The Goal: Every teacher must become a teacher of reading, writing, and language.

Instructing students in reading literacy competently begins with quality teacher preparation and professional development to provide pre-service and in-service teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to pass the ADVANCED Reading Certification for teaching in grades kindergarten through third, and the BASIC Reading Certification for teaching in grades four through twelve.

Teacher Effectiveness Starts with Effective Preparation and Professional Development

All teaching candidates must pass an examination for knowledge and skill in teaching reading literacy and subject-area literacy to diverse student populations.


Approximately two-thirds of students do not read on grade level, and will be unprepared for the demands of the workforce. Often reading failure is due to a lack of high quality teacher preparation in regard to how to teach reading development, which is a complex process. Therefore, if student achievement is to improve, states and districts must first improve their programs of teacher preparation and examination.The reading instruction competence teaching assessment examination covers all areas of reading literacy.

Why this is important:

  • Up through third grade children learn to read; after third grade they read to learn. However, two-thirds of students leave third grade not reading on grade level.
  • Teacher quality is the #1 predictor of a student's success.
  • Preparation is only the first step; teaching candidates must demonstrate their mastery of the skills and concepts learned in preparation programs in order to pass the teaching assessment.

Goals of section:

  • To require a Basic or Advanced Reading Instruction Competence Teaching Assessment for all teachers.
  • To provide teaching candidates in approved preparation programs with the materials, knowledge, and skills to pass these examinations.
  • To use the results of the assessments to inform decisions of funding and hiring.

How to achieve these goals:

  • Require all teaching candidates to pass the Advanced Reading Instruction Teaching Assessment in order to become a certified Teacher of Reading or Reading Specialist.
  • Require all content area teachers to pass the Basic Reading Instruction Teaching Assessment.
  • Publicly report how teaching candidates do on the assessments, and link results to the higher education institutions that prepared them.

Key points:

The Basic and Advanced Reading Instruction Competence Teaching Assessments are a crucial step in the certification or licensure of teachers of reading and content area teachers. The implementation of these assessments will ensure that all candidates for teaching positions have truly benefited from their preparation programs and are ready to take responsibility for the academic development and literacy achievement of the next generation.

Executive Summary