contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.

1 Beacon Street
Boston, MA, 02108
United States


ANet is a nonprofit dedicated to the premise that every child in America deserves an excellent education and the opportunities it provides. We pursue our vision of educational equality in America by helping schools boost student learning with great teaching that is grounded in standards, informed by data, and built on the successful practices of educators around the country.

Text complexity

ANet blog

As a mission-driven nonprofit organization, our primary concern is helping ensure equitable opportunity for all students.

Working alongside schools, we’ve learned that great teaching is grounded in standards, data, and insights shared among educators. We believe a blog can help us make a difference by spreading the ideas and effective practices of educators we work with.

We’re proud of the expertise our team has built over our ten years, and we'll be featuring contributions from ANetters across the org on topics in which they’ve immersed themselves.

Help us spread opportunity for all students: please share posts that you find valuable with your colleagues. And please add your thoughts in the comments: we would love this blog to facilitate knowledge-sharing in all directions.

Text complexity

Becky Frutos

What is text complexity?

Simply stated, text complexity is how easy or hard a text is to read, based on quantitative and qualitative text features.

Text complexity is a critical consideration in matching students to appropriately challenging materials. It’s a huge focus of the Common Core Standards because students’ ability to read complex texts is a critical component of college and career readiness.

How do you measure text complexity?

Just considering quantitative readability measures like Lexile level isn’t enough. You also have to study a text’s structure, meaning or purpose, language, and knowledge demands to determine a qualitative rating.

Finally, you have to take into account reader (motivation, background knowledge) and task (purpose, complexity) variables. These three components—quantitative, qualitative, and reader and task—come together to determine the overall complexity of a text and inform how you may want to approach planning and instruction.

Why does text complexity matter?

The emphasis on text complexity represents a radical shift for teachers and students. For the first time, the standards require that the texts we use in instruction are appropriately complex and worthy of students’ time and attention.

And text complexity matters not only because the standards say so: it’s one way to work toward educational equity for all students. Complex texts create opportunities for students to think and reason at the deepest levels and to gain knowledge of the world around them, which will help them achieve success in their college, career, and life.

Want to learn more about supporting students to read complex texts?

 Subscribe in a reader