|(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
(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
(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
(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
(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.