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Bay Path Earns ‘A’ Grade for Early Reading Courses

LONGMEADOW — The National Council on Teacher Quality released its scores for the 2020 Teacher Prep Review, ranking Bay Path University’s Early Reading course content in undergraduate, traditional, elementary-education programs with an ‘A’ designation.

Reading ability is a key predictor of future educational gains and life success, and more than one-third of American children are not able to read by the fourth grade, with black and Hispanic children being disproportionately affected. Successful reading instruction is essential to achieving educational equity, yet only seven programs in Massachusetts received an ‘A’ ranking.

After reviewing course syllabi and required textbooks, programs were ranked based on the following criteria: the availability of explicit instruction on each of the five components of reading instruction — phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension strategies; support for instruction with high-quality textbooks that accurately detail established principles of scientifically based reading practices; and evidence that teacher candidates must demonstrate mastery through in-class assignments, tests, and field work.

“Only about a quarter of educator-preparation programs nationwide received this highest rating, with Bay Path University being only one of four undergraduate programs in the state of Massachusetts to be recognized with an ‘A,’” said Ellen Rustico, Bay Path professor and chair of Education Programs, and director of Teacher Licensure. “It ensures that we are training teacher candidates with effective, evidence-based, structured literacy practices for use in the pre-K-to-12 general-education and specialized settings. The reading coursework at Bay Path links the science of reading to educational practice. Our teacher candidates are ready to make an impact on students on day one.”

The National Council on Teacher Quality is a non-partisan, not-for-profit research and policy organization that is committed to modernizing the teaching profession.

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