I have spent many hours researching and comparing resources form various schools I have found online over the last two years to come up with a VERY comprehensive (but National Standard wise - unconfirmed/verified) list of approximations for who all the different reading level measurement systems fit together.
This has been frustrating.
There was never a clear answer as to if a student reading a PM fiction book with excellent comprehension (including inference) and fluency/expression at level 30 meant they were above a Year 4 or 5 or 6 level.
However...having finally got a definitive word on the match up between PM reading levels, National Standard reading levels, Reading Age year levels (etc etc) - and the official word that our running record source is our official one - it turns out that my learning environment (which started out with many below and at risk readers) officially has NO BELOWS anymore for reading!
We have a number of ATs many ABOVES (including a few of the previous BELOWS) and a number of ABOVE ABOVES!
This is something I have been raving in celebration about in our room!
At this school the majority of our learners carry baggage that is not their own regarding their skills and abilities as learners and readers in particular. This is very frustrating as it impacts not only their current self perception but the aspirations they then neglect to envision for themselves.
Many will tell me they don't like reading - and I always respond with comments to clarify their thinking - when they are questioned it turns out it is not actually reading they don't like but the idea of being forced to read something they don't like (which means they had no input, choice or connection). Sometimes this is the situation created at home when they are tired, they have an instructional level book that they haven't connected with and reading has an aurora of chore rather than a positive-cuddle-sharing-fun-success time with caregivers.
Interestingly, this year many an attitude has changed as their awareness of what reading is has changed in their mind.
I often mention gaming as a powerful literacy environment - if your poppet is into Minecraft you can bet they have used their reading skills to sift through a ton of you tube video search results to find out how to make a certain thing or read an instruction text!
Please acknowledge these moments for what they are - the real world use of a valuable skill!