Proposed Reduction of Training for Florida's Reading Teachers
Right now, the Florida Department of Education is a big player in that state's debate over how much training is necessary for reading teachers to effectively teach English-language learners. The department is proposing a reduction in the number of hours of training required for reading teachers in how to work with ELLs, saying that the high bar makes it hard for schools to find such teachers, according to a Dec. 26 article in the Miami Herald. Here's where the matter stands:
Current rules require teachers who educate students learning English to have 300 hours of training. Educators who teach reading need an additional 300 hours. Some districts allow teachers to cut the training nearly in half if they have trained in one area or the other. But the state wants to reduce the training even more, possibly to as little as 90 hours.
The state teachers' union opposes the proposal, as do some educators who argue that the level of training currently required is appropriate.
This debate over teacher training for ELLs has been going on in Florida for a couple of years. I last wrote about it in Education Week in April 2008.