How can we quantify college and career readiness? The Lexile Framework for Reading informs this question by measuring reading materials
sampled from various postsecondary text collections, quantifying the associated text complexity, and then statistically summarizing the
resulting distribution of readability measures. This approach produces not only a single point estimate of the central tendency of the
postsecondary text complexity distribution, but also a useful measure of dispersion, the interquartile range (IQR), which spans the middle 50%
of text difficulties in any text complexity distribution. In other words, we can provide a single text complexity target, situated in a band of
“typical” text complexity requirements that are characteristic of postsecondary reading experiences.
Although the ability to successfully read and understand complex texts is only one aspect of preparation for college and career choices, it is a
fundamental enabling skill without which even routine encounters with advanced work and study may become frustrating or ineffectual.