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"Seventh grade reading level" is not the same thing as "seventh grader
reading level," or I'd agree with Barb on this point.
I do think that writing to and having standards for what constitutes a
"seventh grader reading level" would be more relevant than knowing what
level of reading is typically taught or expected at the seventh grade
level. I consider this akin to learning that, while the Little Red Button
is used to save documents in Program JKL, usability testing indicates most
people try to use the Big Green Triangle.
My $ .02,
Ronni Geist wrote:
You pose an interesting question:
"Why isn't the 7th grade level defined as what most
"average" 7th graders read?"
The standardized tests indicate that the overall reading level of our
nation is not where one might expect it to be -- that is, most high
school graduates aren't reading at the 12th grade level or higher.
However, instead of changing the test scale, we have lowered our
standards and expectations. That's why most of us are not writing at the
12th grade level. Rather, we have adjusted downward to accommodate the
masses, and we write at the 6th or 7th or 8th grade level.
Heidi, hope you don't mind if I quote you; you said it really well:
"I think we would be doing ourselves a great disservice by
advocating lowering the readability standards just because
we're not currently living up to them."