Free Online Teacher Tool for Accurately Measuring Text Difficulty Launched at ISTE 2013

6/24/2013 12:00:00 AM

Pearson Reading Maturity Metric 30 Percent More Accurate Than Existing Measures

SAN ANTONIO – June 24, 2013 – Today at the 2013 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference, Pearson unveiled a free new tool that will allow teachers to measure the difficulty of texts with its Reading Maturity Metric (RMM). Developed by scientists at Pearson’s Knowledge Technologies group, the RMM provides 30 percent greater validity and reliability in predicting grade levels assigned to texts by Common Core experts and in predicting levels of student reading comprehension.

“Making the RMM tool available free to teachers around the world is illustrative of Pearson’s commitment to bringing research into practice for the education community,” said Dr. Kimberly O’Malley, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Pearson. “Using the tool, teachers will be able to accurately measures reading passages to personalize learning for their students in new and creative ways.”

With this free online tool, teachers can quickly create a free account, upload passages and instantly get scores, allowing them to match students with the appropriate level and engaging content. In addition, they can keep an archive of scored texts for future use with students The RMM has now been used to score passages in numerous Pearson programs, including SuccessMaker, WriteToLearn and PH Literature.

Traditional and current readability formulas rely on only a few, simple superficial measures, such as the average number of words in sentences and how frequently words are encountered in general or educational reading. Scientists at Pearson used intensive computer analyses to identify more fundamental text features that contribute to text complexity. More importantly, Pearson developed an artificial intelligence technology that estimates how much reading of various kinds and in what order a person must have accomplished to understand a particular text.

Teachers Jenn Miller and Jessica Hildenbrand from Hillsborough County Public Schools in Tampa, Fla., helped Pearson beta test the RMM tool. Miller said, “Sometimes the most difficult part of establishing a good reading culture in a classroom is finding appropriate and engaging text. RMM will allow teachers to pull text from resources that tap into their students' interests while still having a clear picture of its grade level appropriateness and aligning it to the Common Core Standards. We are excited to begin using this tool and building a repertoire of text that we can get into students hands as quickly as possible. “

To learn more about the RMM and sign-up for the free text measurement tool, visit http://www.readingmaturity.com.

About Pearson

Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, providing educational materials and services, business information through the Financial Times Group, and consumer publishing through the Penguin brand. Pearson serves learners of all ages around the globe, employing 41,000 people in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit www.pearson.com.

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