Skip Navigation
Print Evaluations

Study of Teacher Preparation in Early Reading Instruction

Contract Information

Current Status:

This study has been completed.

Duration:

August 2005 – February 2011

Cost:

$4,999,643

Contract Number:

ED-04-CO-0062/0001

Contractor(s):

Optimal Solutions Group
American Institutes for Research

Contact:

Reports

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 created the Reading First program to help ensure that all students can read at or above grade level by the end of third grade. The program targeted low-income, low-performing schools and was funded at $393 million in Fiscal Year 2008. The Reading First legislation required "a measurement of how well students preparing to enter the teaching profession are prepared to teach the essential components of reading instruction." This study addressed that requirement by examining the extent to which new teachers are prepared to teach the essential components of reading instruction promoted by the Reading First program.

  • To what extent does the content of teacher education programs focus on the essential components of early reading instruction?
  • To what extent are graduating pre-service teachers knowledgeable about the essential components of early reading instruction?

The study collected information in spring 2007 from a sample of 3,000 pre-service teachers in a nationally representative sample of 100 institutions. The study included a pre-service teacher survey regarding the content of their training programs as well as an assessment of pre-service teacher knowledge about the essential components of reading instruction.

  • On average, pre-service teachers rated the overall focus on the essential components of reading of their training programs as being above "little" but below "moderate" (1.76 on a 0 to 3 scale).
  • Pre-service teachers were twice as likely to report that their field experience offered them a strong focus on the essential components of reading compared to their coursework (40 percent versus 21 percent).
  • Pre-service teachers were about twice as likely to report a strong overall programmatic focus on alphabetics (40 percent) and fluency (34 percent) than on meaning (18 percent).
  • On average, pre-service teachers responded correctly to 57 percent of the items on the Knowledge Assessment, which included items on fluency, meaning, and alphabetics.

A report, titled Study of Teacher Preparation in Early Reading Instruction, was released in September 2010.

A restricted-use file containing de-identified data is available for the purposes of replicating study findings and secondary analysis.