The Alhambra Unified School District decided to have every student take the Lexile test provided by publishers of Houghton Mifflin, where a student is tested based on their vocabulary, but taking the Lexile test is unnecessary for students.
Students and teachers do not place much importance on the Lexile score of the test, especially in high school where a teacher assigns students to read books such as “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which has a score of 870, or “Hamlet,” which has a score of 1390. Both books are clearly different Lexiles tailored to different grade levels, but students with scores that are not near the Lexile level still read these books for their grade in English class. It is more about the content and message that a story gives rather than just the vocabulary or grammar, influencing students’ decision on whether or not they actually like the book. As a result, Lexile scores are pointless for students who are already assigned books to read.
The company MetaMetrics, the creator of the Lexile test, has a website where information about the test and scores can be found, but there is no explanation for how books are given a Lexile score. Not knowing how something is graded stops us from knowing if the score is actually accurate. Yes, it may be from a reliable company, but is the information actually correct? Is it necessary for a student with a Lexile of 1700 to read books of the same score?
The Lexile test is branding students to an extent where they could be at a lower or higher level than they really are. Since the score measures from 200 to 1700 and higher, it could mean that a high school sophomore could be on par with a senior. Lexile scores do not go to a student’s grade, but it doesn’t change the fact that your score will still be labeled on them until the next time they take the test at the end of the school year, meaning students will not know their score during the middle of the school year.
Although MetaMetrics acknowledges that there is no direct correspondence with a specific grade level and a specific Lexile level, it is not the main purpose for a student to identify the level they are at. They expect some students to be ahead or behind. However, knowing that students might have a different score they are suppose to, makes it unnecessary for students to take the test.
Lexile scores are unnecessary if they are not implemented into the class by either making it an assignment or having discussions. MetaMetrics should also disclose how they score books.
Overall, the Lexile test is unnecessary. Students take tests to acknowledge books they should be reading, but it is useless when a class does not read the books recommended. Students are the ones to decide on a book that fits them to read, because they are the ones to enjoy a book, and teachers assign books based off grade level, not students’ Lexile level.