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  • (error)
    User error: "post_type" is an invalid render array key in Drupal\Core\Render\Element::children() (line 98 of core/lib/Drupal/Core/Render/Element.php).
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P.L. Thomas

Furman University

P. L. Thomas, Professor of Education (Furman University, Greenville SC), taught high school English in rural South Carolina before moving to teacher education. He is a former column editor for English Journal (National Council of Teachers of English), current series editor for Critical Literacy Teaching Series: Challenging Authors and Genres (Brill), and author of Teaching Writing as Journey, Not Destination: Essays Exploring What ‘Teaching Writing’ Means (IAP, 2019) and How to End the Reading War and Serve the Literacy Needs of All Students: A Primer for Parents, Policy Makers, and People Who Care (IAP, in press). NCTE named Thomas the 2013 George Orwell Award winner. He co-edited the award-winning (Divergent Book Award for Excellence in 21st Century Literacies Research) volume Critical Media Literacy and Fake News in Post-Truth America (Brill, 2018). Follow his work @plthomasEdD and the becoming radical (http://radicalscholarship.wordpress.com/).

Email P.L. Thomas at: paul.thomas@furman.edu

NEPC Publications

NEPC Review: Teacher Prep Review: Strengthening Elementary Reading Instruction (National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), June 2023)

Christie Ellis, Shannon Holston, Graham Drake, Hannah Putman, Abigail Swisher, & Heather Peske
Teacher Prep Review: Strengthening Elementary Reading Instruction

An NCTQ report evaluates 693 out of the 1,146 elementary teacher preparation programs in the US. It claims to identify how well candidates are prepared to teach elementary reading based on NCTQ’s Reading Foundations standards for scientifically based reading practices. While addressing teacher preparation for initial reading instruction is a high priority as states increasingly adopt new reading legislation grounded in the “science of reading,” this report repeats patterns identified in external reviews of previous NCTQ reports over the past two decades. For instance, this report again relies on flawed research methodology grounded in selective use of evidence to promote NCTQ’s narrow education reform agenda. Policymakers as well as the media are strongly cautioned to view this report as narrowly constructed reform advocacy rather than a valid or scientific analysis of the quality of reading content in elementary teacher preparation programs.

Suggested Citation: Thomas, P.L. (2023, September). NEPC review: Teacher prep review: Strengthening elementary reading instruction. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved [date], from https://nepc.colorado.edu/review/teacher-prep

reading thumbnail

NEPC Review: Learning about Learning: What Every New Teacher Needs to Know (National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), January 2016)

Laura Pomerance, Julie Greenberg & Kate Walsh
Learning about Learning: What Every New Teacher Needs to Know

As part of an ongoing series of reports by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), Learning About Learning: What Every New Teacher Needs to Know makes broad claims about teacher education based on a limited analysis of textbooks and syllabi. The report argues that teacher education materials, specifically educational psychology and methods textbooks, are a waste of funds and do not adequately focus on what the report identifies as six essential strategies. These inadequacies, the report contends, result in ill-prepared teacher candidates lacking in “research-proven instructional strategies” (p. vi). The report offers recommendations for textbook publishers, teacher education programs, and state departments of education. However, it is not grounded in a comprehensive examination of the literature on teaching methods, and it fails to validate the evaluative criteria it employs in selecting programs, textbooks, and syllabi. The single source it relies on to justify its “six essential strategies” provides limited support for NCTQ’s claims. This primary source concludes, with only one exception, that the evidence supporting each of the six strategies is only moderate or weak. Limiting the analysis to one source that provides only tepid support renders the report of little value for improving teacher preparation, selecting textbooks, or guiding educational policy.