Dibels tested by paraprofessionals

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by suzy7677, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. suzy7677

    suzy7677 Rookie

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    Feb 10, 2016

    I am sure there are plenty of posts about DIBELS, but I was not able to find any.
    I am venting, but also looking for suggestions.

    We have our merit based pay contingent on DIBELS scores. We do not teach DIBELS, we teach FUNDATIONS to fidelity as directed by our superintendent.
    14 out of 16 students are doing 100% in FUNDATIONS. However, this does not reflect in DIBELS scores. It shows that many have not progressed, or have even declined.
    The students were tested by inexperienced paraprofessionals. I am disappointed and will lose out on extra pay. I also plan on looking over Dibels and making sure that I am not missing something. I have 2 students that are having a hard time, which I expected. But this is complete nonsense (ha, no pun intended)! In addition, I teach in a demographic that has many reserved and timid students. I really do not think extra pay should be based upon Dibels, especially when they are tested by inexperienced, minimally educated and non-motivated strangers! I am thinking of asking the reading specialist to retest them.
    Any suggestions for helping Kindergarteners improve DIBEL scores for BENCHMARK 3?
    I have one more chance to show that they are doing really well!

    Thank you.
     
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  3. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Feb 16, 2016

    DIBELS is a general outcome measure, so there are a bunch of things that go into it. It's entirely possible that you've made good progress in one area, but that progress isn't sufficient to produce gains with reading overall. Best way to figure out what to do is do reading assessments for each of your kids, see what skills are missing, then plan assessments accordingly. A good place to start with this would be to look over what mistakes they're making on DIBELS - e.g., do some kids miss the same letter patterns, are some just slow, etc.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 17, 2016

    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
    Caesar753, MissCeliaB and otterpop like this.
  5. suzy7677

    suzy7677 Rookie

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    Feb 25, 2016

    Thank you for the replies. I had a meeting with the RS that I confirmed with an email, asking for a different tester.
    Well, yesterday the testing has begun and it is the same unexperienced aide. I tried to explain to her how important this is and that she really needs to motivate and push them. I was taking the class to the BR and observed her testing one of the kids. It is a timed test and for much of it she was looking down at the test and writing while the student sat there doing nothing. Do I bother relating this to the RS? This is yet another year with issues...maybe it is time I got out of education. It is beginning to wear on me emotionally, the politics and the nepotism more than the kids.
     
  6. artbrarian

    artbrarian Rookie

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    Feb 26, 2016

    You can sign up on the dibels website and get their progress monitoring stuff! I did this for the 1st grade class I RTI with. That might help you with improving your kids. Also the website readwithmeapp is a good running record fluency resource similar to dibels and it's pretty easy to use.
     
  7. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Feb 26, 2016

    I looked at the dibels website but saw nowhere to sign up?
    ETA: Found it. It's under the Dibels Next category, if anyone is looking.
     
  8. artbrarian

    artbrarian Rookie

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    Feb 26, 2016

    If you click on Dibels Next it will give you the option
     
  9. rlrtorr

    rlrtorr Rookie

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    Mar 24, 2016

    I'm from Indiana and our Dibels tests have to be done by someone with a teaching license from our state and someone that is not the classroom teacher.
     
  10. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I personally don't think anyone but the classroom teacher should administer the DIBELS. Many students freeze up and underperform when reading to someone they don't know or feel comfortable with. I've seen it too many times.

    Is there any way the para could monitor your class while you give the DIBELS?
     
  11. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I'm wondering if it is done in this way due to the fact that it affects their pay -- the motivation to possibly alter scores or help students in the assessment? Just pondering.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 24, 2016

    So hand it off to a non certified para who isn't highly qualified to assess literacy...

    In my state, admin's evals are tied to teacher evals. They need us to do well.

    All the more reason why evals shouldn't be tied to unproven tests (PARCC) or assessments given by unqualified personnel.
     
  13. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Mar 24, 2016

    Please note that I never said it was a good or bad thing. I was just noting an observation about possible reasoning behind the decision, right or wrong. I fully agree with you.
     
  14. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    While they may pass it off because of merit pay, shouldn't they ultimately be concerned with accurate results? A child scoring low will receive interventions based on that score--a waste of time if they aren't actually needed.
     
  15. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Mar 24, 2016

    I don't doubt that rapport affects assessment results, but I've also administered plenty of assessments with kids I've only known for a few minutes and seen them do quite well. There are ways for evaluators to help kids feel comfortable enough to not freeze up. This happens routinely with much more high stakes testing such as psycho-educational testing, and those results are often considered reliable and valid when administered by someone outside the classroom.

    That being said, it's incredibly important for evaluators to note if they think a child didn't perform "to the best of his/her ability" due to a particular situation. It would be more than appropriate to then attempt a more accurate score through follow-up procedures. For example, if a child scored particularly low on NWF with an outside evaluator, the classroom teacher could always follow-up and get a second score, which could be compared with the original.

    And all of that being said, I'm in no way against a classroom teacher collecting his/her own data, even when used for evaluation purposes. If we don't trust teachers to collect honest data, why on earth would we trust them with our kids' education for an entire year?
     
    teacherintexas likes this.

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