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Reading Association Recommends More Teacher Autonomy

The International Reading Association is looking to shift more of the decision making back to teachers when it comes to reading and writing instruction. That would be a pendulum shift away from many current policies at the local, state, and federal levels that have instituted strict requirements for the materials and methods teachers use in their classrooms.

In a new policy paper, published in the Dec./Jan. issue of Reading Today, the Newark, Del.-based association outlines its recommendations for the incoming Obama administration. The association also wants more and better professional development, as well as a boost in the number of reading courses required of students in teacher-preparation programs.

The paper urges greater attention to new, technology-based literacies, "multiple, reliable measures" for assessing student progress, and adequate funding for ensuring high-quality teaching in reading.

"The International Reading Association recommends a major national investment in teacher preparation and professional development to ensure that every teacher is competent to teach reading to all students of various ability levels," the paper reads.

On a somewhat related note, the association is seeking comments on the draft of its Standards for Reading Professionals, 2010. The document is available online until the end of the month.

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