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Developmental Reading Assessment, 2nd edition

Subject: English Language Arts
Grade Level(s): K – 8
Measures Growth: Yes
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The Developmental Reading Assessment (2nd edition) is a one-on-one assessment tool used to measure student progress in reading. The assessments are designed to be administered in the fall and spring, but can be used more frequently as needed. The DRA2 is based on listening to and observing a child's reading proficiency and fluency.

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Summary of Reviews

Overall Rating

 3.56 stars (41 reviews)

 

Aligned to My Instruction

 3.5 stars (41 reviews)

 

PROS

  • Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
    36 votes
  • Aligned to the standards I teach
    27 votes
  • Assesses higher-order thinking
    18 votes
  • Takes students a reasonable amount of time to complete
    14 votes

CONS

  • Takes students too long to complete
    22 votes
  • Does not assess higher-order thinking
    12 votes
  • Not aligned to the standards I teach
    7 votes
  • Misses growth of some students, such as those far below and/or far above grade level
    6 votes

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

 3.33 stars (41 reviews)

 

PROS

  • Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year
    32 votes
  • Results returned quickly
    31 votes
  • Data is presented clearly
    25 votes
  • Easy to administer
    23 votes
  • Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve
    21 votes

CONS

  • Difficult to administer
    13 votes
  • Is not helpful to my professional growth as a teacher
    12 votes
  • It is hard to use the data
    9 votes
  • Results are not returned quickly
    7 votes
  • Doesn't help me track my students' learning gains over time
    4 votes

Reviews

PALS is instructional!

Overall Rating

 5 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 5 stars

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses higher-order thinking  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level  •  Takes students a reasonable amount of time to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

 5 stars

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve

Additional Comments

More than any other assessment I have used, PALS "works" for me and my kids at K!


Tons of instructional resources!

Submitted by in Arizona on December 12, 2013

incomplete picture of students!

Overall Rating

 1 star

Aligned to My Instruction

 1 star

Cons: Not aligned to the standards I teach  •  Does not assess higher-order thinking  •  Misses growth of some students, such as those far below and/or far above grade level  •  Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

 1 star

Cons: Difficult to administer  •  Results are not returned quickly  •  Doesn't help me track my students' learning gains over time  •  It is hard to use the data  •  Is not helpful to my professional growth as a teacher

Additional Comments

THIS TEST TAKES FOREVER!

Submitted by in Indiana on December 12, 2013

WEAK assessment

Overall Rating

 1 star

Aligned to My Instruction

 1 star

Cons: Not aligned to the standards I teach  •  Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

 1 star

Cons: Difficult to administer  •  Results are not returned quickly  •  It is hard to use the data  •  Is not helpful to my professional growth as a teacher

Additional Comments

DRA2 is totally whole-langauge.

This assessment does not tell you what you need to know to address student needs in spelling/phonics instruction! YIKES!

Submitted by in Colorado on December 12, 2013

OUTSTANDING

Overall Rating

 5 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 5 stars

Pros: Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve

Additional Comments

Love this test. It really makes my reading instruction a lot more focused. I love differenciating my groups based on skills identified on the focus of instruction

Submitted by in Connecticut on June 14, 2013

I Like It!

Overall Rating

 4 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 4 stars

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses higher-order thinking  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

 5 stars

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve

Additional Comments

I've been using the DRA2 for several years. I really like how the test is set up and feel that it gives me an accurate view each student's reading level/abilities. The only issue that I have had, and it isn't really a huge issue, is that the tests on the higher end of the scale are very time consuming and take some of my students a very long time to complete.

Submitted by in Maryland on June 12, 2013

Easy to Administer

Overall Rating

 4 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level  •  Takes students a reasonable amount of time to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly

Additional Comments

I love the DRA. It's so easy to use.

Submitted by in New York on June 10, 2013

Big Hurdle for Kinders

Overall Rating

 3 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach
Cons: Misses growth of some students, such as those far below and/or far above grade level

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly
Cons: Is not helpful to my professional growth as a teacher

Additional Comments

There is a huge jump in the levels from level 3 to level 4 - it doesn't seem that there is an appropriate increase in the level of difficulty.

Submitted by in Connecticut on June 10, 2013

DRA2 Shows Targeted Growth

Overall Rating

 5 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 5 stars

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses higher-order thinking  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level  •  Takes students a reasonable amount of time to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve

Additional Comments

Administering the DRA2 is easy and user friendly. It gives the classroom teacher immediate feedback on where a student is and what areas need targeted work. I test each student in my class several times throughout the school year to monitor growth. I can't imagine testing without the DRA2.

