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Common Core and Complex Text

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Joan Meyer

on 21 March 2018

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Transcript of Common Core and Complex Text

Reading Between the Lines: What the ACT Reveals About College Readiness in Reading, 2006

"Only 51% of 2005 ACT-tested high school graduates are ready for college-level reading--and, what's worse, more students are on track to being ready for college-level reading in eighth and tenth grade than are actually ready by the time they reach twelfth grade."
University texts were chosen predominately from the humanities and social science disciplines...Texts from the areas such as physical sciences, mathematics, and engineering were not systematically examined. To the extent that such texts might require a higher level of reading ability, this paper's qualifications of the gap could be an underestimate (Williamson, Summer 2008
-- Note: Williamson's 2006 research cited in Appendix
was initially funded through a series of grants (1984) by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. -- Lexile
Montana Board of Public Education adopted the Common Core Standards and Assessments on November 4, 2011.
Text Complexity
The Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck
Lexile Measure is 680L (Grade 2-3)
Cost to Publisher
$25 for digital text
Textbooks -Additional $25 per 50 pages
Total Reader (TR) is a self-administered assessment
Monitors a student's reading level
Suggested supplemental reading
$350 per year for 1-30 students
College and career readiness overwhelmingly focuses on complex texts

History/social studies, science and technical subjects will play a significant role in teaching students how to read closely and analyze information specific to their content area.

Lexile Framework for Reading (Metametrics)
Smarter Balanced is a state-led consortium developing assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards.
In Montana (2010), 2674 sophomores students took the PLAN assessment, an ACT College Readiness Benchmark Assessment. The test results show that 45% of sophomores are on NOT on track in reading and 71% are NOT on track in science to meet the Montana college readiness benchmarks (Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education).
Lexile -- 1060 (6-8 Grade Level Band)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Eliza and Georgiana, evidently acting according to orders, spoke to me as little as possible; John thrust his tongue in his cheek whenever he saw me, and once attempted chastisement; but as I instantly turned against him, roused by the same sentiment of deep ire and desperate revolt which had stirred my corruptions before, he thought it better to desist, and ran from me tittering execrations, and vowing I had burst his nose. I had indeed leveled at that prominent feature as hard a blow as my knuckles could inflict; and when I saw that either that or my look daunted him, I had the greatest inclination to follow up my advantage to purpose; but he was already with his mama. I heard him in a blubbering tone commence the tale of how “that nasty Jane Eyre” had flown at him like a mad cat; he was stopped rather harshly –
Lexile 1450 (College Level)
Declaration of Independence
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
Locating Lexiled Articles in the Databases
Ways of measuring text complexity
Word length
Word frequency
Word difficulty
Sentence length
Text length
Text cohesion
College and Career Ready
After the qualitative measures and the reader and task considerations have been applied, the Grapes of Wrath is
more appropriately placed at grade 9-10. -- Common Core, Appendix A
Computer Adaptive Testing
Based on student responses, the computer program adjusts the difficulty of questions throughout the assessment.
By adapting to the student as the assessment is taking place, these assessments present an individually tailored set of questions to each student and can quickly identify which skills students have mastered.
The quantitative measures may underestimate the difficulty of texts that use simple, familiar language to convey sophisticated ideas, as is true of much high-quality fiction written for adults and appropriate for older students. -- Common Core, Appendix A
The ATOS formula associated with the Accelerated Reader program and developed by Renaissance Learning uses word difficulty (estimated grade level), word length, sentence length, and text length (measured in words) as its factors. ATOS puts students and texts on the same scale. -- Common Core, Appendix A
Qualitative Measures of Text Complexity
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level test uses word length and sentence length as proxies for semantic and syntactic complexity, respectively (roughly, the complexity of the meaning and sentence structure). -- Common Core, Appendix A
Some formulas, such as the Dale-Chall Readability Formula, substitute word frequency for word length as a factor, the assumption here being that less familiar words are harder to comprehend than familiar words. -- Common Core, Appendix A
It uses word frequency and sentence length to produce a single measure, called a Lexile, of a text’s complexity. The Lexile Framework can place both readers and texts on the same scale. -- Lexile
Measuring Readability
Quantitative Measures
The Lexile Analyzer carefully examines the whole text to measure two characteristics: sentence length and word frequency. -- Common Core, Appendix A
Reader and Task Considerations
Variables specific to particular readers (such as motivation, knowledge, and experiences) and to particular tasks (such as purpose and the complexity of the task assigned and the questions posed) must also be considered when determining whether a text is appropriate for a given student. Such assessments are best made by teachers employing their professional judgment, experience, and knowledge of their students and the subject. -- Common Core, Appendix A
The Common Core State Standards for reading strongly focus on students gathering evidence, knowledge, and insight from what they read. Indeed, eighty to ninety percent of the Reading Standards in each grade require text dependent analysis; accordingly, aligned curriculum materials should have a similar percentage of text dependent questions.
Good text dependent questions will often linger over specific phrases and sentences to ensure careful comprehension of the text—they help students see something worthwhile that they would not have seen on a more cursory reading. Typical text dependent questions ask students to perform one or more of the following tasks:

