Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Kenneth Goodman on DIBELS: important paper (may be shared)

More on DIBELS. From Stephen Krashen's Mailing List 
Krashen at Tue Jan. 3, 2006 comes this great post from
Ken Goodman. It is long. If you do not know much about DIBELS

by all means read the whole thing and learn all about this great and
wonderful scam that has
been foisted on American public education...
There are many things wrong with DIBELS.

It turns reading into a set of abstract decontextualized tasks that
canbe measured in one minute. It makes little children race with a
stop watch.It values speed over thoughtful responses. It takes over
the curriculum leaving no time forscience, social studies, writing,
not to mention art music and play.It ignores and even penalizes
children for theknowledge and reading bility they may have already

Reading is ultimately the ability to make sense of
print and no part of DIBELS tests that in any way. In DIBELS the
whole is clearly the sum ofthe parts and comprehension will somehow
emerge fromthe fragments being tested.
In summary DIBELS, The Perfect Literacy Test, is a mixed bag of
silly little tests. If it weren’t causing so much grief to children
and teachers it would be laughable. It’s hard to believe
that it could have passed the review of professional committees state
laws require for adoption of texts and tests . And in fact it has not
passed such reviews. There is strong evidence of coercion from those
with the powerto approve funding of state NCLB proposals and blatant
conflicts of interest for those who profit from the test and also have
the power to force its use. A congressional investigation is now
underway intothese conflicts of interest.

In training sessions for DIBELS, teachers are not permitted to raise
questions and are made to feel that there is a scientific base to the
test they lack the competence to understand. It is,after all, The
Perfect Literacy Test.

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