Literacy in Educator Preparation

In July 2021, the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted foundational literacy skills standards, for use by Educator Preparation Providers (EPP) for instruction of candidates seeking a license to teach students in Kindergarten through grade three (K-3) and for those seeking an instructional leader license. The Tennessee Literacy Success Act requires all EPPs to provide training on reading instruction focused primarily on the foundational literacy skills standards by August 1, 2022. Literacy and Specialty Area Standards policy 5.505

TDOE has developed an assurance process for EPPs to demonstrate how they will integrate the foundational skills standards (see SBE Literacy and Specialty Area Standards policy 5.505) in their respective licensure programs. EPPs with approved licensure programs in the following endorsement areas are required to participate in this assurance process: 

  • Early Childhood Education (pre-K-3) 
  • Integrated Early Childhood Education (Birth-K or pre-K-3) 
  • Elementary Education (K-5) 
  • Special Education Interventionist (K-8) 
  • Special Education Comprehensive (K-12) 
  • Instructional Leader (pre-K-12) 

Important Dates

EPPs must adhere to the following timeline to ensure compliance with requirements for Tennessee legislature and SBE policy: 

·       April 18: TDOE releases signed assurance process  

·       May 31: EPPs submits assurance requirements to TDOE 

·       July 30: TDOE will review all assurances and provide feedback  

From fall 2017 to spring 2018, EPPs were provided support by the department to ensure their proposals were tightly aligned with the 2017 State Board of Education’s EPP literacy standards. EPPs demonstrated the alignment by engaging in a one-time, iterative proposal review process. All proposals were submitted in April 2018 and were reviewed by three trained reviewers. In the fall of 2018, EPPs began implementing proposal expectations and standards in their programs.

In 2021, the Tennessee Literacy Success Act was passed, which requires all EPPs to provide training on reading instruction focused primarily on the foundational literacy skills standards by August 1, 2022. TDOE developed an assurance process for EPPs to demonstrate how they will integrate the foundational skills standards in their respective licensure programs. EPPs should reference the EPP Signed Assurance Guidance for all requirements.

n January 2018, the department hosted the first EPP Literacy Network meeting. The network is comprised of lead literacy faculty from each EPP across the state who are dedicated to excellence in literacy instruction for Tennessee students, recognize the importance of educator preparation, and promote the preparation of effective literacy educators in the state of Tennessee. Through the network, faculty will:

  • continue to develop understandings of Teaching Literacy in Tennessee;
  • identify and negotiate tensions related to effective literacy preparation;
  • critically examine and revise program design through the implementation of the new EPP literacy standards;
  • develop and implement course work across the state to support teachers’ professional learning and alignment with TN Ready;
  • share quality literacy resources; and
  • foster connections between educator preparation programs and pre-K-12 partners.

Video recordings of previous literacy network meetings are available here: Jan. 24 | March 7 | Oct. 29

Early Childhood, Elementary, Special Education, and Instructional Leader Resources

Guidance Documents

Standards

EPP Innovation Module Previews