•Analyze paragraphs on a sentence by sentence basis and sentences on a word by word
basis to determine the role played by individual paragraphs, sentences, phrases, or words
•Investigate how meaning can be altered by changing key words and why an author may
have chosen one word over another
•Probe each argument in persuasive text, each idea in informational text, each key detail in
literary text, and observe how these build to a whole
•Examine how shifts in the direction of an argument or explanation are achieved and the
impact of those shifts
•Question why authors choose to begin and end when they do
•Note and assess patterns of writing and what they achieve
•Consider what the text leaves uncertain or unstated
-- Achieve the Core
A Guide for Creating Text Dependent Questions for Close Analytic Reading -- Achieve the Core
Inclusion of Literary Nonfiction
Since the ELA classroom must focus on literature as well as literary nonfiction, a great deal of informational reading in grades 6-12 must take place in other classes if the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) framework is to be matched instructionally.
Informational texts in science, history, and technical subjects may or may not exhibit literary craft, but they should be worth reading as valuable sources of information to gain important knowledge. It is essential that the scientific and historical texts chosen for careful study be focused on such significant topics that they are worth the instructional time for students to examine them deliberately to develop a full understanding. -- Revised Publishers' Criteria for the Common Core Standards, April 2012
Students need access to a wide range of materials on a variety of topics and genres both in their classrooms and in their school libraries to ensure that they have opportunities to independently read broadly and widely to build their knowledge, experience, and joy in reading....In alignment with the standards and to acknowledge the range of students’ interests, these materials should include informational texts and literary nonfiction as well as literature. A variety of formats can also engage a wider range of students, such as high-quality newspaper and magazine articles as well as information-rich websites.
-- Revised Publishers' Criteria for the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy, Grades 3-12
Standards require aligned ELA curriculum materials in grades 6–12 to include a blend of literature (fiction, poetry, and drama) and a substantial sampling of literary nonfiction, including essays, speeches, opinion pieces, biographies, journalism, and historical, scientific, or other documents written for a broad audience...The standards emphasize arguments (such as those in the U.S. foundational documents) and other literary nonfiction that is built on informational text structures rather than literary nonfiction that is structured as stories (such as memoirs or biographies). Of course, literary nonfiction extends well beyond historical documents to include the best of nonfiction written for a broad audience on a wide variety of topics, such as science, contemporary events and ideas, nature, and the arts. -- Revised Publishers' Criteria for the Common Core State Standards. April 2012
Close Reading
and Analysis

Text Dependent Questions
Quadrant C
Start the marker at this point to see an example of a performance task.
Things to look for when locating content in databases or purchasing e-books for curriculum use
On the horizon -- possibly

A nonprofit service operated at the University of Memphis, Coh-Metrix attempts to account for factors in addition to those measured by readability formulas. The Coh-Metrix system focuses on the cohesiveness of a text—basically, how tightly the text holds together. A high-cohesion text does a good deal of the work for the reader by signaling relationships among words, sentences, and ideas using repetition, concrete language, and the like; a low-cohesion text, by contrast, requires the reader him- or herself to make many of the connections needed to comprehend the text. High cohesion texts are not necessarily “better” than low-cohesion texts, but they are easier to read. The standard Coh-Metrix report includes information on more than sixty indices related to text cohesion, so it can be daunting to the layperson or even to a professional educator unfamiliar with the indices. Coh-Metrix staff have worked to isolate the most revealing, informative factors from among the many they consider, but these “key factors” are not yet widely available to the public, nor have the results they yield been calibrated to the Standards’ text complexity grade bands. The greatest value of these factors may well be the promise they offer of more advanced and usable
tools yet to come.
Common Core, Appendix A
Common Core, Appendix A
Common Core, Appendix A
Common Core, Appendix A
Common Core, Appendix A
Common Core, Appendix A
Common Core, Appendix A
Hunt's Institute
-- International Center for Leadership in Education
Common Core
Literacy Standards
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