Previous by DateNext by Date Date Index
Previous by ThreadNext by Thread Thread Index
LM_NET Archive

AR acknowledges that the reading levels are based only on the vocab and
sentence structure and do not reflect the content of the book.  Most
"adult" novels are written below the 8th grade level.  Many books by
Grisham, Grafton, Cornwell, etc. are in the 6-7 range.  In AR, if you look
at the goal setting chart, a student reading at the 12th grade level is
assigned a ZPD of 5.6-10.7 with an average level goal of 7.5.  That ZPD
covers a huge percentage of my AR collection.  He is free to read whatever
he wants (almost) and should have little trouble meeting his goals.  There
are plenty of great novels, both modern and classic, between the 7.5 and
10.7 levels.  Finding books above the 10th grade level is not necessary.

The real problem, as Vicki pointed out, is the levels assigned to the
non-fiction books.  Using the same method for fiction and non-fiction is
the biggest flaw in the AR system.  We have country books and very easy
biographies the level out at the 8th-9th grade levels.  Most of our
students reading at that level find these books insultingly easy.
Tony Doyle, Librarian
Livingston High School
1617 Main St.
 Livingston, CA 95334 209-358-2948
"You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture.  Just get
people to stop reading them."-- Ray Bradbury

-----Original Message-----

I think our profession needs a committee or a doctorial student to do some
research into Reading Levels.  If thoughtfully written, adult materials are
mostly written at say an 8th grade reading level, than that should be what
is considered a mastery level for high school readers.  We also need to
distinguish between reading levels for non fiction and fiction.  Very easy
non fiction books tend to have higher grade reading levels based on the
computer's count of frequency of words.  The misuse of reading levels by
teachers and librarians seems to be doing huge damage to our students and
library programs.  I would love to know where all this "leveling" is coming
from.  I don't blame AR and RC-books have had reading levels in them for
years.  I blame us and teachers for selling out our professional
of "reading levels" to computers.  Where is the research to support all
leveling? Perhaps it is effective for early readers, but how do we know it
is effective once the reading level advances to say 6th or 7th grade?  I
will get down off my soap box now!

All postings to LM_NET are protected under copyright law.
To quit LM_NET (or set-reset NOMAIL or DIGEST, etc.) send email to:   In the message write EITHER:
4) SET LM_NET MAIL  * Please allow for confirmation from Listserv.
For LM_NET Help see:
 See also EL-Announce for announcements from library media vendors:

LM_NET Mailing List Home