Report: Teachers’ Reading Tests Inadequate in Most States

Fewer than a dozen states across the country have adopted adequate reading and licensing tests for elementary school and special education teachers, according to a new study from the National Council on Teacher Quality that describes the lack of credentialing “safeguards” as “troubling.”

Only 11 states in the U.S. require both elementary school and special education teachers to pass a comprehensive reading-focused licensing or credentialing exam. Teachers in Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wisconsin are required to take such a test.

The other 39 states and the District of Columbia were found to either only partially test their elementary and special education teachers’ reading acumen or to completely forego such credentialing.

Full story at US News

U.S. Department of Education Announces $25 Million for Science and Literacy-Themed Television and Digital Media

The U.S. Department of Education announced today two grant awards totaling $25 million to Twin Cities Public Television and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for the development of television and multimedia programs that will engage preschool and young elementary school children and their families in science and literacy-themed learning.

The awards, made through the Ready-to-Learn Television program, support the creation of television shows, games, websites and apps for young children and families to play and explore, with a particular focus on science and literacy. The grantees—two award-winning public telecommunications entities—will create digital experiences for children that teach the content and skills needed to succeed in elementary school. Today’s awards build upon the successful 2010 Ready-to-Learn competition, which facilitated the launch of the Emmy-award winning show, Peg + Cat.

Full story of 25 million for science and digital media at ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education Approves Extensions for States Granted Flexibility from No Child Left Behind

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that six states – Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Nevada, South Dakota and Virginia – have received a one-year extension for flexibility from certain provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

These extensions allow states to move forward with the critical work of implementing the bold reforms they committed to in their original ESEA flexibility requests—which expire this summer—with the ultimate goal of improving achievement for all students.

“ESEA flexibility has allowed states to move beyond the one-size-fits-all mandates of NCLB, to be more innovative, and to engage in continued improvement in ways that benefit educators and students,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “As a result, we have seen a renewed focus by states on improving student achievement, and to address the needs of all students, especially those groups of students that have been historically underserved.”

Full story of extended grants for No Child Left Behind at ed.gov