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

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Put Your DIBELS Handheld in the Garbage

Even though the phonics fanatics, the parrot learning nutjobs, and the edu-profiteers have controlled reading instruction for the past eight years, their gravy train just left the tracks and is now in mid-flight toward the canyon floor below.

First released last June, the final version of a study by Spellings' own research shop shows incontrovertibly that the $6,000,000,000 spent on the direct instruction chain gangs designed for children of the poor benefited no one other than the hacks and hucksters who peddled the junk materials at the behest of the U. S. Department of Education. Now that we know that nothing was gained by this ideology-gone-wild approach to reading instruction, who will determine the harm that has been perpetrated against the most vulnerable children?

Do teachers and principals need any further permission to throw the Sopris West and SRA/McGraw Hill and DIBELS garbage into the garbage? Can we bring back the children's literature now, and can we encourage once again the growth of thinking and imagination in children? And can we prosecute the perpetrators?

From WaPo:

Students in the $6 billion Reading First program have not made greater progress in understanding what they read than have peers outside the program, according to a congressionally mandated study.

The final version of the study, released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Education, found that students in schools that use Reading First, a program at the core of the No Child Left Behind law, scored no better on comprehension tests than students in similar schools that do not get the funding. . . .


  1. Anonymous7:26 PM

    I'm glad to see that someone has finally recognized the uselessness of some of the reading programs that schools have been mandated to use. As a first year teacher I was so upset to find that the school I got hired in used SRA/McGraw Hill. This program frustrated me throughout the entire year and did not help me teach my children how to truly read. As a supplemental phonics program I can see it working but not as a one size fits all model for reading instruction in the classroom. I am not familiar with DIBELS but some of the teachers in my building seem to like using the assessment component of it. I would like to know how to bring back literature into reading instruction because as a new teacher the only resource I have to fall back on is my Open Court. My school is classified as a Reading First school but yet the funds are gone so where does that leave me and my students?

  2. Anonymous7:32 PM

    I am glad to see that someone has finally established the uselessness of some of the programs that we are mandated to use in our schools.