"The college instructor blames the high school teacher, the high school teacher complains
of the grade teacher, each grade teacher above first grade finds fault with the poor work of the teacher in the grade below, and the first grade teacher in turn is chagrined at the shortcomings
of the home training. Must this go on indefinitely? Whose opinion shall prevail? Is it not possible to get away from personal opinion to an agreed-upon consensus of opinion? May we not replace the constantly conflicting subjective standards with definitely defined objective standards?"
—Wilson & Hoke, 1921 1
MetaMetrics is proud to be an "Endorsing Partner" of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. This historic endeavor was sought to establish a clear set of K-12 standards that would ensure all students graduate from high school "college and career ready." Initially, 48 states, 2 territories and the District of Columbia signed on.
The teams charged with drafting the Common Core Standards asked that we share our collective research on text complexity and the reading demands of college, careers and life in general. This research was conducted over the past 20 years using our widely adopted Lexile® Framework for Reading and is embodied in much of Common Core's Appendix A. Today, Lexile measures are used at the school level in all 50 states, and 20 states report Lexile measures statewide on their year-end assessments. Each year, more than 30 million Lexile measures are reported from reading assessments and programs, representing over half of U.S. students.
To follow are some key points of our research which are fueling the need for common standards across the states.
- The text complexity of K-12 textbooks has become increasingly "easier" over the last 50 years. The Common Core Standards quote research showing steep declines in average sentence length and vocabulary level in reading textbooks.
- The text demands of college and careers have remained consistent or increased over the same time period. College students are expected to read complex text with greater independence than are high school students.
- As a result, there is a significant gap between students' reading abilities and the text demands of their postsecondary pursuits. Research shows that this gap is equal to a Lexile difference between grade 4 and grade 8 texts on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). (Read more or watch a video about Lexile measures.)
Based on our research, the Common Core Standards provide text complexity grade bands and associated Lexile bands that are intended to put students on a college- and career-ready trajectory. These grade and Lexile bands are the basis for determining at what text complexity level students should be reading—and at which grades—to make sure they are ultimately prepared for the reading demands of college and careers.
To help you better understand how Lexile measures support the Common Core Standards—and how you can use Lexile measures to help ensure student readiness—we have developed a variety of resources for:
For more detailed information on the instructional implications of the Common Core Standards and the Lexile Framework for Reading, please contact our Professional Development department at 1-888-LEXILES or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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1. Wilson, G.M., & Hoke, K.J. (1921). "How to Measure." New York: The Macmillan Company.