Previous Next
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Wondering About Common Core and Complex Text?

PDF Print E-mail
"A lot of reading skills students can apply with a simple text, but can't do so much with a challenging text."
- Dr. Timothy Shanahan

Blocked from YouTube? No problem. 
Watch this video on...
SchoolTubeWatch Now >>
TeacherTube: Watch Now >>

Does the information in this chart* cause you concern?


*CCSS Appendix A: CCSS Lexile Bands

How will you help ALL of your students access the required complex text?

You may be thinking, why should I give my struggling readers such difficult text when I know they can’t read it?

In a blog post from this summer, Dr. Timothy Shanahan writes,

So why is the common core making such a big deal out of having kids read hard text? One of the most persuasive pieces of evidence they considered was a report, Reading: Between the Lines, published by American College Testing (ACT; 2006).

In Reading: Between the Lines, ACT demonstrates that student performance cannot be differentiated in any meaningful way by question type. Students do not perform differently if they are answering literal recall items or inferential items (or other question types like main idea or vocabulary, either). Test performance, according to ACT, is driven by text rather than questions. Thus, if students are asked to read a hard passage, they may only answer a few questions correctly, no matter what types of questions they may be. On the other hand, with an easy enough text, students may answer almost any questions right, again with no differences by question type.


You can view the summary or download the ACT report right here.

Watch Dr. Shanahan

Dr. Shanahan, a member of the CCSS development team, has some particularly interesting insights into the thinking behind the standards. In the video above, watch him speak about the shift from a skills-focused approach in state standards to the emphasis on complex text in the Common Core State Standards.


Share your thoughts on Twitter:
Include #complextext in your post

Share this post with your collegues:





Current Poll
busyLoading Poll...


Tim Shanahan's blog