H.B. 4378, introduced by state Rep. Bob Brown, D-Dearborn Heights, would require the superintendent of public instruction to establish new standards for diagnosing students with reading disorders and for providing those students with specialized training in reading. If passed, all teachers in training will be required to take a course in reading disorders. Since it is required for all certifications, all new teachers must take the course regardless of whether they teach chemistry, calculus, Spanish, or physical education.
Currently a teacher-in-training is required to have six hours of reading methods for elementary certification and three hours for secondary certification. According to proponents of the bill, this training does not emphasize recognizing reading disorders, such as dyslexia, and how to teach students with these problems. As a result, they claim, the disorders go undiagnosed and many of those students fail to achieve their academic potential. The House passed the bill and it now moves to the Senate, with very limited time left in this session.