"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, October 21, 2005

And the Reading First Corruption Award Goes to . . .

In 2004 there was good reason for Dr. Doug Carnine to take a lead role on the Bush-Cheney '04 National Educators for Bush Steering Committee. The re-election of W. would mean a continuation of the Carnine mission to return reading instruction to the bygone era of phonics fixation and testing--and to solidify that mission by pushing through educational research requirements that can only be efficiently fulfilled by amassing large quantitative databases.

Indeed, a second Bush term would mean the chance for Carnine to build a sprawling empire of consulting and research expertise among his colleagues at the University of Oregon and beyond. (See here and here and here for a bit more background on Carnine). As the Director of the National Center to Improve the Tools of Educators at U of O, Carnine nurtured, among others down the street at the Pacific Institute for Research, the work of Dr. Roland H. Good, III, the developer of a reading assessment that fits hand-in-glove with Carnine’s definition of “scientifically-based” data, data that can be gathered at a lightning pace and stored on handheld computers to be later uploaded.

Yes, every reading teacher in America has probably heard about, and is likely using, the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS). DIBELS is big, very big, at least for the time being. It seems there have been recurring reports and complaints about Reading First "consultants" strong-arming schools and systems to make DIBELS their preferred product line. Imagine that.

A short shelf life for DIBELS? Probably. For even if this charade posing as science is not exposed by the GAO, which has been asked by a bipartisan group of Congres to investigate charges of abuse and corruption, Gerald Coles points out that the DIBELS will, indeed, be short-lived, and “the ‘retelling’ of the DIBELS story a few years from now will seem beyond comprehension.”

Short-lived or not, there is some serious money to be made in the meantime. Ask Roland Good or his partner, Ruth Kaminski, who authored the DIBELS and also founded The Dynamic Measurement Group (DMG). DMG is a private company that spreads dibelization through training institutes to prepare “mentors” who will then receive certification in the DIEBELS way, and who will subsequently train others in DIBELS. The two-day certification costs $900 per head for registration alone, and there more dates and places to choose from in the coming months than you are likely to find on the Stones tour.

Both Good and Kaminski participate in the training programs that are hosted around the country, and Good boasts in his bio on the DMG site that he is former member of the Secretary’s Reading Leadership Academy Assessment Committee that met in late 2001 and early 2002 to develop the Reading First guidelines. Hmm.

Here are the other members on that very important and exclusive group who decided among themselves the fate of 900 million dollars a year in federal grants for the Reading First Initiative. One may note the prominence on the Committee of the University of Oregon colleagues of Doug Carnine:

Team Leader: Dr. Edward J. Kame'enui, University of Oregon
Dr. David Francis, University of Houston
Dr. Lynn Fuchs, Vanderbilt University
Dr. Roland H. Good, III, University of Oregon
Dr. Rollanda O'Connor, University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Deborah C. Simmons, University of Oregon
Dr. Gerald Tindal, University of Oregon
Dr. Joseph Torgesen, Florida State University

But I digress! Good's and Kaminski's real gravy train is not in training sessions, however important they may be in developing new disciples who will preach the DIBELS message. By far the real money is in the DIBELS materials marketed by Sopris West, a company whose catalog focuses on materials that help eduational customers to "better manage behavior" of those "tough to teach student." (Remember the tough ones that Carnine's direct instruction spinoff outfit prepares teachers to deal with)?

I found my way to the Sopris West website from a link on the DIBELS site, which sits on a server at the University of Oregon, where Good is a professor and Kaminski is an adjunct who must hold the record in landing federal grants for a faculty member on a “courtesy appointment.”

Good and Kaminski have a very impressive line of products listed on Sopris West catalog. Compared with the other poobahs from Oregon on the Committe that shaped the Reading First policy, Good and Kaminski are stand-outs. Here is the list of stuff you can buy from them with your Reading First grant money, if you were smart enough to put DIBELS in your grant proposal:

DIBELS® Administration and Scoring Guide
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-57035-896-6
Grade: PreK - 12
Price: $10.95

DIBELS® First Grade Classroom Set
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-57035-905-9
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $69.00

DIBELS® Second Grade Classroom Set
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-57035-906-7
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $69.00

DIBELS® Third Grade Classroom Set
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-57035-907-5
Grade: 3-5
Price: $69.00

