August 17, 2012, Wisconsin Rapids, WI – In a supplement to Appendix A of the Common Core State Standards, Renaissance Learning’s ATOS readability formula is listed as a valid, reliable measure of text complexity as required by the Common Core State Standards. The supplement was jointly released by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association on August 15 on the website.

Available at, the supplement was spurred by an independent study, “Measures of Text Difficulty: Testing Their Predictive Value for Grade Level and Performance.” Conducted by the non-profit Student Achievement Partners, the study evaluated existing text complexity measures already in use in K12 schools to determine if the metrics support the goals of CCSS English Language Arts requirements.

ATOS, available for use at no charge, provides a quantitative measure to help educators determine the text complexity level of books and other materials. ATOS is reported on a grade-level scale so that both student achievement and books share the same easy-to-interpret metric, and is incorporated into the company’s flagship Accelerated Reader (AR) program.

“The supplement to Appendix A is an evolution of the Common Core Standards. Just as initially intended, the standards will continue to evolve as the latest research emerges to best direct student outcomes,” said Glenn R. James, Renaissance Learning Chief Executive Officer. “We’re happy this addition reflects evidence that educators can trust—they can utilize ATOS as a measure of text complexity.”

Renaissance Learning has also made a number of recent enhancements to its AR BookFinder book searching tool—one of the largest collections of quantitative and qualitative text complexity information available at Educators can now conduct searches for book titles listed in CCSS Appendix B: Text Exemplars. In addition, the company’s What Kids Are Reading 2012 report’s nonfiction lists were added as search criteria so that parents and educators can guide students to appropriate nonfiction books of interest, helping satisfy the CCSS reading requirements. AR BookFinder includes nearly 7,000 nonfiction titles across all content areas.

Renaissance Learning, an Endorsing Partner of the Common Core State Standards, offers a Text Complexity and Common Core State Standards Resource Center to help educators put the text complexity components of the CCSS into practice. In addition to links to the Student Achievement Partner’s study, a number of free videos, white papers and other tools are available in the resource center at


About Renaissance Learning, Inc.

Renaissance Learning is a leading provider of technology-based school improvement and student assessment programs for K12 schools. Renaissance Learning’s tools provide daily formative assessment and periodic progress-monitoring technology to enhance core curriculum, support differentiated instruction, and personalize practice in reading, writing, and math. Renaissance Learning products help educators make the practice component of their existing curriculum more effective by providing tools to personalize practice and easily manage the daily activities for students of all levels. As a result, teachers using Renaissance Learning products accelerate learning, get more satisfaction from teaching, and help students achieve higher test scores on state and national tests.

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