Policy Brief: Bending the Reading Growth Trajectory

Written by our own Dr. Malbert Smith, our second policy brief was released Thursday.

As I’ve mentioned before, MetaMetrics is focused on improving education for learners of all ages, and we will be releasing policy briefs that cover research on a variety of educational issues, such as closing the achievement gap, next-generation assessments, and college- and career-readiness. The policy briefs will explore potential ways to address these critical issues by focusing on education as the foundation of student success and the stepping stone to social and economic growth in our country.

The second brief is titled “Bending the Reading Growth Trajectory: Instructional Strategies to Promote Reading Skills and Close the Readiness Gap.” An executive summary is below and the entire brief is available in both HTML and PDF formats:

The January 26 edition of Education Week summarizes the postsecondary readiness gap in unequivocal terms: “High school completion does not equal college readiness.” This reality is the foundation of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts which are designed to prepare students “to read and comprehend independently and proficiently the kinds of complex texts commonly found in college and careers.” But what exactly does this mean for educators, and how can they help prepare students for the reading demands of their academic and professional pursuits? Research has validated some instructional strategies—such as exposing middle and high school students to more complex text, using benchmark assessments to supplement year-end tests, and mitigating summer loss—all of which can address the velocity and deceleration of reading growth in order to enhance comprehension skills and support students on higher learning trajectories. As idealized growth trajectories are adopted in response to Common Core—and states continue to collect more and better longitudinal data—we will be even better positioned to think strategically about how we can modify instruction to support students as they progress toward college- and career-readiness.

Want to subscribe to our policy briefs? Visit www.Lexile.com and click on Register in the top right corner. Be sure to check the box next to News Releases!

Policy Brief: Bridging the Readiness Gap

Recently, we released our first of many policy briefs written by our very own Dr. Malbert Smith III, MetaMetrics’ President and Co-Founder.

MetaMetrics is focused on improving education for learners of all ages. For over twenty years, our work has been increasingly recognized for its distinct value in differentiating instruction and personalizing learning.  For example, our research on post secondary reading demands, on what it means to be college and career ready, informed the Common Core State Standards.

In addition to the white papers and position papers we publish throughout the year, our policy briefs will encompass research on a variety of educational issues, such as closing the achievement gap, next-generation assessments, and college- and career-readiness. The policy briefs will explore potential ways to address these critical issues by focusing on education as the foundation of student success and the stepping stone to social and economic growth in our country.

The first brief is titled “Bridging the Readiness Gap: Demystifying Required Reading Levels for Post-secondary Pursuits.” An executive summary is below and the entire brief is available in both HTML and PDF formats:

What does it mean to be “college- and career-ready?” According to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the Holy Grail of education is to ensure that all high school graduates are adequately prepared for their academic and professional pursuits. This goal underscores the current national educational reform agenda-both Race to the Top requirements and Common Core criteria advocate standards that build toward and ensure college and career readiness. While many factors comprise readiness, one of the most important is the ability to read and comprehend complex texts. And although our research shows a significant gap between the text demands of high school and the post-secondary world, progress has already been made in reconsidering the entire scope of the P-20 educational landscape. Using our research, Appendix A of the Common Core State Standards demonstrates how the text continuum can be redrawn by Lexile grade bands so that educators and administrators have a reliable road map to make sure students are building the reading skills necessary to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities that await them. By forecasting deficiencies in reading ability, we can demystify the “readiness gap,” raise the bar for reading achievement, and better prepare students for success in their post-secondary endeavors.

Want to subscribe to our policy briefs? Visit www.Lexile.com and click on Register in the top right corner. Be sure to check the box next to News Releases!

Welcome Back: An Open Letter to Educators

If you’re like me, the start of a new school year brings mixed emotions. Summer vacation seems to have passed in the blink of an eye. Some of the books I hoped to have read and the projects I intended to complete will have to wait for another day or maybe even another summer. On the other hand, the new school year elicits feelings of wonder and excitement. Schools across the country open their doors to fresh beginnings and intellectual journeys that ignite curiosity and creativity in this latest generation of learners.

My recent blog post, “Back to School,” discusses August as being, according to the census bureau, the second biggest retail month of the year, due, in part, to large numbers of citizens preparing for the return to school.  As important as this time is for our current economy, the real importance of the return to school is that it resumes our national goal of helping every child achieve their full potential, dreams and aspirations. As an educator, this is the most exciting time of the year for me. In fact, I always think of the start of the school year as the real New Year’s Day. 

While we hope this is an exciting time for you as well, we also realize that the start of the school year brings unique challenges. The critical role you play in our country cannot be overstated. Educators have long been considered one our most undervalued resources. My hope is that one day you will be treated in a way that is commensurate with your responsibilities. After all, there is no greater responsibility than enabling our children to realize their potential. And there is no bigger challenge than preparing our diverse student population with the knowledge and skills necessary to compete and succeed in post-secondary life. As we start back to school, I pledge to you that MetaMetrics remains dedicated to helping you “fight the good fight.” In doing so, I want to remind you of the various free resources we offer:

  1. We Thought We Should Mention”—Our blog is a great way to stay current on topics that affect you – everything from education to technology to the world of assessment and measurement. I encourage you to read it often and to share your comments.
  2. Common Core State Standards—We offer a variety of resources to help you better understand how Lexile® and Quantile® measures support the Common Core State Standards’ goal of preparing all students for college and careers.
  3. Find a Book”—Our free book search utility allows you to build custom reading lists based on an individual’s reading ability and interests, and then locate your selections at the public library nearest you.
  4. Quantile Teacher Assistant – Our online QTA tool locates resources for educators that can help differentiate instruction for struggling math students and identify those skills that are most relevant to the topic of daily instruction. This tool is aligned with state mathematics curriculum standards to make it directly applicable for use in the classroom.
  5. Math@Home —The new and improved Math@Home will offer students an improved way to locate targeted mathematics activities and resource.  We expect this utility will launch in the next few weeks.

On behalf of everyone at MetaMetrics, I hope you have a great year and we look forward to working with you.

Sincerely,
Malbert Smith III, Ph.D.President
MetaMetrics

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.