Text Complexity Takes Hold

Given the Common Core’s emphasis on text complexity, an increasing number of educators are paying more attention to the complexity of the texts they assign.  Here at MetaMetrics, our focus has always been on understanding the relationship between the reader and the text and utilizing a common metric (Lexile) to characterize that relationship.  That’s why we’re so excited to make two related announcements: first, over 100,000 users have registered to use our free, publicly available Lexile Analyzer tool.  This tool allows users to analyze the complexity of small bits of texts to obtain a Lexile measure.  We’re thrilled to see that so many educators are focused on the complexity various pieces of text and are utilizing this wonderful tool.  If you have not yet tried this tool, click here to register and start using.

On a related note, we’re also happy to announce that 50 new publishers adopted the Lexile measure in 2011.  With the recent shift from proficiency to college and career readiness, school districts around the country are focusing on what it means to be college and career ready, specifically what it means to graduate prepared to read college level text.  With all the recent emphasis on college and career readiness, it is vital that students be introduced to increasingly sophisticated levels of complex texts.  Which is why it’s refreshing to see so many new publishers begin to recognize the significance of text complexity.  These new publishers add to a growing roster of hundreds of publishers that now routinely measure their books using Lexile measures.  Some of these new publishers include American Girl, Black Rabbit Books, Medallion Press, Nomad Press, and many, many more.  To all of our new publisher partners, welcome aboard.

Preparing Students for Post-Graduate Success

Students, parents and teachers have been counseled over the years on the importance of ensuring that high school graduates are “college or career ready.”  We’ve written much on the Common Core State Standards, college and career readiness, and the importance of preparing students to face the text demand they are likely to encounter after high school.  The book College and Career Ready by David T. Conley offers more specifics and identifies four key elements that students need in order to be successful in their post-graduate years:

  • Key content knowledge: Conley emphasizes a strong content background in the social sciences, world languages, science, mathematics, and the arts with particularly strong skills in reading and writing.
  • Key cognitive strategies:  This involves students’ ability to undertake challenging learning situations with perseverance. Students are able to use creativity and make conscious decisions that will result in the best possible conclusions.
  • Self-management behaviors: Conley describes a realm of academic behaviors that advance the success of college and career studies. Such behaviors include students’ recognition that a predominant amount of time devoted to learning will be outside of the structured classroom. Time management habits are crucial for a successful college experience.
  • College contextual knowledge: Conley emphasizes the ability of a student navigate through the administrative as well as the curricular processes. Admissions requirements, time lines, college traditions, differing social and cultural backgrounds are only a few of the examples of areas of the college culture that students need to be able to manage in addition to their academic studies.

Dr. Conley’s book offers a plethora of practical suggestions on how parents and teachers can prepare students for the transition from high school to the post-secondary world based upon successful practices, research, and new models. The material is easy to read and the suggestions are manageable and reasonable.  Time reading College and Career Ready would be well-spent.

MetaMetrics is an educational measurement organization. Our renowned psychometric team develops scientific measures of student achievement that link assessment with targeted instruction to improve learning.