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The California school board was scheduled to consider late last week adoption of a document that spells out the elements of teaching reading to students in the early elementary grades.

Called an advisory, the document builds on the recommendations last year of a state reading task force and provisions in a new state law. Those recommendations urge teachers to incorporate systematic phonics into their instruction, and the law requires state officials to make available to schools materials that will enable them to carry out basic-skills instruction.

"The reading advisory's purpose is to ensure that students learn to read," said state schools Superintendent Delaine Eastin. "It provides guidance in the development and implementation of a balanced ... program."

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