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NCLB Outrages

Kindergarten Abuse

Ohanian Comment: The narrative below is from a parent in Hawai'i who reports an outrage that's nothing less than child abuse: DIBELS homework. It is laid at NCLB's door because DIBELS is an understood requirement for schools seeking Reading First money.

I advised Mom to stand firm on her own good sense and to read aloud to her son every day--stories he enjoys.


I have a child in Kindergarten. Today my son's teacher sent home a note asking parents to practice the 60 nonsense words on the DIBELS list with their child and that a new list will be sent home every 2 weeks until May when the children will be tested again.

The note said that children practice the list twice daily in school.

This is what confuses me: when I called the DOE (Department of Education) they told me that DIBELS is a testing system and is not instructional material. The person at DOE also went on to say that DIBELS should not be taught by a list.

I then called my son's school and they told me some teachers use a list to help prepare the students for the testing. The school also told me that if I want to help my child to exceed benchmark I should make reviewing the list a priority.

Help! What should I do? I don't see any point in teaching nonsense words.

— concerned parent
personal communication
2005-12-07


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