Colorado passed a law last year intended to ensure that every teacher who works with early elementary children has training on the best ways to teach reading.
But as the State Board of Education considers what types of training qualify, some advocates fear the rules are too vague and don’t spell out how reading courses will be vetted.
The teacher training requirement, part of a package of rules to come out of a law passed last spring to update the state’s 2012 landmark reading law, reflects a growing push in Colorado and the nation to boost reading proficiency by better training and supporting teachers. The State Board will discuss the rules Wednesday and likely will take a final vote in March.
Under the proposed rule, the state has laid out several ways K-3 teachers can meet the new requirement, including passing a test, completing certain kinds of training, or earning a master’s degree in reading. Teachers may also earn credit for reading courses they passed in college — a sticking point for some advocates because state experts and national groups recently have questioned the quality of some of those classes.
Asked how state education department staff will determine which classes at which teacher prep programs satisfy the requirements, a department spokesman said in an email that they’ll decide once teachers submit documents about the class they took, such as the course syllabi, their transcript, and proof they passed the final exam.
Critics say that kind of case-by-case internal review leaves the public in the dark about what gets the state’s stamp of approval and what doesn’t.
“There’s just so many moving parts and gray areas in all of that,” said Karin Johnson, a Littleton parent and co-chair of the group COKID, which advocates for students with dyslexia.
This reporting is made possible by our members. You can directly support independent watchdog journalism in Colorado for as little as $5 a month. Start here: coloradosun.com/join
The latest from The Sun
- Work to reduce wildfire risks in Colorado, other Western states has economic benefits, report says
- Hickenlooper has likely secured his spot on the U.S. Senate primary ballot. But will the Democratic base embrace him?
- Opinion: It’s time to ban wildlife killing contests in Colorado
- Opinion: Eliminate private prisons. Profit has no place in the criminal justice system.
- Joe Biden’s “inexplicable” no-show strategy makes him an outlier in Colorado’s presidential primary