How Newsela determines a student's reading level

Newsela is adaptive. Over time, Newsela creates customized reading levels for each student. These reading levels are determined based on a combination of factors:

  • Grade level (set for the class by the teacher)
  • Reading level (set for each article by the student)
  • Student performance data

The Teacher's Role

Teachers specify a grade level for each of their classes. When articles are assigned to the class, Newsela automatically delivers a version of the article appropriate for the grade level.

The Student's Role

Students can set the reading level for any individual article. The reading level is a quantitative measure of a text’s complexity.

The appropriate reading level for a student can vary for many reasons. For example, students may be instructed to choose a particular level by their teacher, based on the assignment or their own individual progress. Students with reading challenges may need to adjust the reading level below the default reading level for the class.

Newsela’s Role

As students start reading and taking quizzes, their progress provides feedback to Newsela on how well they understood what they read. Based on this information, Newsela adjusts the reading level for individual students. Newsela tracks each student’s progress and informs the teacher which students are on track, which students are behind and which students are ahead.

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