professornana (professornana) wrote,

Are you kidding me?

I hope you are all sitting down? If not, please take a seat. The wonderful company that brought us LEXILES has some new offerings:

The Lexile Career Database:
The Lexile Career Database is a tool to gauge the reading level required for a specific career and is available for integration into your product or service. The Lexile Career Database is the only metric available to compare and describe reading demands of careers.

Did you know that a construction worker needs to have a Lexile of 1130? A firefighter requires a Lexile ability of 1260?

The Lexile Analyzer Editor Assistant:
The Editor Assistant incorporates an enhanced interface allowing you to combine the analyzer within your working document for quick and easy analyzing of your file.

Okay, snark ahead: ITS FEATURES. So, I am supposed to trust this interface when there is a grammatical error in its promo? What this is purported to do is keep your text at the appropriate Lexile level. Yes, authors do sit and ponder syllables and syntax and sentences and semantics in hoe of scoring just that perfect Lexile level, right?

Lexile PowerV:
The Lexile Vocabulary Web Service will allow users to submit an ISBN or ASCII text and get a vocabulary list in return. A Lexile range may also be submitted in order to generate a targeted list.

Here are some of the words students need to know if they read the GN biography of Anne Frank: sleeplessness, matinees, endures, acquaintances. So now when you find a book with just the right Lexile, you can also get a list of vocabulary words from that book as well. Hey, no need for you ever to read the book or to perhaps even see what words kids themselves might ask about. Turns out there's an app for that.

I would have thought this was straight from the Onion. But is is real and one more indication that programs are not the way to create lifelong readers and writers. And this particular program seems to be growing tentacles reminiscent of what happened with Accelerated Reader as it morphed from a simple program that would help teachers simply keep track of what books kids were reading into a quiz program that could help kids become college and career ready (yes, they assert this) to a program that could improve behavior of kids (this, too, was a claim in one of the videos for AR from a few years ago). I worry about these tentacles. I worry that they grow and multiply and take over the role of the teacher working with kids, take over self selection of books, take over authentic literature.

As Paul Hazard said nearly half a century ago, "Give us books. Give us wings." Let's give kids the wings they need to fly off without us and into the world of wonderful books.
Tags: idiocy, lexiles, nonsense
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