NCTQ regularly convenes reading experts to conduct a thorough review of every textbook used to teach aspiring teachers how to teach reading. These experts examine how well these textbooks adhere to the science of reading, which is rooted in 60+ years of research on what makes for the most effective reading instruction.
The 5 critical components
Experts evaluate how well each textbook covers the five critical components of reading: phoneme (or phonological) awareness, phonics (decoding, word analysis, word study), reading fluency, vocabulary (language development), and comprehension. Coverage of these components should be rooted in contemporary research.
- Phonemic awareness
The 3 ratings
To rate each text, the expert reviewer determines if the text defines and presents each component rooted in contemporary research. Acceptable texts cover components comprehensively, providing future teachers with an accurate, research-based understanding of what the component is, how to assess acquisition of the component, and how to teach the component using acceptable proven teaching methods. Comprehensive texts must contain this information for all five components, and some are categorized as Exemplary based on their level of quality. Not Acceptable texts present inaccurate or unscientific information about the component definitions, how to assess acquisition of the component, and/or how to teach one or more components.
The 3 classifications
Texts are grouped by the evaluators into categories according to the breadth of their content, which is determined based on the presence of the key components within the text's index. Comprehensive texts cover a broad spectrum of reading instruction subjects and content, and intend to cover all five components. Specialized texts address a specific reading component or a combination of reading components, but not all five. Synopsis texts are supplemental materials that provide summary information on one or more reading components.