Low reading scores are a major contributing factor to Connecticut’s largest in the nation achievement gap and Norwalk also suffers low reading scores for its Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) student population and English Language Learners (ELL.) The following article addresses how colleges and universities teach teachers to teach reading. Teachers who come out of two highly selective programs — Teach for America and the Neag School at the University of Connecticut — have strikingly better scores on the state Foundations in Reading Test that assesses their ability to teach reading than other schools in Connecticut.
The Foundations in Reading Test is major initiative in Connecticut’s efforts to close the achievement gap is to improve students’ reading skills, particularly in the early grades. In the fall of 2007, a Reading Summit was held with private and public advocates for children to coordinate state efforts to improve childhood literacy. This summit established as one of its recommendations that Connecticut require a test for prospective teachers in the teaching of reading.
Beginning on or after July 1, 2009, teacher candidates in Connecticut applying for an Integrated Early Childhood, NK–3 Endorsement (endorsement #113) or Elementary Education Grades K–6 Endorsement (endorsement #013) will be required to take and pass the Connecticut Foundations of Reading test, a test of reading instruction knowledge and skills administered by the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson.
Click here to learn more about the Foundations In Reading Test.