New law calls for Indiana to pull accreditation for teacher prep programs flunking the science of reading

Change comes amid national study giving some of Indiana’s largest teachers colleges ‘Fs’ for their training approach to teaching literacy

INDIANAPOLIS – A new law passed in April by the Indiana General Assembly calls for a review of whether educator preparation programs are training their teacher candidates in the science of reading, a vast body of research that details how the human brain learns to read and write. According to a newly released national study, this state review is desperately needed when it comes to some of Indiana’s largest teacher prep programs.

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) issued a report this week that gave educator preparation programs at Ball State University and Indiana University-Bloomington — among the largest teachers colleges in the state — an “F” grade for not introducing key concepts related to evidence-based reading instruction. NCTQ’s research also detailed higher education institutions doing the best when it comes to training future educators on the science of reading, including Marian University, Evansville University and Purdue University – Northwest.

Under HEA 1558, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) will review accredited educator preparation programs specifically for whether curriculum and teaching practices align with the science of reading. Under the law, the IDOE can require an improvement plan from any institution falling short in its instruction around teaching literacy, as well as revoke state accreditation from educator preparation programs that fail to meet requirements.

“NCTQ’s recent report shows that some of our largest teacher prep programs appear to be virtually ignoring teaching evidence-based literacy practices to future educators,” said Stand for Children Indiana Executive Director Justin Ohlemiller. “If we’re going to address the literacy crisis in our state, it’s going to take a significant change in approach from those who are responsible for training our educators of the future.”

Only 33% of Indiana 4th graders are reading proficiently according to the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP).

Indiana’s review of teacher preparation programs will take place in 2024, according to the new science of reading law passed by lawmakers in April.

Stand for Children Indiana joined with partners last legislative session in rallying parents, teachers and education leaders to support HEA 1558, which creates new guidelines and requirements to ensure instructional practices in classrooms align with the science of reading.

In addition to the changes to Indiana law, the IDOE is leading a significant effort to support early literacy improvements — including targeted investments to help higher education institutions improve their instruction around the science of reading. 


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