Text Complexity

One of the major themes of the Netwok Team Training in Albany during the week of August 1-5 related to the Common Core State Standards was the idea of having students interact with complex text.  We spent a lot of time learning about the importance of this concept.  In his white paper, Achieving Reading Proficiency for All, Dr. Willard Daggett suggests that “while a gap exists in secondary school between some students’ reading levels and the instructional materials used,

an even more alarming disconnect can be found between student levels and real-world reading requirements”  The chart below (from the white paper) summarizes that gap:

When you consider the complexity of different types of text, it is no surprise that we must give students the opportuntity to learn through the use of appropriate difficult reading passages.  It’s interesting to note that most career and technical education texts far exceed the complexity of what 11th and 12th graders are expected to read in high school.  Consider what you are required to read on a daily basis.  Is it more complex or less complex than what you (or your children) were asked to read in high school?


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