Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

J. Estill Alexander

Committee Members

Alanson Van Fleet, Lester Knight, Michael Logan


The present inquiry assessed the predictive value of the DRS and WRMT in the determination of instructional reading levels for basal placement. The rationale for this study was that teachers who receive clinical reports from reading specialists designating the instructional level may place the student in the basal reader corresponding to the report’s stated instructional level. This study sought to determine if children placed in basal materials on the instructional grade level(s) diagnosed by the WRMT and DRS would be capable of reading selections from these materials. Comprehension scores of 75% or greater constituted “fit” or correct basal placement by the tests.

The DRS and WRMT were administered to 30 fourth grade students randomly selected from the Knoxville, Tennessee, City School System. Following the tests, the students were placed in basal readers at the instructional level(s) indicated by the tests. Each child read two basal passages per diagnosed instructional level. The first passage was read orally and followed by comprehension questions asked orally. The second passage was read silently and also followed by oral comprehension questions. Students exhibited greater difficulty comprehending materials read silently than materials read orally.

The examiner found that the percentage rate of successful placement for the DRS was 43% for oral reading, and only 23% for silent reading. The WRMT was found to place successfully in 50% of the cases for oral reading and 20% for silent reading.

The results of this analysis suggest that both the DRS and WRMT were limited in their ability to predict instructional reading levels for basal placement. Furthermore, these tests largely ignore the interpersonal relationship between student and examiner, a relationship which can provide useful information for assessing appropriate reading levels.

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