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Science of Teaching Reading (STR) Exam

Reading Academies

Science of Teaching Reading (STR) Exam:

1. Who is required to take the STR Exam?
Candidates seeking certifications after January 1, 2021, in the following areas will need to take the STR:

  • EC-3
  • EC-6 core subjects
  • 4-8 core subjects
  • 4-8 ELAR
  • 4-8 ELAR/SS

2. Are Special Education certified teachers included in the requirement to take the STR exam?   
Currently, Special Education certified teachers are not required to take the STR exam. However, this is ultimately a State Board of Education decision.

3. Are alternatively certified teachers required to take the STR exam?
Yes, all candidates are required to meet the same requirements regardless of their teacher preparation program. 

4. How will ELAR section of the EC-6 Core subject test change once the STR test is in effect?
The ELAR section will remove standards found in STR to ensure that those standards are only assessed once.

 

Reading Academies:

1. If a teacher has attended previous versions of the Reading Academies, will that count as having attended for HB 3? If teachers are participating in the READ Grant, does that count?  
Teachers who are participating in the 2018-2019 READ Grant can count that participation as credit for the Reading Academies because they are aligned to the new TEKS and will be demonstrating competencies throughout this year. The Reading Academies contain new content that currently appears only in the READ Grant sessions. Teachers who did not participate in the READ Grant will need to participate in the Reading Academy in order to teach in grades kindergarten through third grade given the new standards.   

2. The wording of the law indicates that beginning 2021-22 school year, K-3 teachers and principals must attend the reading academy before 1st year of placement in that grade level or campus. How will teachers new to the profession or specific grade level be trained?  Will districts not be allowed to hire a new teacher for K-3?  This seems to indicate so if they must already have had the training.
Teachers must have started the year-long Reading Academy before placement in K-3 classrooms. Further guidance will be provided in 2020 as Reading Academy training is finalized.    

3. Will attending the Reading Academy be required to keep existing certifications? What about school and district staff who hold teacher certifications but are not currently classroom teachers?  
Reading Academies are required for current K-3 teachers and principals. While it is recommended that school and district staff attend a Reading Academy to understand the content and better support K-3 teachers, it is not a requirement to keep existing certifications.   

4. When will current teachers attend these academies? Do they have to miss instructional days? What specific training dates will be offered? Are these an ESC decision?  
Current teachers and principals need to attend by the 2022-2023 school year. Districts will need to select from some combination of the comprehensive, blended, or local implementation models and can incorporate Reading Academy training in their PD calendars. For the comprehensive model, Authorized Providers (e.g., ESCs, non-profits, districts) will establish in-person dates with the district. 

5. Is there a set fee or will this be determined by the ESC?
The cost for the blended model is $400 per teacher and the comprehensive model will be $3,000. Districts are responsible for paying for Reading Academies.  

6. Where is the money coming from to fund these academies? 
Through House Bill 3, LEAs receive several new sources of funding, which can be used to support reading instruction and pay for the Reading Academies.

7. Is there any compensation for teachers attending Reading Academies? Will teachers receive stipends?
Districts may provide stipends to teachers if they choose. If a district offers stipends, those stipends may count as part of the required 30% compensation increase. 

8. How will the Reading Academies differentiate for bilingual teachers? 
Reading Academies will include content that is specific to bilingual (Spanish-English) teachers to support biliteracy development and cross-linguistic connections.