Text Complexity and Reading Today

Reading TodayThe Common Core’s Staircase of Text Complexity: Getting the Size of the First Step Right

TextProject president and CEO Elfrieda (Freddy) Hiebert explains why the assertion in the Common Core State Standards that K–3 reading texts have been dumbed down along with those for higher grades is contradicted by reasearch, that too much text complexity in lower grades is an obstacle to beginning reading proficiency, and that there is no evidence that the recommended increase in complexity for third-grade texts will improve reading proficiency at higher grades. The article appears in the December 2011/January 2012 issue of IRA's Reading Today (digital magazine version available online to IRA members only) but is reprinted here from Reading Today with the permission of the International Reading Association.