This from (NOT the Official) DIBELS Clearinghouse. DIBELS is not part of NCLB it is instead part of the Reading First grant brought to you by the same folks that gave us NCLB. (DIBELS is quite controversial, read more about that here.) DIBELS is a series of "assessments" that are prescriptive and are supposed to help teachers teach kids to read. The reality in many cases, and in this case in particular, is quite different...
My daughter first took this horrible test in September of 2005. We had been in school less than a month. When the results came back I was told my bright and talkative girl would have to repeat kindergarten because she did not score at benchmark and likely wouldn't be able to make benchmark by December. This was October!! I cannot even begin to express the HORROR I felt. School had just started and I felt that they hadn't even given my girl a chance. So, thus began the nightmare of kindergarten in public school. My daughter was a playful and confident child. (notice WAS) She began to come home and tell me how she was really smart and promised that she would learn to read. One day in November she told me that she wasn't stupid and would learn - she promised. My heart was breaking!! She had been drilled and drilled. Singled-out and made to feel dumb. I was hurt, sad and MAD as HECK!! We had been working our butts off trying to "catch-up" to the so called "benchmark" (read NORMAL) kids. We worked everyday for 45 minutes to an hour. Finally the December test came - We went from "intensive intervention" to Strategic on some portions to almost (1 point away) benchmark on others. I was estatic - we went for Ice cream!! Yay! The nightmare was over, we had done it... Right? NO! The improvement wasn't enough. We were told that it still wasn't enough and were given a letter saying we still would be held back. Any by the way we'll be taking the test again in April. So here we are awaiting the results from this last test. We probably won't make benchmark again. We don't care anymore though. Around January when the second set of results came back and there was not positive reaction about our improvement or all the hard work we had done, we decided that the public school is not for us. We will finish this year, we won't quit. But, we won't be back either. I feel like my daughter has really been left behind. I had to fight for extra help and for every inch we gain the system says we are still 2 more behind. I want to know how they think they can put every kid in a little box and label it stategic, intensive or bechmark (read NORMAL)? Don't they realize that not all kids are the same and frankly if someone had a stopwatch to me I probably would have problems too!! This test has basically ruined school for my daughter. She said that she no longer wants to go. She didn't even cry the first day of school. She said "Bye Mom. Love you!" She crys every morning now. How sad. I tell everyone I know about this test and how it is being used to label children and dictate their abilities based on some far fetched scale. I don't want anyone to ever have to go through this. I am still repairing the damaged that has been done to my daughter's confidence.
Did you catch that, "...we decided that the public school is not for us." I keep telling you that this is a big part of NCLB and Reading First. This is exacvtly what they want. They are destroying public education, the number one place local taxes go to, and replacing it with private schools so "business" can make more profits. I know when I say this it makes me sound like an extremist, but open your eyes America, this is happening right now! Speak up! Stop the destruction of public education in the USA.