DIBELS® Kindergarten Classroom Set
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-57035-904-0
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $69.00

DIBELS® Implementation Video (VHS)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-57035-993-8
Grade: PreK - 12
Price: $83.95

DIBELS® Kindergarten Complete Replacement Set of Consumables
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-033-0
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $39.00

DIBELS® Kindergarten Benchmark Scoring Booklets (set of 25)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-038-1
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® Kindergarten Initial Sound Fluency Progress Monitoring Scoring Booklets (set of 6)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-016-
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® Kindergarten Phoneme Segmentation Fluency Progress Monitoring Scoring Booklets (set of 6)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-017-9
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® Kindergarten & First Grade Word Use Fluency Progress Monitoring Scoring Booklets (set of 6)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-018-7
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® First Grade Nonsense Word Fluency Progress Monitoring Scoring Booklets (set of 6)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-019-5
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® First Grade Oral Reading Fluency Progress Monitoring Scoring Booklets (set of 6)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-020-9
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® Second Grade Oral Reading Fluency Progress Monitoring Scoring Booklets (set of 6)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-021-7
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® Second and Third Grade Word Use Fluency Progress Monitoring Scoring Booklets (set of 6)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-022-5
Grade: PreK - 5
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® Third Grade Oral Reading Fluency Progress Monitoring Scoring Booklets (set of 6)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-023-3
Grade: 3-5
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® First Grade Benchmark Scoring Booklets (set of 25)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-009-8
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® Second Grade Benchmark Scoring Booklets (set of 25)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-010-1
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® Third Grade Benchmark Scoring Booklets (set of 25)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-011-X
Grade: 3-5
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® Implementation Video (CD-ROM)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN:
Grade: PreK - 12
Price: $83.95

DIBELS® First Grade Complete Replacement Set of Consumables
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-034-9
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $39.00

DIBELS® Second Grade Complete Replacement Set of Consumables
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-035-7
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $33.00

DIBELS® Third Grade Complete Replacement Set of Consumables
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-036-5
Grade: 3-5
Price: $33.00

DIBELS® Kindergarten Benchmark Scoring Booklets (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-012-8
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® First Grade Benchmark Scoring Booklets (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-013-6
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® Second Grade Benchmark Scoring Booklets (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-014-4
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® Third Grade Complete Replacement Set of Consumables
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-036-5
Grade: 3-5
Price: $33.00

DIBELS® Kindergarten Benchmark Scoring Booklets (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-012-8
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® First Grade Benchmark Scoring Booklets (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-013-6
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® Second Grade Benchmark Scoring Booklets (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-014-4
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® Third Grade Benchmark Scoring Booklets (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-015-2
Grade: 3-5
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® Kindergarten Benchmark Assessment Student Materials (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-024-1
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® First Grade Benchmark Assessment Student Materials (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-025-X
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® Second Grade Benchmark Assessment Student Materials (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-026-8
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® Third Grade Benchmark Assessment Student Materials (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-027-6
Grade: 3-5
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® Kindergarten Initial Sound Fluency Progress Monitoring Student Materials (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-028-4
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® First Grade Nonsense Word Fluency Progress Monitoring Student Materials (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-029-2
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® First Grade Oral Reading Fluency Progress Monitoring Student Materials (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-030-6
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® Second Grade Oral Reading Fluency Progress Monitoring Student Materials (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-031-4
Grade: PreK, K-2
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® Third Grade Oral Reading Fluency Progress Monitoring Student Materials (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-032-2
Grade: 3-5
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® Fourth Grade Classroom Set
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-304-6
Grade: 3-5
Price: $51.95

DIBELS® Fifth Grade Classroom Set
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-305-4
Grade: 3-5
Price: $51.95

DIBELS® Sixth Grade Classroom Set
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-306-2
Grade: 6 - 12
Price: $51.95