Submitted by in California on June 10, 2013

Helpful and Useful

Overall Rating

 5 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 5 stars

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses higher-order thinking  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level  •  Takes students a reasonable amount of time to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly  •  Data is presented clearly  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve

Additional Comments

The DRA2 offers teachers a wide variety of useful information. The information I gain from the focus of instruction guide my teaching in reading groups. The test lets me know what skills I need to work on with students. The only con is that they tests take a while to administer especially to a class of 23 students.

Submitted by in Connecticut on June 10, 2013

DRA 2 Reading test

Overall Rating

 4 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 5 stars

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve

Additional Comments

I love using the DRA 2 to measure my students growth throughout the year. Unfortuntely they take a long time to administer to a class of 25 students however they are a wealth of knowledge.

Submitted by in Connecticut on June 10, 2013

DRA 2

Overall Rating

 4 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 5 stars

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses higher-order thinking  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Results returned quickly  •  Data is presented clearly  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve

Additional Comments

This test can be time consuming but the results are worth the effort.

Submitted by in Michigan on June 10, 2013

Not a very accurate assessment of comprehension

Overall Rating

 1 star

Aligned to My Instruction

 2 stars

Pros: Takes students a reasonable amount of time to complete
Cons: Not aligned to the standards I teach  •  Does not assess higher-order thinking  •  Misses growth of some students, such as those far below and/or far above grade level

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

 1 star

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly
Cons: Doesn't help me track my students' learning gains over time  •  It is hard to use the data  •  Is not helpful to my professional growth as a teacher

Additional Comments

The DRA is not a great reading assessment - I would not recommend it to early elementary teachers. The results don't really give you a clear picture of students' reading comprehension - they can simply memorize a formula for each kind of question and pass without really understanding the text.

Submitted by in Massachusetts on June 9, 2013

Developmental Reading Assessment, 2nd Edition

Overall Rating

 3 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

Cons: Not aligned to the standards I teach  •  Does not assess higher-order thinking  •  Misses growth of some students, such as those far below and/or far above grade level  •  Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve

Additional Comments

Each student must be tested individually by the classroom teacher. Oral reading score is not always an indicator of ability to read independently and at high levels. Students who are emerging writers can not show what their competencies in reading.

Submitted by in Washington on April 29, 2013

DRA

Overall Rating

 4 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

Pros: Assesses higher-order thinking  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly

Additional Comments

The DRA is a good tool but it takes too long for students to complete and for the teacher to go over all the details in order to get an accurate measure.

Submitted by in Colorado on April 25, 2013

very subjective

Overall Rating

 2 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 1 star

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Does not assess higher-order thinking  •  Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

 1 star

Pros: Results returned quickly
Cons: Difficult to administer  •  Doesn't help me track my students' learning gains over time  •  It is hard to use the data  •  Is not helpful to my professional growth as a teacher

Additional Comments

This assessment allows teachers far too much input. Of course teachers want to see their students succeed, so they allow slightly more time than is permitted or they accept answers that would otherwise be unacceptable. Because teachers are recieving a grade for the scores on this for the schools AYP, they put too much of their own input into the assessment.

Submitted by in Colorado on April 24, 2013

DRA-@

Overall Rating

 3 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 2 stars

Pros: Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level  •  Takes students a reasonable amount of time to complete
Cons: Not aligned to the standards I teach  •  Does not assess higher-order thinking

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

 3 stars

Pros: Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly
Cons: Difficult to administer  •  Is not helpful to my professional growth as a teacher

Additional Comments

While the DRA is good to measure reading growth, I find the written component difficult for many of my special education students. They will often refuse to complete this part or write one sentence. I get more information when I scribe for them.

Submitted by in Massachusetts on April 22, 2013

DRA

Overall Rating

 5 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level  •  Takes students a reasonable amount of time to complete
Cons: Does not assess higher-order thinking

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve

Additional Comments

We are fortunate to have facilitators that can administer this one on one at the beginning of the year. It gives us an individual reading level where we can start.If I had to do this by myself it would be much less timely and meaningful. Follow ups with quick running records chart progress over the course of the year.

