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RULE §74.2001Phonics Curriculum

(a) The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings.

  (1) Systematic instruction--Instruction that is carefully planned and sequenced where simple concepts are taught first before progressing to more complex concepts. This form of instruction is broken down into manageable step-by-step pieces that are aligned to instructional goals.

  (2) Direct instruction--Explicit, teacher-led instruction that clearly and specifically teaches a skill through concise explanation, modeling, practice, and feedback.

  (3) Phonics--The ability to read (decode) and spell (encode) individual words. Decoding refers to the process of using letter-sound knowledge to blend sounds and word parts to read words. Encoding refers to the process of using letter-sound knowledge to spell words.

(b) Each school district and open-enrollment charter school shall adopt a phonics curriculum for Kindergarten-Grade 3. Explicit and systematic instruction is necessary to effectively teach phonics in English and in Spanish.

  (1) A phonics curriculum must:

    (A) for the applicable Kindergarten-Grade 3 grade level and as identified in the Texas Resource Review rubric, align with a subset of the developing and sustaining foundational language skills portion of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, as follows:

      (i) for English Language Arts and Reading when teaching students to read in English; or

      (ii) for Spanish Language Arts and Reading when teaching students to read in Spanish;

    (B) align with current and confirmed research in reading and cognitive science;

    (C) provide concise, direct, explicit, and systematic phonics instruction with cumulative review;

    (D) provide specific daily instructional sequences and routines, which include modeling, guided practice, and application with immediate, corrective feedback;

    (E) include ongoing practice opportunities in isolation and in connected, controlled text that follows the instructional focus;

    (F) include assessments to measure and monitor student progress;

    (G) provide specific guidance after monitoring progress to support students in reaching mastery of a concept or to accelerate instruction as needed; and

    (H) include the quality components addressed in a phonics-specific rubric approved by the commissioner of education for use in the Texas Resource Review.

  (2) The program may:

    (A) function as a stand-alone phonics program, be part of a core language arts program, or act as a supplemental foundational literacy skills program; and

    (B) include scaffolded application in specific daily instructional sequences and routines.

  (3) The program may not:

    (A) teach word recognition, when teaching students to read in English, through visual memory, guessing, the shape of a word, or the use of pictures or context clues to decode words instead of explicitly teaching words that cannot be sounded out and that do not follow the rules of phonics; or

    (B) be used solely for intervention purposes rather than for core instruction implementation.

  (4) A phonics program that does not meet all criteria in paragraph (1) of this subsection may be used by a school district or open-enrollment charter school if the program has a strong evidence base and is used in conjunction with a phonics program that meets all criteria in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

Source Note: The provisions of this §74.2001 adopted to be effective April 28, 2022, 47 TexReg 2131

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