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News Brief


Beyond the Classroom

Lexile (02/01/2014) Smith III, Malbert; Schiano, Anne; Lattanzio, Elizabeth

The adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards has raised the bar for public education in that it calls upon educators to ensure all students graduate ready to meet the challenges of college and careers. School and public libraries will be an integral part of the process. A recent study of Illinois schools with flexible scheduling demonstrated that increased access to a well-resourced school library with skilled staff generated better results for fifth grade students taking the state achievement exam -- 10 percent better in reading and 11 percent better in writing. These institutions provide students access to resources and technology that may not be available at home, as well as opportunities for after-school and summer learning programs. In addition to libraries, schools and educators can use the Lexile measures as a tool for gauging student understanding of text complexity. 2012 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Kim Shearer says teachers should use texts that stretch students' skills in the classroom, and educators can accomplish this through greater collaboration with libraries to bring in Lexile-measured resources-books, articles, encyclopedia entries-into classrooms to support student achievement in all content areas. Meanwhile, the Council of Chief State School Officers is working to encourage state education departments to engage in programs that increase targeted reading over the summer to prevent the so-called "summer slide" among low-income students and others.
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