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For Immediate Release: November 9, 2009
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

South Dakota adopts The Lexile Framework for Reading

South Dakota has joined 19 other states in adopting The Lexile Framework® for Reading.

The Lexile Framework measures a student’s reading ability based on actual assessment, rather than a generalized age or grade level.

A study conducted last spring linked students’ Dakota STEP reading scores with a Lexile® measure. This measure helps parents, teachers and librarians select books and other resources that more adequately match a child’s reading level.

“We know that strong reading skills are absolutely essential as children progress through school,” said Marta Lemke, M. Ed., language arts curriculum specialist with the South Dakota Department of Education. “The Lexile Framework can help struggling or reluctant readers to advance because it is specifically tailored to their needs rather than insisting they should be able to read the same books as their peers. This will only further frustrate and discourage those students and can ultimately discourage them from reading all together.”

Parents can find out their child’s Lexile measure if that student has taken the Dakota STEP by using conversion tables which are available on the Department of Education’s Web site. They will just need their child’s reading score, which can be found on the parent report they receive from their child’s school.

Once parents know their child’s Lexile measure, they can search for books that match both the child’s reading ability and interests. For maximum comprehension, students may want to select a book just below their Lexile measure. To improve reading and comprehension skills, they should select a book that is just above their Lexile measure.

The Lexile Framework was developed by MetaMetrics®, an educational measurement organization which develops scientifically-based measures of student achievement that link assessment with targeted instruction to improve learning. To date, more than 115,000 books, 80 million articles and 60,000 Web sites have been assigned Lexile measures to assist learners with appropriate text selection.

For more information, visit the Department of Education’s Web page on the Lexile Framework at