Universal Journal of Educational Research Vol. 7(9), pp. 1882 - 1891
DOI: 10.13189/ujer.2019.070906
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The Lexile Leap: Consequences for Foundational Skills and Accountability Achievement

David D. Paige 1,*, William H. Rupley 2, Theresa Magpuri-Lavell 3
1 Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education, Bellarmine University, USA
2 Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture, College of Education and Human Development, Texas A&M University, USA
3 Sandra Dunagan Deal Center for Early Language and Literacy, Georgia College, USA


Foundational skills are important to reading success. Additionally, U.S. Core Reading Standards recommend text complexity grade-bands extending from second- through twelfth-grade as a measure of reading growth. The idea means that students must increase their reading skills as they progress across grades and that text complexity offers a reasonable metric for gauging such growth. A challenge with the text-complexity bands is both their breadth and their large increase between third- and fourth-grade. We present a text-complexity heuristic mapping growth in foundational skills across the elementary grades that provides a more fine-grained perspective for tracking reading development. We next present empirical evidence supporting the heuristic, which shows that students who reach foundational skill criteria by the end of third-grade are much more likely to achieve end-of-year reading proficiency than peers who are less-than-proficient readers.

Foundational Reading Skills, Reading Achievement, Early Literacy Development

Cite this paper
David D. Paige , William H. Rupley , Theresa Magpuri-Lavell . "The Lexile Leap: Consequences for Foundational Skills and Accountability Achievement." Universal Journal of Educational Research 7.9 (2019) 1882 - 1891. doi: 10.13189/ujer.2019.070906.