New Fixation on Lexile Levels Intended to Promote Student Success

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New Fixation on Lexile Levels Intended to Promote Student Success

by Jarah Cotton, Editor

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As they quickly develop into a cornerstone of individualized education, lexile scores may be receiving too much credit during novel evaluation.

Lexile scores represent a numerical scale developed by MetraMetrics© – a group dedicated to educational and developmental research and funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.  The scale is intended to be indicative of a book’s readability, based upon the novel’s vocabulary usage and sentence strength, along with providing a means by which a student’s ability to comprehend text can be standardized.

Recently, there has been a district-wide push for teachers to implement various policies and programs designed to increase students’ lexile scores.Student literacy has become a focal point,  ad teachers are doing all that they can to improve student’s reading comprehension.

“American Literature and 9th Grade Literature teachers have begun to host a 20 minute reading period in order to provide students with a time to improve their lexile scores,” Administrator Myra Camese said. “They also have more updated books, that will appeal more to students and encourage them to read more.”

Aside from individual efforts to encourage students to read, and, by extension, cultivate a higher level of reading comprehension, there have been several school-wide actions to further this encouragement, such as the weekly powwow period.

“The powwow period offers students allow teachers the opportunity to remediate and accelerate any students that may be having difficulties,” Camese said. “If that weakness happens to be reading comprehension then the teacher would be able to work on that.”

All teachers have access to data pertaining to every students lexile level, based upon standardized testing performances, and are encouraged to notify students individually of where they stand on this scale,  and what goals they should set for themselves.

“We consider lexiles to be interdisciplinary, as it can be just as important to read in science as it is in Language Arts,” Camese said. “Therefore we make sure that all teachers are aware of student performance.”

Despite educators push to encourage elevation in students’ reading comprehension using the lexile score as a gauge, some student disagree with their methods.

Some students and parents feel as though this fixation on lexile scores is misplaced, because people tend to confuse a book’s readability with its quality.

“I don’t think that lexile scores are important because I read a lot of books and some of the best ones I have read have lower lexile scores,” Junior Carlos Matteo said. “I feel like lexile scores are arbitrary, and we should not look at a number when judging books, but at the book itself.”

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