Total Reader Aligns Student Progress to Common Core Lexile Bands

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Total Reader, an online reading assessment program, can now be used to track student progress according to the latest Common Core Lexile® bands, which are designed to ensure that students comprehend texts of increasing complexity as they move through each grade level.

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We recommend that educators tell students why they will be taking a reading assessment.

Total Reader, an online reading assessment program, can now be used to track student progress according to the latest Common Core Lexile® bands, which are designed to ensure that students comprehend texts of increasing complexity as they move through each grade level. The goal is for students to be college and career ready when they graduate from high school.

Lexile bands are a range of measures on the Lexile Scale, a research-based assessment tool that is widely used by publishers and standard tests. Lexile measures are used to match readers with text targeted to their ability level. Educators have used Total Reader to assess progress using Lexile measures for nearly 10 years.

Total Reader assesses reading ability as students read age-appropriate passages targeted to their current Lexile measure. Students are motivated because they are reading at a level that is challenging, but not frustrating, and because they receive an updated Lexile measure each time they complete a passage.

Students are automatically placed into reading groups for those that need intervention, are proficient or are advanced, depending on where their current Lexile measure falls on the "stretch" Lexile bands defined by Common Core. Educators and parents can also use Lexile measures to help students choose books that are appropriate for advancing reading growth, using a flexible recommendation for easy, targeted or instructional reading levels.

The Impact of Common Core Lexile Bands
The Common Core Lexile bands place a higher challenge on students to be college and career ready. Total Readers' addition of the Common Core metric answers a request from educators for guidance in setting more stringent goals for student advancement on the Lexile scale.

Research shows that high school graduation no longer guarantees that students are ready for postsecondary challenges. The complexity of typical high school textbooks is no higher than about 1165L on the Lexile scale, which ranges from 200L for beginning readers, to 1700L for advanced readers. The new Lexile bands show a range of 1185L to 1385L for grades 11 through "college and career ready."

Total Reader provides computer adaptive Lexile assessment for Grades 3-12 and adults, allowing educators to intervene early for students who need remediation and ongoing support, and to challenge high-potential learners.

"We recommend that educators tell students why they will be taking a reading assessment, and how they will use the results," explains Loren Tarentino, a retired school administrator who helped write the Total Reader What Works Reading Guide. "It's a great way to get student buy-in on the importance of reading as a lifetime skill."

Total Reader's online Lexile assessment also allows educators to track student progress according to two other benchmarks, based on typical reader ranges for each grade or on the level of textbooks designed for specific grades.

Lexile measures are determined as students read short, untimed passages containing cloze items. Students get to choose what they want to read from a list of high-interest fiction and non-fiction topics.

Total Reader is available through individual subscriptions as well as to schools and districts. Schools and districts can try the full program at no cost for 45 days. For more information please visit http://www.totalreader.com.

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Scott Sibley
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