DIBELS for Accountability Decisions

The authors of DIBELS® at Dynamic Measurement Group are pleased to announce the upcoming release of DIBELS for Accountability Decisions (DIBELS AD™), an add-on component for DIBELS Next® that can be used as one indicator of student growth within a comprehensive teacher evaluation and accountability program.

Recent developments in the area of teacher and principal evaluation have led educators to ask the authors of DIBELS about the use of DIBELS Next for accountability decisions, such as teacher evaluation. DIBELS Next was not developed to be used for high-stakes accountability decisions (Good & Kaminski, 2004). Our position on the use of DIBELS Next for high-stakes decisions can be found in our position papers, including http://dibels.org/papers/Accountability_1207.pdf.

To meet the needs of schools looking for assessments for accountability decisions and evaluation, we have developed DIBELS AD. DIBELS AD results can be treated as DIBELS Next results for the purpose of making instructional decisions, but can also be used for making accountability decisions.

DIBELS AD involves the use of a secure, alternate form of the DIBELS Next measures for the end-of-year benchmark testing. DIBELS AD measures are to be administered by a well-trained assessor who is not the student’s classroom teacher. Administrators at the district level will be provided access to a secure, alternate form of the measures through a password-protected website, thus eliminating the possibility that students may have seen and practiced the measures before the end-of-year benchmark assessment. The secure form is equivalent to DIBELS Next, using the same design specifications and readability analysis. Each year, new secure forms will be made available to DIBELS AD users.

Reports for analyzing DIBELS AD data will be based on the Pathways of Progress™ analysis. Pathways of Progress is a research- based tool for (a) establishing individual student progress monitoring goals, (b) evaluating individual student progress, and (c) evaluating the effectiveness of support at the classroom, school, or district level.

Pathways of Progress provides an evaluation of growth over time, compared to other students with the same level of initial skills. This innovative approach empowers educators to set goals that are meaningful, ambitious, and attainable. It increases the precision with which progress is evaluated at the student and classroom levels. Pathways of Progress, when combined with the DIBELS Next benchmark goals and DIBELS Next Composite Score, provides teachers with a frame of reference for examining where their students are, specifying where they need to get to, and evaluating whether they are making adequate progress.

Pathways of Progress will be available in the Spring of 2013 to all customers who are using our DIBELSnet®  (https://dibels.net) data reporting service for DIBELS Next data, with additional features to follow for the 2013–2014 school year. The Pathways of Progress analysis will also be used for DIBELS AD reporting.

Districts are invited to partner with DMG in Year 1 research of the DIBELS AD measures. We will be providing reports to research partners and evaluating procedures for use within a comprehensive approach to teacher evaluation for accountability decisions that is fair, accurate, and empowering. Research partners will provide feedback on the procedures, reports, and goal setting process.

Contact DMG at info@dibels.org for more information about DIBELS AD
and Pathways of Progress.