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Neglected No More: Addressing Text Complexity in the Early Grades


To ensure that students are prepared for the reading demands of college and careers, it is vital to pay attention to the text complexity of the materials they encounter. While the work of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) provides specific guidance for text complexity levels from the second to twelfth grades, there is a clear absence of specificity in kindergarten and first grade. Yet, Coleman and Pimentel—the architects of the CCSS—assert that educators should pay attention to text complexity at these early grades. In fact, they counsel, “Reading Standard 10 outlines the level of text complexity at which students need to demonstrate comprehension. This can start in kindergarten or even earlier with complex text read aloud to students” (Coleman & Pimentel, 2012, p. 4).

To help support the advancement through progressively more challenging texts in K–2 classrooms, MetaMetrics (developer of The Lexile® Framework for Reading) embarked on a series of studies to attempt to provide more guidance and resources for educators, publishers and policymakers.

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