Being able to read increasingly more complex texts has always been a driving goal of reading instruction. But often this goal has not been directly addressed in state standards and assessments. Things are different within the Common Core State Standards.
The Common Core has made increased attention to this feature of reading instruction by devoting an entire standard to text complexity—Standard 10. One of the ways in which the Common Core proposes that schools attain this standard is through a staircase of text complexity which, to this point, has been based on quantitative data. This staircase and also the texts which the Common Core writers suggested as exemplifying the complexity and range of texts have been the source of considerable trepidation among educators.
Educators’ concerns are addressed in this issue of TextProject Answers.