How are reading grades determined? What are levels of text complexity?

Document created by Community User on Sep 27, 2016Last modified by Community User on Oct 27, 2017
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How are the reading passages in reading Skills Locators aligned to specific grade levels? What are the "eight levels of text complexity" referred to in the MAP Skills Technical Manual?

The "eight levels of text complexity" mentioned in the MAP Skills Technical Manual refer to the eight available grades for reading Skills Locators: grades 1-8. For example, a student taking a locator at the 3rd grade reading level would encounter a text with a 3rd grade level of text complexity in line with a career and college readiness progression of text complexity. The items on a 3rd grade locator test are aligned to 3rd grade standards for the skills measured.

The eight levels of text complexity are defined by a mixture of quantitative factors including length, Lexile and Flesch-Kincaid reading levels and qualitative considerations including age appropriateness, background knowledge required, and general interest.

Length and topic of passages designed to be age-appropriate

MAP Skills is designed for readers and may be widely used in an intervention situation. For this reason, we focused on passages where the length and content of passages are age appropriate. For example, passages in the lowest reading level of text complexity (roughly first grade) are appropriate for 8+ year old students at that reading level and may seem different in terms of length and topics than passages developed for 6 year old children reading on grade level. MAP Skills passages were designed to be age-appropriate and comprehension-task-appropriate instead of strictly grade-level-appropriate. We did not want 8 and 9 year old students to feel uncomfortable when they encounter passages that look like they are for 6 year old readers.

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