Books are Enough

The Power of Free, Self-Selected Reading

“Demonically Inspired by Evil Lord Satan”

The title for my piece today is a quote from leading reading researcher Richard Allington. He used the phrase at an IRA conference in Reno back in 2004. What was he referring to? DIBELS.  If anyone tries to get you to torture kids with DIBELS, yell “Malpractice!” Then run out of the room and find the nearest police officer.

It is amazing that instructional decisions are being made about student based on DIBELS and similar tests. As I mentioned in a recent article, Florida is using a similar test with Pre-K students at the cost of $4.3 MILLION dollars. What is going on here? Florida is making the claim these tests will predict future success. This is not backed by any evidence.

I urge all teachers to avoid the use of “nonsense” words. There is no reason to use them. I have an idea that involves, wait for it, using REAL WORDS. Let’s stop playing games with students and treating them like test subjects. Our goal is to develop book-loving citizens who can comprehend and enjoy.

I would like to suggest the excellent book, ” The Truth About DIBELS: What It Is- What It Does” by Ken Goodman. Don’t be fooled by similar tests that are out there. In Florida there is a “FAIR” test that should be banned by the United Nations and NATO.

I leave you with a quote from P. David Pearson.

“DIBELS is the worst thing to happen to the teaching of reading since the development of flash cards.”

Amen brother.

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