The Common Core State Standards for Reading (2010) propose that the difficulty of reading material at all grade-levels in US schools should be raised in order that graduating students should attain "College and Career Readiness" (CCR) reading skills. A simple plot (based on Smith, 2011) shows the Lexile standard required for Workplace reading proficiency (green line), the reading levels of current classroom texts (between the bluer lines) and the proposed levels (between the redder lines). Notice that the biggest advance is in the lower grades. Children must be able to read early and well.
National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers. (2010). Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. Washington, DC: Author.
Smith, Malbert III (2011) Bridging the Readiness Gap: Demystifying Required Reading Levels for Postsecondary Pursuits. MetaMetrics® Policy Brief https://lexile.com/about-lexile/Policy-Briefs/bridging-readiness-gap-demystifying-required-reading-levels-post/
Lexiles Demystify the Reading Standards, M. Smith III ... Rasch Measurement Transactions, 2011, 251:2, 1325
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