Education Letter to the Editor

Defending DIBELS Author Against Conflicts Charge

May 22, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

The article “House Panel Grills Witnesses on Reading First” (April 25, 2007) describes the contentious investigative hearing by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Education and Labor Committee about possible conflicts of interest in the federal Reading First program. During that April 20 hearing, committee members questioned the role of Roland H. Good III, a senior author of the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills, or DIBELS, reading test. Some members alleged that DIBELS’ increased school adoption was because of Mr. Good’s involvement on the Reading First assessment-selection committee.

A study by one of my doctoral students indicates that DIBELS is an excellent test for predicting reading achievement. Kristi Sandvik compared 1st through 6th graders’ scores on DIBELS and two other early-identification reading tests with their scores on a comprehensive reading-achievement test. Her findings showed that DIBELS scores predicted reading achievement at each grade level, while the other two tests were only predictive on some subtests at some grades.

A study published this month in The Elementary School Journal by Stephen G. Schilling, Joanne F. Carlisle, Sarah E. Scott, and Ji Zeng confirmed this predictive value of DIBELS for reading achievement. The increased use of DIBELS may be a simple artifact of school personnel using the best test available.

Committee members’ allegations about Mr. Good’s possible conflicts of interest and profiteering seem bewildering. Publishers of the other 23 reading tests on the adopted list charge for their test forms, resulting in a significant expense to schools. In contrast, DIBELS forms are free from the DIBELS Web site. In addition, Mr. Good contributes profits from DIBELS (for example, from its automated reports and analyses, an optional service) to his university and the future development of that test.

Gary L. Adams

Professor of Educational Foundations

and Leadership

School of Education

George Fox University

Newberg, Ore.

A version of this article appeared in the May 23, 2007 edition of Education Week as Defending DIBELS Author Against Conflicts Charge


Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 31, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education In Their Own Words The Stories That Stuck With Us, 2023 Edition
Our newsroom selected five stories as among the highlights of our work. Here's why.
4 min read
102523 IMSE Reading BS
Adria Malcolm for Education Week