What information does their Lexile level give us? What is it good for? Why do the measures differ from one test to another?
When students take the PARCC test or other standardized tests, they are presented with grade level material. The accompanying Lexile score tells us how well they can read at their grade level. If a third grade student receives an 1100 Lexile, this does not necessarily mean they can read at the high school level. It means they read the 3rd grade passage as well as a high school students would have been expected to read the passage. Because students are not presented with reading material above their grade level, the PARCC Lexile makes no judgment on their ability to read above grade level material. Sometimes parents are confused by this information. Certainly teachers are! So what valuable information can a Lexile level give us, so that we may inform both instruction and our families?
Certainly a Lexile level will tell us when students read below grade level. NWEA MAP testing does sometimes present students with "out of grade level" material. So NWEA MAP Lexiles are probably our most reliable measure. So what if a student’s Lexile went down but the NPR went up? The NPR is in comparison to all students who took the test at that grade, so if the average score goes down, the NPR goes up, but the Lexile goes down. We can also use Lexiles to determine who needs further testing or diagnosing. What other information may you need about your child's reading level?
Erin Rae is the Curriculum Coordinator at Lockport 91.