[kids-lib] In the News: Lexiles and text complexity measuring

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Wed Feb 8 14:04:30 PST 2017

Miranda Doyle, District Librarian for Lake Oswego School District, wrote a great two-page article about Lexiles<https://ola.memberclicks.net/assets/OASL/documents/Interchange/winter%202017.pdf> on page 26-27 of the Winter 2017 Interchange: Journal of the Oregon Association of School Library that is worth taking a few minutes to read.

Here are a few highlights copied and pasted from the article:

*         ...quoting from Appendix A of the Common Core State Standards: "The tools for measuring text complexity are at once useful and imperfect."

*         The Lexile Framework for Reading claims to measure the difficulty of text... "Mr. Popper's Penguins" scores a 910L, higher than "To Kill a Mockingbird" at 790L.

*         It's important to use common sense and old-fashioned measures of text complexity ("Read a page of this to me and then see if you can explain what it said" or "read a page and put up a finger for each word you don't know") in addition to lexiles.

*         The Lexile Framework for Reading is a registered trademark belonging to MetaMetrics Inc., a for-profit company.

*         It is a marketing tool... It is not free to get a certified lexile measure... Publishers pay MetaMetrics to get them.

*         When students are explicitly forbidden to borrow any books outside their lexile range, I'm alarmed. This is definitely an intellectual freedom issue, because it limits access for our library users.

Katie Anderson, MLS, Youth Services Consultant
Library Support and Development Services<http://www.oregon.gov/osl/LD/pages/index.aspx>
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>, 503-378-2528
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