DIBELS® Fourth Grade Benchmark Scoring Booklets (set of 25)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-354-2
Grade: 3-5
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® Fifth Grade Benchmark Scoring Booklets (set of 25)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-355-0
Grade: 3-5
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® Sixth Grade Benchmark Scoring Booklets (set of 25)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-356-9
Grade: 6 - 12
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® Fourth Grade Benchmark Scoring Booklets (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-357-7
Grade: 3-5
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® Fifth Grade Benchmark Scoring Booklets (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-358-5
Grade: 3-5
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® Sixth Grade Benchmark Scoring Booklets (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-359-3
Grade: 6 - 12
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® Fourth Grade Oral Reading/Retell Fluency Progress Monitoring Scoring Booklets (set of 6)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-360-7
Grade: 3-5
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® Fifth Grade Oral Reading/Retell Fluency Progress Monitoring Scoring Booklets (set of 6)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-361-5
Grade: 3-5
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® Sixth Grade Oral Reading/Retell Fluency Progress Monitoring Scoring Booklets (set of 6)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-362-3
Grade: 6 - 12
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® Sixth Grade Oral Reading/Retell Fluency Progress Monitoring Scoring Booklets (set of 6)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-362-3
Grade: 6 - 12
Price: $5.95

DIBELS® Fourth Grade Benchmark Assessment Student Materials (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-363-1
Grade: 3-5
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® Fifth Grade Benchmark Assessment Student Materials (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-364-X
Grade: 3-5
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® Sixth Grade Benchmark Assessment Student Materials (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-365-8
Grade: 6 - 12
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® Fourth Grade Oral Reading/Retell Fluency Progress Monitoring Student Materials (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-366-6
Grade: 3-5
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® Fifth Grade Oral Reading/Retell Fluency Progress Monitoring Student Materials (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-367-4
Grade: 3-5
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® Sixth Grade Oral Reading/Retell Fluency Progress Monitoring Student Materials (set of 5)
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-368-2
Grade: 6 - 12
Price: $22.00

DIBELS® Fourth Grade Complete Replacement Set of Consumables
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-351-8
Grade: 3-5
Price: $27.00

DIBELS® Fifth Grade Complete Replacement Set of Consumables
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-352-6
Grade: 3-5
Price: $27.00

DIBELS® Sixth Grade Complete Replacement Set of Consumables
Author: Roland H. Good III PhD and Ruth Kaminski PhD
ISBN: 1-59318-353-4
Grade: 6 - 12
Price: $27.00

8 comments:

  1. Good Grief, what a racket. Gotta get me a gig like this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. All of this might be persuasive, except that anyone can download DIBELS material free of charge. And that's clearly stated on the DIBELS home page.

    No, I don't know why anyone would pay for material that's free, but then again there are plenty of people who pay for Linux distributions when you can get the kernel for free.

    The GAO report is of considerable concern, but that's different from slamming anyone who's connected either to the U of Oregon or DIBELS.

    --Sherman Dorn

    ReplyDelete
  3. You are right on the money with the DIBELS thing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice work. Keep getting the word out on this giant con job/scam.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Janet Holmes1:45 PM

    And the rich keep getting richer while the poor keep getting conned. School districts who are desperately trying ANYTHING so they will achieve "adequate yearly progress" and not lose government funding are being scammed left and right. And the losers in all of this are the children, especially those in poor public schools.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous9:31 PM

    I am a fourth grade teacher who is not surprised, but disheartened at all the money making schemes for the higher ups in education.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous1:21 AM

    What can we do about it? It is ruining our students, disrupting comprehension, and killing their love of reading!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous1:40 AM

    As a reading specialist I am so disheartened by the abuse of power, especially within the NCLB umbrella. However, what I am most disheartened about is the fact how this test is negatively impacting students. For example, the Nonsense Word Fluency assesses first grade students who are beginning to understand that print has meaning,their phonics/decoding knowledge. However, Nonsense Word Fluency is not a good predictor of phonics/decoding knowledge because young readers are trying to make sense of print, therefore they are trying to make sense out of the letters they see in the "nonsense" word. An example of a student trying to make sense of words; on the test the word read "lut" the student reads "loot" because "lut" is not in their Oral Language Vocabluary. Another way DIBELs impacts students is the strong emphasis on "speed." Another example of this emphasis is when assessing a second grader on the Oral Reading Fluency she read 215 words per minute! However, when asked what she just read, she was unable to tell her teacher details, just that the story had something to do with babysitting, "but I read it fast!" Finally, the Oral Reading Fluency sections on DIBELs does not reflect the true readability levels of the grades they say they represent. Also the stories are so abstract to students who do not have prior knowledge in the subjects the stories are about. I am hopeful that many school district administrators are beginning to see the wide scope of the corruption of DIBELs and Reading First and how this is negatively impacting students nationwide.

    ReplyDelete