Submitted by in Indiana on April 15, 2013

Developmental Reading Assessment

Overall Rating

 4 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 4 stars

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses higher-order thinking  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve
Cons: It is hard to use the data

Additional Comments

This assessment gives some great information about a student's strengths and areas that need improvement.It does take a substantial amount of time to administer depending on what level a child is reading on. I like the comprehension piece and it is a good tool to measure reading progress. It is important you have a common scoring rubric so all teachers are scoring the same way!

Submitted by in Utah on April 14, 2013

Can Be Useful

Overall Rating

 3 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 3 stars

Pros: Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

 3 stars

Pros: Results returned quickly
Cons: Difficult to administer

Additional Comments

This test can take more than 30 minutes to give one child. It is cumbersome to administer to an entire class, but might be helpful to someone with a small group of students. While the information gained is helpful, it is not more than most teachers would get from observing students during small group instruction. I agree that the subjectivity of the assessment renders the results to be somewhat unreliable. I am not sure that the information gained in the amount of time needed to use this is a good trade for the instructional time that is sacrificed.

Submitted by in Arkansas on April 14, 2013

outstanding

Overall Rating

 5 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 4 stars

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses higher-order thinking  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level  •  Takes students a reasonable amount of time to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

 5 stars

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve

Additional Comments

The DRA2 has helped me over the last 7 years to monitor and assess the reading level of my students. It gives me an accurate reading of what skills they have and what they need to work on. I have always been pleased with this assessment

Submitted by in Pennsylvania on April 14, 2013

DRA

Overall Rating

 4 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses higher-order thinking  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level  •  Takes students a reasonable amount of time to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve

Additional Comments

Good test, but Fountas and Pinnell is better.

Submitted by in Vermont on April 14, 2013

Average Assessment

Overall Rating

 2 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 1 star

Pros: Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Misses growth of some students, such as those far below and/or far above grade level  •  Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Results returned quickly

Additional Comments

The DRA2 allows me to see how well my students are reading in regards to fluency. It also addresses comprehension. It does not show me exactly where my students are struggling. For example is their lack of fluency due the fact that they do not know their short vowel sounds, or are they week with blends, or phonetic patterns. It does not measure if they know the six syllable types and can they apply tose skills to decode and encode.

Submitted by in Ohio on April 13, 2013

DRA 2 review

Overall Rating

 4 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 4 stars

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses higher-order thinking  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

 4 stars

Pros: Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve
Cons: Difficult to administer

Additional Comments

This assessment gives good information about all the aspects of a child's reading. It also allows me to track them throughout the school year. It is also compatible with multiple reading programs. The only downside is that it takes a long time to administer and it is a one on one assessment.

Submitted by in Oregon on April 12, 2013

Assessment Review

Overall Rating

 4 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 4 stars

Pros: Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Not aligned to the standards I teach  •  Does not assess higher-order thinking

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly
Cons: Is not helpful to my professional growth as a teacher

Additional Comments

The developmental reading assessment is a tool for measuring a students reading progress overtime.

Submitted by in Maryland on April 11, 2013

DRA2

Overall Rating

 3 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Does not assess higher-order thinking  •  Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year
Cons: Difficult to administer  •  It is hard to use the data  •  Is not helpful to my professional growth as a teacher

Additional Comments

Nice to individually listen to students read, but very long in administration and subjective.

Submitted by in Montana on April 10, 2013

Helpful but time-consuming

Overall Rating

 4 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses higher-order thinking  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Misses growth of some students, such as those far below and/or far above grade level

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year
Cons: Results are not returned quickly  •  Doesn't help me track my students' learning gains over time

Additional Comments

When I taught in a wealthier district, we were allotted a substitute teacher for an entire day, so we could pull students and administer the DRA one-on-one. This should be the norm for this test, but unfortunately it is not. When the classroom teacher has to administer it, it takes away valuable instructional time, because the rest of your class must be doing silent seat-work while you administer the test.

I have found the data from this assessment very helpful in forming guided reading groups and in focusing instruction. I like that is combines fluency and comprehension.

At the higher levels, this test is not a good measure of student growth. In fourth and fifth grade, students are only expected to move up one level per year. Thus, there is no way to use this assessment to measure or prove whether they are "on target" mid-year.

Submitted by in Michigan on April 10, 2013

Great source of information, but time consuming

Overall Rating

 4 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 4 stars

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses higher-order thinking  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

 5 stars

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve

Additional Comments

Can be rather subjective, as each teacher makes the decision of how well students comprehended the material. It takes a long time to complete, especially at the 3rd grade and higher levels. Students have to write answers, which can take several days during Reading time to complete.

