by Catherine Kelly
In January 2013, the Minnesota Academy of Reading will host its third annual “Policy Issues in Literacy: Implications for Educators an Era of Common Core Standards” event. This symposium brings together legislators, Board of Teaching members, higher education faculty, K-12 teachers, and literacy advocates to discuss issues related to teacher preparation and professional development. The focus of this year’s event will be on preparing teachers to meet the needs of Minnesota’s K-12 students in an era of the Common Core State Standards.
The Minnesota Academy of Reading (MAR), a local council of the Minnesota Reading Association, was founded in 1974 with the purpose of sharing professional ideas in literacy instruction, consultation, and evaluation, as well as engaging in service activities. The organization was chartered by the International Reading Association, and in the early years of the organization, held weekend professional meetings and workshops, as well as presenting an institute at the IRA convention in Miami.
Though MAR was less active in the 1990s, the organization reemerged in 2005 to provide a network for educators interested in policies related to pre-service teacher licensure, standards for reading teachers, and research on effective professional development. This work involved a collaboration of the recipients of a Bush Foundation grant and faculty from over 40 institutions as they aligned their courses with updated Board of Teaching competencies. Every two years, the Minnesota Academy of Reading honors a reading professional who has made significant contributions to the field of literacy education in Minnesota and beyond.
The Minnesota Academy of Reading is looking to network with other state councils engaged in similar work around literacy policies, effective preparation of literacy teachers, and improved literacy instruction for K-12 students. If your local council is interested in networking with MAR, please contact MAR Co-President Elect Catherine Kelly.
Catherine Kelly is an Assistant Professor of Education at St. Catherine University in St. Paul Minnesota, the Secretary of the MRA Executive Board, and Co-President Elect of MAR. She can be contacted at email@example.com.