Criteria for Evaluating Commercial Reading Programs – 2016

The National Right to Read Foundation

Criteria for evaluating K – 3 Reading Programs

NRRF endorses reading programs that are consistent with the findings of the 2016 Practice Guide of the United States Department of Education (USDOE), What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), and the Report of the National Reading Panel (NRP). The NRP five components of reading instruction are listed below.

Phonemic Awareness

To help children understand and recognize the relationship between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language.

Multisensory Phonics Instruction

That leads to an understanding of the alphabetic principle–the systematic and predictable, logical relationships between written letters and the spoken sounds they represent.


That, once decoding words becomes automatic, focuses on making connections between the ideas in a text, and between those ideas and the student’s background knowledge.  Repeated and monitored oral reading improves reading fluency and overall reading achievement.

Vocabulary Development

Students should be able to decode, read, and comprehend any word in their spoken vocabulary, and read them aloud fluently and accurately without guessing.  They should learn to use the dictionary, write the vocabulary words they know in sentences, paragraphs, and stories, spell the words they use accurately, and be able to read more complex content consistent with their age and grade level.


By the end of second grade or before, students should be able to comprehend in reading, what they can talk about and understand.    Identifying story or text structure and the main idea, looking up unknown words in the dictionary, summarizing parts of the text, and classroom discussion are all parts of building good comprehension.

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