Transform teacher preparation in reading. The Task Force recommends transformational, wide-sweeping changes in the way teachers are prepared at the undergraduate (pre-service) and graduate levels of university preparation as well as in professional development (in-service) training:
- Revamp curricula to include information specific to dyslexia and a Structured Literacy approach to teaching reading.
- Require the reading instruction competency exam, Teaching Reading: Elementary Education (5203) to the necessary exams needed for teacher certification, for all elementary education teachers, special education teachers, teachers of English for speakers of other languages, reading teachers, instructional resource teachers, Title I teachers, teachers trained outside of Maryland, as well as secondary teachers of English Language Arts.
- Undergraduate and graduate teacher education programs should require a practicum with at-risk readers, supervised by teacher educators who have a credible track record of knowledge and clinical skills related to the acquisition of typical reading and skill deficits in reading, including knowledge and experience with implementing a Structured Literacy approach to teaching reading, to prepare teachers to identify and instruct this population of learners in the classroom setting.
- Teacher professional development should include coaching throughout the year to support teachers in the classroom.
- Education administrators including but not limited to principals and IEP supervisors and chairpersons should participate in dyslexia knowledge and practice training to better support the teachers in their buildings.