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Dear Keith
This may cause some controversy but I think the only use for the silver bullet you 
are looking for
is to aim at the heads of those politicians and administrators who continue to 
promote such
arbitrary and artificial measurements and pretend they have any meaning at all.  
Such descriptors
and methods of judgement ignore the student as an individual with unique abilities 
and needs and
indicate that there is no understanding of what we know about learning and best 
practice pedagogy.

While this is not the answer you expected, and it is not directed at you 
personally, we have a
responsibility within our role to demonstrate there are better measures of student 
capabilities than
a system built on the number of word in a sentence and the number of syllables 
within those words,
with no regard to the content or context, and every time we describe or limit a 
student in terms of
level or lexile we demean that student.  

I know that my missives are never going to change the American need for 
quantitative data but I'm
willing to do battle on the behalf of the kids who are subjected to it.

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