SDE: DRA2 (Second Edition): Overview

Overview

  1. What is the DRA2?
  2. Why was the DRA selected to meet the legislative requirement for PSDs?
  3. What is required by legislation to be provided if a student is "substantially deficient" based on their DRA2 performance?
  4. Why was the term "substantially deficient" selected as wording in the legislation?
  5. When must the DRA2 be administered as required by state legislation?
  6. Why are some of the DRA2 performance levels marked nonfiction selection?
  7. How is oral reading assessed on the DRA2?
  8. How is fluency assessed on the DRA2?
  9. When were the Connecticut DRA2 performance levels approved?

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  1. What is the DRA2?

    The Developmental Reading Assessment, Second Edition (DRA2), is an individual reading assessment designed to assess students' reading performance in kindergarten through Grade 8. The DRA2 provides teachers with information that helps them determine students' independent reading level and identify what the student needs to learn next. As of September 2009, all Priority School Districts (PSDs) are required to use the DRA2 districtwide in Grades 1-3 for the state-required assessment and for purposes of ongoing assessment to inform instruction.

    The required components of the DRA2 include:

    • Leveled texts
    • Teacher Observation Guide
    • DRA2 Continuum (part of Teacher Observation Guide)
    • DRA2 Focus for Instruction (part of Teacher Observation Guide)

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  2. Why was the DRA selected to meet the legislative requirement for PSDs?

    Section 10-265g (b) of the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) states that "for each school year commencing on or after July 1, 1999, each local and regional board of education for a priority school district shall require the schools under its jurisdiction to evaluate the reading level of students enrolled in Grades 1-3, inclusive, in the middle of the school year and at the end of the school year." As of July 1, 2011, students in Grades 1-3 are also assessed in September and all kindergarten students are included in the end of the school year assessment. The statute further states, "A student shall be determined to be substantially deficient in reading based on measures set by the State Board of Education."

    The intention of this legislative requirement is to identify students who are most at risk of failing to read on grade level by the end of each grade (Grade 1 through Grade 3) and to provide immediate and ongoing intervention for identified students until they are reading at a level determined to be proficient.

    On December 1, 1999, the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) as the approved standardized assessment for identifying which students are substantially deficient in reading and in need of additional support for students in Grades 1-3. The DRA was selected because it is an assessment that provides teachers with pertinent information about students' reading performance and informs instruction. In 2009-10 the DRA2 replaced the DRA as the state-required assessment for all PSDs.

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  3. What is required by legislation to be provided if a student is "substantially deficient" based on their DRA2 performance?

    The legislation requires that if a student's reading level is found to be "substantially deficient" based on the midyear or end-of-year evaluation, "the school shall notify the parents or guardians of the student of such result." District and school personnel should develop a letter to inform the student's family about the student's performance. The letter should include the school's plans for intervention and suggestions for home.

    The SDE has developed a sample letter in English and Spanish for this purpose that can be found in appendix C and on the SDE Web site.

    Additionally, PSDs are required to complete an Individual Reading Plan (IRP) that outlines additional instructional support and monitors progress. This instructional support may include, but not necessarily be limited to, ongoing additional explicit instruction in small groups, tutoring and after-school support. Promotion of students with an IRP from Grades K-3 shall be based on documented progress in achieving the goals of the IRP or demonstrated reading proficiency. If a decision is made to promote a student who is substantially deficient in reading, the school principal shall provide written justification for such promotion to the superintendent of schools. An IRP that incorporates competencies required for early reading success and effective reading instruction shall be maintained for a student who is substantially deficient in reading until the student achieves satisfactory grade-level proficiency as determined by a reading evaluation or statewide examination. PSDs shall require students in Grades K-3 who are determined to be substantially deficient in reading based on the spring/end-of-year administration of the DRA2, to attend summer school. The superintendent of schools may exempt an individual student from such requirement, upon the recommendation of the school principal, based on the student's progress with the IRP. If a student does not receive such an exemption and has been offered the opportunity to attend summer school and fails to attend, the school shall not promote the student to the next grade.

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  4. Why was the term "substantially deficient" selected as wording in the legislation?

    The intent of the accountability legislation is to identify students who are reading well below grade-level expectations and who are at risk of not being able to read and comprehend grade-level material independently by the end of each grade (kindergarten through Grade 3). Districts are required to provide intervention plans for students whose reading levels are at or below the "substantially deficient" level until the student meets the proficiency level for his or her particular grade. The text level for reading identified as the "substantially deficient" level at each grade represents reading levels that are at least one full year below the expected level of reading performance for each grade.

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  5. When must the DRA2 be administered as required by state legislation?

    To fulfill the legislative requirement for the accountability legislation, the DRA2 must be administered three times a year to all students in Grades 1-3 in PSDs and at the end of the year to all kindergarten students. The assessments are administered in September, midyear during a four-week period, and during a third four-week period at the end of the year. PSDs, may use the DRA2 as a screen. Districts are encouraged to administer the DRA2 three times a year with the first administration of the test being completed in September. Districts have some flexibility in selecting the dates for the midyear assessment, and must consider vacation, holiday and professional development schedules when determining dates for administration at the end of the year. Midyear, PSDs must select a four-week period in January-February to do the testing. The end of the year administration must take place during the last week in April and the first three weeks in May. The SBE adopted the DRA2 as one measure used with English language learners (ELL) in kindergarten through Grade 2 to determine their readiness to exit a program of English language instruction.

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  6. Why are some of the DRA2 performance levels marked nonfiction selection?

    In the DRA2, nonfiction texts are included at Levels 16, 28 and 38. These nonfiction selections may not be skipped during the assessment process. If a student has read a book during a previous assessment window, they should read the alternate nonfiction title during the next assessment window. Developing readers are learning how to use nonfiction text and features to determine how the text is organized and how to access information presented graphically. These skills are important in the development of a proficient reader.

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  7. How is oral reading assessed on the DRA2?

    The teacher records oral reading behaviors as the student reads the text. Standard coding conventions for running records are used. Further coding information can be found in Clay, An Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement, page 91; Fountas and Pinnell, Guided Reading: Good First Teaching for All Children, page 40; and the DRA2 Training DVD.

    Students reading DRA2, Level 28 and above, write a one-page summary of what they have read, as well as respond to literal comprehension, interpretation and reflection questions, or prompts within the student booklet.

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  8. How is fluency assessed on the DRA2?

    Beginning at Level 14 fluency is assessed. See stopwatch icon in the Teacher Observation Guide.

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  9. When were the Connecticut DRA2 performance levels approved?

    The State Board of Education approved the DRA2 performance levels on January 12, 2012.

 




Content Last Modified on 7/22/2014 1:35:15 PM