Is the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA2) a predictor of success on the 3rd Grade Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) Reaing Test?
Accountability for student achievement is urgent business in the world of education today. Within Texas, strict accountability measures have been in place since 1980. Various accountability assessments have moved schools through new tests and testing procedures meant to raise the assessment standard. At present, students take their first Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) tests in Reading in third grade. Prior to Spring 2009, students had three opportunities to pass the reading portion of the TAKS test. Third grade students who did not pass the reading portion of the assessment were retained in the third grade. The limitation of one administration of the reading TAKS test as of the Spring of 2009 is that it does not allow for feedback toward progress in passing the reading portion of the test. Specifically, the elimination of these prior test opportunities means that educators no longer have access to a Confidential Student Report of student performance. This report provided formative information to use in modifying instruction for students. Districts have turned to the use of other reading tests to determine student progress in years prior to TAKS testing. The (DRA2) is presently used by many districts to determine a student’s reading level. The purpose of this study is to determine whether the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA2), is a predictor of success on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) reading test. The three subtests of the DRA2 provide information on a student’s reading level, comprehension level, and fluency rate. This study researched the effectiveness of this test as a predictor for the performance on the 3rd Grade TAKS Reading test through a multiple regression analysis. A multiple regression analysis was conducted and served to determine that the DRA2 subtests can serve as a performance predictor to the 3rd Grade TAKS Reading test. The three subtests include (1) DRA level, (2) fluency, and (3) comprehension. The multiple regression analysis showed that the (1) DRA level subtest was a significant predictor of outcome for the 3rd Grade TAKS Reading test. Decisions based on reading level can drive instruction with direction toward success on the 3rd Grade TAKS Reading test. Consideration for effective use of instruction time, instructional decisions and fiduciary expenditures are impacted by this factor.