Southeastern teacher prep program receives an ‘A’ from national organization


Friday, November 17, 2023
by: Tonya Lowentritt

     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s undergraduate teacher preparation program has been recognized by the National Council on Teacher Quality. The program received a grade of ‘A’ in NCTQ’s new report “Teacher Prep Review: Strengthening Elementary Reading Instruction” for its rigorous preparation of future teachers in how to teach reading.
     Southeastern’s program is among just 23 percent nationwide to earn an ‘A’ for meeting standards set by literacy experts for coverage of the most effective methods of reading instruction – often called the “science of reading.”
     In order to earn an ‘A,” programs needed to meet a standard of adequate coverage, determined in consultation with literacy experts, for all five core components of scientifically based reading instruction – phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension, and teach fewer than four practices that have been found to inhibit students’ reading progress. 
     “National data shows that more than one-third of fourth grade students – over 1.3 million children – cannot read at a basic level. By preparing teachers in the methods that research has shown to work best, we can change these results,” said Dean of the College of Education Paula Summers Calderon.
     To evaluate the quality of preparation being provided, a team of experts at NCTQ analyzed syllabi, including lecture schedules and topics, background reading materials
     Last fall, the NAEP or “Nation’s Report Card” data indicated that student literacy rates have fallen since the pandemic, with 37 percent of fourth grade students nationwide scoring “below basic” in reading, and even higher, unacceptable rates of reading failure for the most historically marginalized students, said National Council on Teacher Quality President Heather Peske.
     “While some small number of children will learn how to read naturally, research has found that most children require explicit, systematic instruction grounded in the science of reading to become successful readers,” Peske explained. “Ultimately, studies suggest that if all students had access to teachers who use scientifically based reading instruction, we could drastically reduce rates of reading failure, achieving literacy rates of 90 percent or higher for our children.”


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