Optimal and American Institutes for Research Study Teacher Preparation in Early Reading Instruction for the U.S. Department of Education
For Immediate Release: December 2005
Optimal will partner with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) to study teacher preparation in early reading instruction. This study, an important part of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act (PL 107-110), will gather information on the content of reading-instruction coursework presented to undergraduate and graduate pre-service teachers and assess the curriculum alignment with the five key components of early reading instruction as described in the Report of the National Reading Panel (NRP). The NCLB Act includes important legislation stating that all students, regardless of the schools they attend, have the right to be taught by “highly qualified teachers.”
The Optimal and American Institutes for Research (AIR) team will compare course content as defined by syllabi, shaped by required readings and activities, against a rubric developed from careful analysis of the research presented in the NRP. The team will use a multi-stage sampling scheme, innovative sample-recruitment strategies, and a metric based upon the NRP report to code undergraduate and graduate reading course documents and materials. This study will also produce a detailed research-based rubric that can be used to examine the content of new and emerging reading courses for pre-service teachers.
The study’s Principal Investigator, Dr. Terry Salinger of AIR, is a former director of research at the International Reading Association, where she directed the development of the National Council of Teachers of English/International Reading Association’s National Standards for the English Language Arts. Two seasoned analysts—Dr. Mark Turner of Optimal and Dr. David Baker of AIR—will share Co-Project Director duties. Dr. Turner has led numerous empirical studies for federal and state agencies, and Dr. Baker is currently directing the development of an instrument to assess teacher instructional processes in reading for the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
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For more information, contact Mark Turner, 443.451.7060 or firstname.lastname@example.org.