieving educational equity.

Now in its fourth edition, the Teacher Prep Review assigns a team of literacy experts to examine every course a program requires in early reading, looking at the planned topics to be covered in each class, reading, assignments, practice opportunities, and tests, as well as rating the quality of the textbooks used in each course. These experts look for clear evidence of dedicated course time as well as measures where aspiring teachers must demonstrate their knowledge of the five key components of the science of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

“The scale is now tipping in favor of science, and the real winners are the teachers who will enter the classroom ready to teach and their students who will learn to read,” said Kate Walsh, NCTQ President.

The National Council on Teacher Quality is a nonpartisan research and policy group committed to modernizing the teaching profession and based on the belief that all children deserve effective teachers. It recognizes that it is not teachers who bear responsibility for their profession’s many challenges, but the institution with the greatest authority and influence over teachers. For more information visit NCTQ.