Submitted by in Ohio on April 10, 2013

We love to DRA and Spanish EDL!

Overall Rating

 5 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 5 stars

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses higher-order thinking  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

 5 stars

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve

Additional Comments

The DRA is the foundation of our reading curriculum at our school. It is a great tool for teachers, students and families to track progress and can easily be given 3-4 times a year to all students. The most lovely part of the DRA, though time consuming, gives you an exact level for all students, even those way above or below benchmark. The only recommendation I would have is to set some guidelines with staff as to what a "higher order thinking" response looks like/sounds like for the reflection and interpretation reading comprehension questions in the student interview after reading. It's great that this assessment comes in English and Spanish!

Submitted by in California on April 9, 2013

Enrichment Teacher

Overall Rating

 3 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 3 stars

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Does not assess higher-order thinking  •  Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

 3 stars

Pros: Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly
Cons: Difficult to administer

Additional Comments

Recommendation: More text dependent questions are needed where students are inferring from the text. Too many low level questions are used to determine comprehension.

Submitted by in Hawaii on April 9, 2013

DRA2

Overall Rating

 4 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level  •  Takes students a reasonable amount of time to complete
Cons: Does not assess higher-order thinking

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve

Additional Comments

DRA has been useful in tracking student growth in the five essential areas of reading. Difficulties arise when teachers do not adhere to fidelity of instrument. Not sure if this will continue to be useful in the age of the Common Core.

Submitted by in Massachusetts on April 9, 2013

DRA2

Overall Rating

 3 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses higher-order thinking  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year
Cons: Difficult to administer  •  Results are not returned quickly  •  It is hard to use the data  •  Is not helpful to my professional growth as a teacher

Additional Comments

DRA2 assesses students ability to read aloud, but then asks them to tell you what they've read. Far too often students are too focused on their reading aloud to provide a satisfactory re-telling or summary. Reading aloud and comprehension skills should be assessed separately. For upper elementary students, it can take several sessions for them to complete the entire DRA2 process, making this a very time consuming process. The results gleaned from this assessment don't warrant the time spent. Additionally, schools need to coordinate what texts are used at each grade level since there are few texts to choose from. Finally, scoring is too subjective and will vary from teacher to teacher. Running records and reading group observations will provide the same results, but it is nice to have leveled text and standard forms.

Submitted by in Virginia on February 18, 2013

DRA 2

Overall Rating

 3 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 4 stars

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses higher-order thinking  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve
Cons: Difficult to administer  •  Results are not returned quickly

Additional Comments

This is a great assessment to use for a small group of students if you need to get more information about their reading. I would use this for a select number of students if I still have questions after using a QRI. It helps me know what instruction the students lack and what I need to explicitly teach.

Submitted by in Virginia on May 25, 2012

Meaningful Info, But Difficult to Administer Enough Times

Overall Rating

 3 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

Pros: Assesses higher-order thinking  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

 3 stars

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve
Cons: It is hard to use the data

Additional Comments

This assessment provides the opportunity to go in-depth when discussing a child's reading and thinking skills. However, the time that needs to be spent with each student on each level makes it difficult to assess with the frequency needed to monitor growth frequently throughout the year. Also, there are many variations in younger grades, but fewer in older grades.

Submitted by in Massachusetts on April 5, 2012

A strategic planning tool

Overall Rating

 4 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

Pros: Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level  •  Takes students a reasonable amount of time to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve

Additional Comments

The DRA has been a very helpful tool in helping teachers assess their students, plan instruction, and tailor intervention goals. Teachers and administrators must be strategic in their planning of administering the assessment otherwise it can be time consuming. If the data is not used for planning instructional goals and instructional strategies for teachers like any other teaching tool or assessment, it becomes a waste of time. If used as designed, it is a very effective.

Submitted by in Arkansas on March 14, 2012

Development Reading Assessment 2nd Edition

Overall Rating

 5 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 5 stars

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses higher-order thinking  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level  •  Takes students a reasonable amount of time to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

 5 stars

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve

Additional Comments

Helped me track growth of student's reading.

Submitted by in Arkansas on March 12, 2012

A good assessment, with some issues.

