March 13, 2007

Leaders in Literacy, Assessment and Improving Student Achievement to Keynote at 2007 Lexile National Reading Conference in Orlando

Eight prominent keynote speakers top the list of more than 50 experts in literacy, improving student achievement and assessment who will share strategies for bridging the reading gap and helping all students build literacy skills at the 2007 Lexile® National Reading Conference. Scheduled for June 18-20 at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Fla., the conference theme is "Reading Beyond the Classroom." Discounted early bird registration ends March 31, 2007.

The conference is hosted by MetaMetrics® Inc., developer of The Lexile Framework® for Reading and its companion scale, The Quantile Framework® for Mathematics. The Lexile Framework provides a common, developmental scale for matching reader ability and text difficulty. Lexile measures enable educators, parents and students to select targeted materials that can improve reading skills and to monitor reading growth across the curriculum, in the library and at home.

"For the fourth year, an outstanding slate of education innovators is assembling at the Lexile National Reading Conference to share best practices for improving student reading skills in and out of the classroom," said Malbert Smith III, Ph.D., president, MetaMetrics. "We invite all educators who are focused on building students' literacy skills to join us for three days of stimulating discussions about successful strategies for bridging the reading gap for students of all ages."

In addition to more than 40 concurrent sessions, the 2007 Lexile National Reading Conference will feature keynote presentations from the following education leaders:

-- Quality Quinn, author and international literacy consultant Quinn is an award-winning educator who lectures and consults with school districts, state departments of education, foundations, educational publishers and high-tech companies. Currently, she is associated with the Texas Reading Initiative, which has resulted in minority students attaining some of the highest gains in reading improvement in the country. Quinn focuses on districts that are aggressively reconciling their curriculums to state standards and assessments for the purpose of improving struggling reading achievement for all students, particularly the older, struggling reader.

-- Mel Riddile, Ed.D., 2006 MetLife/National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) High School Principal of the Year A school administrator since 1974, Riddile was principal of J.E.B. Stuart High School in Falls Church, Va., for nine years. When he came to the demographically diverse school, it was near the bottom on all of the county's predictors for school success. Under Riddile's direction, the school achieved remarkable results, including being recognized as one of six Breakthrough High Schools by NASSP (2004), an International Center for Leadership in Education Model School (2004 and 2005) and an Education Trust Pilot High School (2004-2005). In July 2006, Riddile became the principal of T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va.

-- Timothy Shanahan, Ph.D., professor of urban education and director of the center for literacy, University of Illinois at Chicago Currently serving as president of the International Reading Association, Shanahan is widely published and in high demand as a speaker on strategies for improving literacy skills. He has served on the White House Assembly on Reading and the National Reading Panel. Recently, the U.S. Senate confirmed his appointment to the advisory board to the National Institute for Literacy. Shanahan's research focuses on the relationship of reading and writing, school improvement, the assessment of reading ability and family literacy.

-- Joseph Torgesen, Ph.D., director, Florida Center for Reading Research Torgesen holds the Russell and Eugenia Morcom chair of psychology and education at Florida State University and is the director of reading for the National Center on Instruction for K-12 in Reading, Math and Science, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. With more than 30 years of experience conducting research with children who have learning problems, Torgesen is the author of over 170 articles, book chapters, books and tests related to reading and learning disabilities. For the last five years, he has assisted states, districts and schools in the implementation of high-quality literacy instruction for both younger and older students.

-- Jim Warford, executive director, Florida Association of School Administrators (FASA) When he served as Florida's first chancellor of K-12 education, Warford focused on raising student achievement. Previously, he was superintendent of Marion County Public Schools, where his initiatives cut the high school dropout rate almost in half. A former high school teacher, Warford was named Vanguard High School Teacher of the Year three times. Today, as FASA's executive director, he serves as a catalyst for open communication between the state's public schools and the capitol.

-- Clayton Wilcox, Ph.D., superintendent, Pinellas County Schools, Fla. Prior to his current position in Pinellas County Schools, Wilcox was the superintendent in East Baton Rouge Parish, La., where he served in several capacities in the school system. Wilcox has served as a school district human resources director, an elementary and middle school classroom teacher and a principal.

-- Malbert Smith III, Ph.D., president, MetaMetrics With A. Jackson Stenner, Smith co-founded MetaMetrics in 1984 and developed the Lexile Framework. Today, they continue to lead the company as Lexile measures become the global standard for matching reader ability with text. Smith has published and presented numerous papers in the field of educational assessment and measurement, and is a frequent presenter at education conferences.

-- A. Jackson Stenner, Ph.D., chairman and chief executive officer, MetaMetrics One of the world's foremost psychometricians, Stenner has published widely on statistical and evaluation methodology and was a co-principal investigator on the development of The Quantile Framework for Mathematics and The Lexile Framework for Writing. Stenner is president of the Institute for Objective Measurement and a board member of the National Institute of Statistical Sciences.

The 2007 Lexile National Reading Conference will focus on what K-12 educators can do to eliminate reading achievement gaps and promote educational equality for all students. Conference attendees will learn how the Lexile Framework makes test scores actionable, enabling them to use Lexile measures to inform instruction and improve the development of literacy skills. The conference is designed for classroom teachers, librarians, reading and literacy specialists, curriculum and instruction specialists, administrators and researchers.

Educators can save $100 by registering before March 31. Early bird registration is $299 per person, and standard registration is $399 per person. To register or for more information, visit

Special conference room rates at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort start at $155 per night. The resort is located on the Disney property, with easy access to all four Walt Disney World Theme Parks, golf courses and entertainment districts. For more information about Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, visit

About MetaMetrics Inc.

MetaMetrics, a privately held educational measurement company, develops scientifically based measures of student achievement that link assessment with instruction, foster better educational practices and improve learning by matching students to materials that meet and challenge their abilities. The company's team of experienced psychometricians developed The Lexile Framework for Reading and its companion scale, The Quantile Framework for Mathematics. The Lexile Framework ( provides a common, developmental scale for matching reader ability and text difficulty. Lexile measures enable educators, parents and students to select targeted materials that can improve reading skills and to monitor reading growth across the curriculum, in the library and at home. Recognized as the most widely adopted reading measure, Lexiles are part of reading and testing programs in the classroom and at the district and state levels. More than 100,000 books, 80 million articles and 60,000 Web sites have Lexile measures, and all major standardized tests can report student reading scores in Lexiles. The Quantile Framework ( measures mathematics achievement and the difficulty of mathematical skills and problems similar to the way Lexiles measure reading ability and text readability. Quantiles® identify the mathematical skills a student has learned, those that require instruction and new skills the student is ready to learn. Educators use Quantile measures to target instruction, monitor student progress and forecast performance on high-stakes tests.

MetaMetrics, Lexile, Lexile Framework, the Lexile symbol, Quantile, Quantile Framework and the Quantile symbol are trademarks or U.S. registered trademarks of MetaMetrics Inc. The names of other companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. © 2007 MetaMetrics Inc. All rights reserved.