WHAT EVERY ELEMENTARY K – 3 TEACHER SHOULD KNOW AND BE ABLE TO TEACH

WHAT EVERY K – 3 ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER SHOULD KNOW AND BE ABLE TO TEACH

Whereas all elementary and special education teachers, especially K – 3 teachers, have the responsibility of teaching all students to read proficiently, and;

Whereas the time honored common sense definition of “reading” is the decoding of notated speech of the English spelling and writing system, and;

Whereas there are more than 2 million words in the English lexicon, and the average adult speaker knows how to speak between 40 and 60 thousand words, and;

Whereas there are 26 letters and 44 spoken phonemes/sounds that can be spelled in 74 different ways, and;

Whereas the mastery of the 74 phonograms and the 30 or more simple spelling rules is the most efficient way to attaining reading proficiency, and;

Whereas memorizing word lists and encouraging guessing at words by observing their shape rather than using the knowledge gained by learning how to decipher the English spelling code have been proven ineffective, and;

Whereas scientific evidence confirms that the most effective approach to teaching reading is direct, systematic instruction in phonemic awareness, synthetic phonics, vocabulary development, fluency, and comprehension strategies, and;

Whereas students who are taught using these proven findings of scientific research, namely direct, explicit, systematic, sequential multi-sensory structured reading instruction, become proficient readers, and;

Whereas building on these foundational skills should be followed by reading increasingly complex texts to develop vocabulary, increase fluency, and build comprehension skills;

Therefore, be it resolved:

That these specific principles shall be mastered by undergraduate and graduate students in all teacher preparation schools of education before licensure is granted.  In addition, any person applying for an elementary-level general teaching license or an elementary-level special education teaching license must successfully pass the Foundations of Reading Test and the General Curriculum Test of the Massachusetts tests for education licensure, as a condition of licensure in any state.

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