Educators and politicians in Texas have played significant roles in pushing early reading instruction from one extreme position to another through shifts in textbook adoption requirements (Farr, Tulley, and Powell, 1987). These policy actions are shaping a national curriculum for reading. The current study looks at changes in texts for beginning reading instruction that resulted from the Texas state mandates for more literature-based teaching practices and materials. We describe some of the ways in which these changes have influenced instructional practices. The report focuses on the Texas state basal reading adoption for the year 2000 and the impact of these new mandates on program features.