Overall Rating

 4 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 4 stars

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses higher-order thinking  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

 4 stars

Pros: Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly  •  Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve
Cons: Difficult to administer

Additional Comments

The DRA is a great test and I look at it as one of the better reading assessments. The few issues I do have with it are that it takes a long time and could box a teacher into a lower order level of teaching. Certain level "bands" have similar questions that are asked at each level. This could lead a teacher to become focused on the wording and answers of these questions. That being said, if the teacher takes a more holistic approach, this is not an issue. The test also takes a long time to administer (and needs to be administered one on one by a teacher), this is good because it means your are gathering a lot of data, but if you don't have an aide or testing times outside of instructional time for it, it would not be practical. The test also has a wide variety of skills, in the higher levels students are expected to write answers and at the lowest level questions are scaffolded. The DRA is a powerful tool when used correctly.

Submitted by in District of Columbia on February 29, 2012

DRA 3rd grade

Overall Rating

 4 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 2 stars

Pros: Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

 3 stars

Pros: Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year
Cons: Difficult to administer

Additional Comments

This assessment can be useful, however it is too time consuming. Teachers in the 3rd and up do not have teacher assistants as a rule, so having sufficient time to complete these assessments can be a major challenge in some schools. Perhaps the authors should consider writing a shorter or condensed version of this assessment that can be given at benchmark points in the school year.

Submitted by in District of Columbia on February 20, 2012

Useful but imperfect

Overall Rating

 3 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level  •  Takes students a reasonable amount of time to complete
Cons: Does not assess higher-order thinking

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly
Cons: Is not helpful to my professional growth as a teacher

Additional Comments

I used the DRA-1 when I first began teaching, and the DRA-2 is definitely an improvement because it attempts to assess comprehension with more open-ended questions about connections and moral lessons in the stories, however I think it falls short in some key ways. There's an over-emphasis on giving detailed retellings of stories, which isn't the most natural way to demonstrate comprehension and the generic comprehension questions don't always capture what's important to a story. I think more challenging questions about events specific to the text might help improve this assessment because some students are able to pass a DRA level by regurgitating the text even if they don't understand how events are connected in a story. The fluency and accuracy measures of this assessment work well, though. One more con, the assessment doesn't have non-fiction assessments at each level.

Submitted by in Massachusetts on February 19, 2012

Useful but imperfect

Overall Rating

 3 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level  •  Takes students a reasonable amount of time to complete
Cons: Does not assess higher-order thinking

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Results returned quickly  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year  •  Data is presented clearly
Cons: Is not helpful to my professional growth as a teacher

Additional Comments

I used the DRA-1 when I first began teaching, and the DRA-2 is definitely an improvement because it attempts to assess comprehension with more open-ended questions about connections and moral lessons in the stories, however I think it falls short in some key ways. There's an over-emphasis on giving detailed retellings of stories, which isn't the most natural way to demonstrate comprehension and the generic comprehension questions don't always capture what's important to a story. I think more challenging questions about events specific to the text might help improve this assessment because some students are able to pass a DRA level by regurgitating the text even if they don't understand how events are connected in a story. The fluency and accuracy measures of this assessment work well, though. One more con,

Submitted by in Massachusetts on February 19, 2012

Good for Guiding Groups

Overall Rating

 3 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

Pros: Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Not aligned to the standards I teach  •  Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

Pros: Easy to administer  •  Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year
Cons: Results are not returned quickly  •  Is not helpful to my professional growth as a teacher

Additional Comments

The DRA allows me to see how my students progress over the course of a year, but since every teacher tests slightly differently it is much harder to align across grades. I like that the test gives me a level to work with my students at during guided reading. Unfortunately, the test takes forever to administer to a whole class (over 2 weeks).

Submitted by in Massachusetts on January 24, 2012

DRA: Review

Overall Rating

 3 stars

Aligned to My Instruction

 3 stars

Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach  •  Assesses a range of students, including those from far below to far above grade level
Cons: Takes students too long to complete

Usefulness for Improving My Practice

 3 stars

Pros: Helps me track my students' learning gains over the course of the school year
Cons: Difficult to administer  •  Results are not returned quickly  •  It is hard to use the data

Additional Comments

The DRA is excellent for understanding the reading gaps and skills for individual students. As a middle school teacher with a student population of 60+, however, it is difficult to execute and use effectively. It often takes me up to two weeks to administer and score. It is also a challenge to make use of the data because of the wide range I usually have in my classroom. If I taught a smaller population or a reading intervention class, however, this assessment would be ideal.

Submitted by in California on January 19, 2012

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