Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

NCLB Outrages

A Kindergarten Teacher's Story

Ohanian Comment: Nobody ever accused Wireless Generation of being modest in their claims. BURST Reading promises to let teacher "teach exactly what students need, precisely when they need it."

And if you believe all that, go look at that bridge for sale in Brooklyn.

Following scripted reading, of course, "Teachers conduct guided benchmark assessments with mCLASS® software". Wireless Generation gets your money coming and going.

Here'a a testimonial:

Using mCLASS:DIBELS software has changed how our teachers think and talk about reading.
--John Canuel, Director of Instructional Services Jefferson County, CO

Now Mr. Canuel is Vice President, Global K-12 Education Strategy at Blackboard.

WARNING: Don't try to open any of the pdf files on the BURST reading site purporting to show research. I tried three times and they froze my computer every time.

Cadey Sontag makes an important point: "Many teachers will go along with almost anything to preserve their employment." But surely thousands of pinkslips are showing that this strategy doesn't work.

I've posted a "What I did on my summer vacation" photo. I walked around the main plaza in Burlington with a big poster showing a kindergarten DIBELS test.

by Cadey Sontag

As a kindergarten teacher required to use things like DIBELS, I suspected from the beginning that following the money would lead to profit-motivated education de-formers.

The sad thing is, so many teachers have become fearful and passive. They will go along with almost anything to preserve their employment. Many new teachers don't even know any better. They accept the dictates without question. They admire the emperor's "new clothes" because they don't want to be considered ineffective.

What is being allowed to happen to our schools is truly outrageous. Klein, Murdoch, Rhee, Duncan, and all the rest, belong in jail. Let them work their reforms on prisoners who were labeled RED (failing) in early childhood! Let them see what happens to people when they are not appreciated and allowed to develop as full human beings!

Before DIBELS became mandatory in our district, our school service assistants got to know the students they worked with. They talked and listened and had conversations. Nothing was scripted. Students learned about the culture and history of Peru, and our SSA from Peru taught a beautiful dance that the kids performed at our spring concert. The parents made their colorful costumes.

Another SSA researched and taught about the Native Americans. She sat with each student and worked to design individual, traditional costumes. Another SSA shared her knowledge of children's songs from the Dominican Republic.

Before the mindlessness of DIBELS and the scripted BURST lessons, we used colorful, appealing audio-visual materials from Hampton-Brown publishers, in addition to our classroom library. We followed a curriculum and fused it with our own unique interests and creativity. The DIBELS materials are ugly and colorless, aesthetically offensive to the sensibilities of children, showing crudely drawn pictures of insects, mice, soldiers, children upset, children in corners. The materials are repulsive.

Our bankrupt district bought everyone wireless laptops. These are what we use to administer the DIBELS. Where is the love for our children? The Council of Europe has called for a ban on wireless technology because the World Health Organization has classified electromagnetic radiation as much of a threat to the developing brains of children as smoking and asbestos exposure are risk factors for developing cancer. Parents in Canada are protesting against wireless networks in schools, citing increasing complaints of headache, heart-racing and fatigue among students.

Here we are, broke, deep in debt, buying millions of dollars of computer equipment from China, and putting ourselves on the path to extinction via Wireless Generation, all the while padding the pockets of the politicians and profiteers who are salivating over our demise. We are accepting the replacement of person to person interactions by computer programs, and in the process, disconnecting from our kids, our history, our natural REAL world, our senses, ourselves. It is madness! If we go along with it, shame on us!

— Cadey Sontag


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.