Reading & Literacy Letter to the Editor

Dyslexia Group: Education Schools Must Boost Teaching of Reading

August 05, 2013 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

In 2000, the bipartisan National Reading Panel issued recommendations on the skills children need to become successful readers. More than a decade later, a majority of teachers-in-training are still not receiving the knowledge they need to impart these skills.

A recent review of schools of education by the National Council on Teacher Quality, or NCTQ, shows that only 29 percent of the nearly 600 education schools reviewed adequately address the five reading component skills identified in the reading panel’s report (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension) in their teacher-training curricula (“Disputed Review Finds Disparities in Teacher Prep,” July 10, 2013).

The NCTQ review set a low bar for schools of education.

The International Dyslexia Association, or IDA, believes that teachers require a greater depth of knowledge and practice to become skilled teachers of reading. In 2010, the IDA published comprehensive knowledge and practice standards, and last year recognized nine programs that are aligned with them.

While critics may be tempted to write the IDA standards off for their focus on the needs of struggling readers, these standards essentially codify the recommendations of the National Reading Panel, which concluded that all students benefit from science-based reading instruction. More importantly, all teachers require knowledge of science-based reading instruction and how to apply it to the range of learners in their classrooms.

Why have schools of education been slow to embrace the need for better-trained teachers in reading? A significant hurdle lies in the lack of faculty expertise in the area of reading science.

In recent years, a movement toward improved teacher training in reading has been building, and more than half the states have enacted or introduced literacy laws. These can only take us so far. The schools of education must step up their efforts.

Elisabeth Liptak

Director of Professional Development

International Dyslexia Association

Baltimore, Md.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the August 07, 2013 edition of Education Week as Dyslexia Group: Education Schools Must Boost Teaching of Reading


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Budget & Finance Webinar
The ABCs of ESSER: How to Make the Most of Relief Funds Before They Expire
Join a diverse group of K-12 experts to learn how to leverage federal funds before they expire and improve student learning environments.
Content provided by Johnson Controls
Science K-12 Essentials Forum How To Teach STEM Problem Solving Skills to All K-12 Students
Join experts for a look at how experts are integrating the teaching of problem solving and entrepreneurial thinking into STEM instruction.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School & District Management Webinar
Modernizing Principal Support: The Road to More Connected and Effective Leaders
When principals are better equipped to lead, support, and maintain high levels of teaching and learning, outcomes for students are improved.
Content provided by BetterLesson

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Reading & Literacy Students Write Their Way to Hope, Courage: Read Their Poems
Five poems from students in Los Angeles and Miami, written to make sense of difficult times.
2 min read
Conceptual image of poetry.
Laura Baker/Education Week (Images: Digital VisionVectors, E+, Pateresca/iStock)
Reading & Literacy ‘It Can Save Lives’: Students Testify to the Power of Poetry
For National Poetry Month, see how teachers and students are exploring the art form.
5 min read
In a Wednesday, April 19, 2017 photo, Eric Charles, left, smiles after performing his poem, "Goodbye to High School Football," for classmates at Sharpstown High School in Houston. Charles compared the rush of performing to the emotions he felt during a football game. Charles had played football since young age, and he planned to play at an elite level in college. However, after injuring his left knee a second time, he found he enjoyed poetry and writing. "That's the glory in me getting hurt," he said.
Eric Charles, left, smiles after performing his poem, "Goodbye to High School Football" for classmates at Sharpstown High School in Houston in 2017. For some students and their teachers, studying and writing poetry has been transformative amid the losses of the pandemic and the wrenching national dialogue about racial justice.
Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP
Reading & Literacy What the 'Science of Reading' Should Look Like for English-Learners. It's Not Settled
ELLs need additional supports for, and bring different strengths to, early reading instruction, experts say.
10 min read
Sarah Mireles kneels down to work on reading skills with students at Maplewood Elementary in Greeley, Colo., in January of 2018.
Sarah Mireles kneels down to work with Abdigani Hussein, 10, left, and Muhammod Amanullah, 10, during class on at Maplewood Elementary in Greeley, Colo., on Jan. 30, 2018. (Joshua Polson/The Daily Tribune via AP)
Joshua Polson/The Daily Tribune via AP