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The Lexile Framework for Reading

The Lexile® Framework for Reading uses the same developmental scales for reading performance ability and text complexity levels. When an assessment is linked with the Lexile Framework, the information can b e used to inform instructional decisions.  

Developed by MetaMetrics in Durham, North Carolina, The Lexile Framework is based on more than 20 years of research funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The distinct approach to measuring readers and texts has resulted in Lexile adoptions by departments of education in nearly half the states and school districts in all 50 states.

More information about the Lexile Framework can be found at Lexile.com.

Today, Lexile measures are recognized as the most widely used reading metrics. Lexile measures connect learners of all ages with resources at the right level of challenge and monitor their progress toward state and national learning standards. Lexile measures range from below 200L for emergent readers and text to above 1600L for advanced readers and text.


Lexile Measures in North Carolina

Students in grades 3-8 and English II will receive a Lexile measure from the North Carolina READY End-of-Grade (EOG) Tests of English Language Arts/Reading and the North Carolina READY End-of-Course (EOC) Assessment for English II. Click here to view a score report sample containing Lexile measure information.

Additionally, Students can access over 50 popular reading assessments and programs that report out Lexile measures. Visit http://www.lexile.com/about-lexile/How-to-get-lexile-measures for a complete list.

Students, parents and educators can access North Carolina’s NCWISEOWL (www.ncwiseowl.org/) State Library Online Database to access an abundance of online newspaper and magazine articles that match their Lexile range.


Using Lexile Measures to Assess College and Career Readiness

The goal of the NC Standard Course of Study (NCSCOS) is to ensure that students are ready for college and career after high school. Lexile measures can play an important role in assuring student success. An important factor for readiness is a student's ability to read and understand texts of steadily increasing complexity as they progress through school. The Lexile Framework provides valuable insights into student readiness by measuring both the complexity of college and career texts and a student's ability to comprehend these texts. Lexile bands place texts in the following text complexity grade bands.


Lexile Text Ranges for College and Career Readiness

CCSS Lexile Test Range
1185L - 1385L
1050L - 1335L
925L - 1185L
740L - 1010L
420L - 820L
Not Available

Source:   http://achievethecore.org 


Click here to access additional resources.


Using Lexile Measures to Evaluate Text Complexity

Lexile measures are a powerful tool for evaluating the complexity of text. However, these measures should be considered a stepping stone to a more thorough analysis of text rather than a final evaluation. Modern models of text complexity often include three distinct portions: quantitative measures (aspects of text best measured by computer algorithms such as word length/frequency, sentence length, and cohesion), qualitative measures (aspects of text best measured by attentive human readers such as layers of meaning, organization, and the clarity and conventionality of language), and reader and task considerations (variables such as the reader’s cognitive capabilities, motivation, reading purpose, and the knowledge and experiences unique to each reader).


Lexile image


A Lexile measure is a quantitative measure of text. When evaluating texts, readers should balance these quantitative measures with other more qualitative measures as well. Lexile measures do not take into account the age-appropriateness of text, the quality of content within a text, or the interest level of the reader. Educators should also employ their own professional judgment in matching texts to individual students and tasks. Because different readers bring unique abilities and dispositions to the endeavor, educators must consider these elements when planning instruction. In some instances, these reader and task considerations can outweigh both the qualitative and quantitative measures available.

Because no single tool and no single measure of text complexity is perfect, parents and educators should consider all three parts of the text complexity triangle—quantitative measures, qualitative measures, and reader and task considerations—before selecting texts. Lexile measures are a useful tool and provide an important starting point in that examination.

For questions or more information on Lexile measures, contact the Department at 919-807-3817.


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Accountability Staff