March 8, 2017
However measured, reading levels can be a generally useful guide to whether a particular text is going to be far too difficult for a particular reader. Unfortunately, though, the ubiquity and precision with which these reading levels are now being tested and reported has led to their increasingly inappropriate use, especially in schools. Such misguided policies and practices are based on three very prevalent myths about reading levels. Some take-aways: (1) reading levels should never be used to limit the texts children may access or try to read; (2) passion, curiosity, and knowledge are at least as important as reading levels in helping children find good things to read; and (3) children should not be required/expected to independently read and learn from texts that are considerably above their reading levels.