4 Great Definitions
We support the No Child
Left Behind Act because it emphasizes reading, math and science,
annual testing of reading and math, highly qualified teachers, and
requirements that schools and school districts report their progress
to the community every year (transparency).
NCLB includes four important legal definitions: reading, essential
components of reading instruction; scientifically based reading
research, and diagnostic reading assessment. Pete has used the
language in these legal definitions in cases when school districts
failed to use research based reading programs.
The term 'reading' means a complex
system of deriving meaning from print that requires all of the
(A) The skills and knowledge to
understand how phonemes, or speech sounds, are connected to print.
(B) The ability to decode unfamiliar words.
(C) The ability to read fluently.
(D) Sufficient background information and vocabulary to foster
(E) The development of appropriate active strategies to construct
meaning from print.
(F) The development and maintenance of a motivation to read.
Essential components of reading instruction
The term 'essential components
of reading instruction' means explicit and systematic
(A) phonemic awareness;
(C) vocabulary development;
(D) reading fluency, including oral reading skills; and
(E) reading comprehension strategies.
3. Scientifically based reading research
The term 'scientifically based
reading research' means research that-
(A) applies rigorous,
systematic, and objective procedures to obtain valid
knowledge relevant to reading development, reading
instruction, and reading difficulties;
(B) includes research that-
(i) employs systematic, empirical methods that draw on
observation or experiment;
(ii) involves rigorous data analyses that are adequate to
test the stated hypotheses and justify the general
(iii) relies on measurements or observational methods that
provide valid data across evaluators and observers and
across multiple measurements and observations; and
(iv) has been accepted by a
peer-reviewed journal or approved by a panel of independent
experts through a comparably rigorous, objective, and
The term 'diagnostic reading
assessment' means an assessment that is-
(i) valid, reliable, and based
on scientifically based reading research; and
(ii) used for the purpose of-
(I) identifying a child's specific areas of strengths and
weaknesses so that the child has learned to read by the end
of grade 3;
(II) determining any difficulties that a child may have in
learning to read and the potential cause of such
(III) helping to determine possible reading intervention
strategies and related special needs.