The International Reading Association is looking to shift more of the decision making back to teachers when it comes to reading and writing instruction. That would be a pendulum shift away from many current policies at the local, state, and federal levels that have instituted strict requirements for the materials and methods teachers use in their classrooms.
In a new policy paper, published in the Dec./Jan. issue of Reading Today, the Newark, Del.-based association outlines its recommendations for the incoming Obama administration. The association also wants more and better professional development, as well as a boost in the number of reading courses required of students in teacher-preparation programs.
The paper urges greater attention to new, technology-based literacies, “multiple, reliable measures” for assessing student progress, and adequate funding for ensuring high-quality teaching in reading.
“The International Reading Association recommends a major national investment in teacher preparation and professional development to ensure that every teacher is competent to teach reading to all students of various ability levels,” the paper reads.
On a somewhat related note, the association is seeking comments on the draft of its Standards for Reading Professionals, 2010. The document is available online until the end of the month.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.