NNU earns high marks for preparing reading teachers


An Idaho university has earned high marks for preparing reading teachers, according to a national report released Thursday.

Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa combines excellent instruction in the five key components of reading instruction — phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension — with the use of high-quality textbooks, the Washington, D.C.-based National Council on Teacher Quality said.

NNU received an A-plus grade in the NCTQ’s Landscapes report on undergraduate elementary education programs. Only 13 of 820 colleges and universities received an A-plus grade for preparing reading instructors.

However, the NCTQ said the nation’s colleges and universities are doing a better job of preparing reading teachers. All told, 39 percent of colleges and universities now provide research-based instruction in all five key elements of reading instruction; in 2014, that figure was 29 percent.

NNU’s high grade comes as Idaho is focusing renewed attention and increased taxpayer money on young readers. Idaho is in the first year of an $11.25 million initiative designed to provide extra help to at-risk readers. According to annual fall testing results, about 40 percent of kindergarten through third-grade students show up for school reading below grade level.

Coming next week: Idaho Education News and Idaho Public Television’s “Idaho Reports” team up to take a closer look at the state’s literacy initiative.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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