Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

January 24, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
3 Comments

David Brooks Gets It Wrong Again

'David Brooks at the Miller Center Forum' photo (c) 2011, Miller Center - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

David Brooks, whose connection to reality magically leaves him just about every time he writes any column with the word “school” in it, did it again today in his latest one.

He begins his column sounding great — about how we’re putting too much weight on school reform to solve the ills facing out young people.

However, he then immediately falls into the trap of saying Social Emotional Learning and training low-income parents to be “average parents” will take care of things.

So forget about wealth inequality and poverty.

He exemplifies the growing danger of some people saying that SEL is the solution, despite the fact that studies show that poverty causes a lack of self-control and perseverance and it’s not the other way around.

He might also want to look at some of the recent research showing that single parents aren’t necessarily the problem he thinks they are….

July 11, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Quote Of The Day: David Brooks Hits A Home Run On Immigration Reform

I’ve had many issues with what New York Times columnist David Brooks writes about education issues, but he certainly hit a home run today with his column on immigration reform. It’s headlined “Pass The Bill!”

Here’s how he ends it:

Whether-this-bill-passes

I’m adding it to The Best Resources About The New Push For Immigration Reform.

May 27, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Cognitive Dissonance Of David Brooks

New York Times columnist David Brooks, as I’ve written here before on numerous occasions, can be extraordinarily insightful.

However, each and every time he’s written about education issues, it’s amazing how coherence and thoughtfulness just seem to disappear from his consciousness.

His column today, Heroes of Uncertainty, is about psychiatry, not education. In it, he questions whether psychiatrists and their profession should really be viewed primarily as a science:

Psychiatrists are not heroes of science. They are heroes of uncertainty, using improvisation, knowledge and artistry to improve people’s lives.

The field of psychiatry is better in practice than it is in theory. The best psychiatrists are not austerely technical, like the official handbook’s approach; they combine technical expertise with personal knowledge. They are daring adapters, perpetually adjusting in ways more imaginative than scientific rigor.

The best psychiatrists are not coming up with abstract rules that homogenize treatments. They are combining an awareness of common patterns with an acute attention to the specific circumstances of a unique human being.

Brooks’ points all make sense to me. What astounds me, though, is his cognitive dissonance — he relentlessly promotes that schools and teaching should be evaluated through the “science” of standardized testing, and doesn’t seem to recognize that the same thing he is saying about psychiatry can be said about teaching.

I’ve still got to wonder: Why Do So Many Ordinarily Thoughtful Columnists “Lose It” When They Write About Schools?

February 18, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

David Brooks Proves Once Again He Is Very Insightful About Education When He Isn’t Writing About It

David Brooks, who generally loses all coherence when he writes explicitly about education issues, has just written an eloquent case for the importance of being data-informed, and not data-driven.

Read his column today titled What Data Can’t Do. I’m adding it to The Best Resources Showing Why We Need To Be “Data-Informed” & Not “Data-Driven.”

Here’s an excerpt:

November 27, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

David Brooks Gives Great Education Advice When He Isn’t Writing About Education

Whenever New York Times columnist David Brooks writes explicitly about education issues, his sense of judgment and coherence appear to completely disappear.

However, sometimes when he writes about non-education issues, he has wise insights that can certainly be applied to the classroom and to education policy discussions. Today is one of those examples.

His column, How People Change, is an excellent critique of the now-famous father who sent an email to his children telling them he was disappointed in them and they shouldn’t contact him until they have a plan to change their behavior.

It’s worth reading his entire column, but here’s how he ends it:

It’s foolhardy to try to persuade people to see the profound errors of their ways in the hope that mental change will lead to behavioral change. Instead, try to change superficial behavior first and hope that, if they act differently, they’ll eventually think differently. Lure people toward success with the promise of admiration instead of trying to punish failure with criticism. Positive rewards are more powerful.

I happen to cover a field — politics — in which people are perpetually bellowing at each other to be better. They’re always issuing the political version of the Crews Missile.

It’s a lousy leadership model. Don’t try to bludgeon bad behavior. Change the underlying context. Change the behavior triggers. Displace bad behavior with different good behavior. Be oblique. Redirect.

November 29, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Sage Life Advice — Via David Brooks?

All sense of proportion and insight leaves New York Times columnist David Brooks whenever he writes about education (and, more recently, Occupy Wall Street).

However, he periodically hits a home run when he tackles other topics. He did so today in his new column, The Life Reports II.

He shares extraordinary life advice he’s gleaned from readers. It’s well worth visiting and sharing….

July 1, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Posts Responding To David Brooks Criticism Of Diane Ravitch (& Many Of The Rest Of Us)

I’ve said it before, and I suspect I’ll have to say it again, but something seems to happen to the ordinarily thoughtful and even-handed New York Times columnist David Brooks when he writes about education issues. Robert Pondiscio wrote about this awhile back in his post, When Bad Ideas Happen to Good Columnists.

Brooks’ column today (Smells Like School Spirit) was certainly a bad idea, and many thoughtful people in the education world have responded. Here are the best responses so far:

You certainly don’t have to go far by just looking at many of the comments on Brooks’ article on the New York Times website.

Smells Like. . .Another Strawman Argument is from P.T. Thomas.

David Brooks: C’mon Feel That Invigorating Moral Culture, baby! comes from Cedar’s Digest.

The incentives are critical, but they’re not responsible for critical choices is by Sherman Dorn.

Diane Ravitch has written a response to David Brooks’ column.

As always, feedback is welcome.

If you’ve found this post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

You might also want to check out over 700 similar “The Best…” lists.

January 10, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Odd, But Interesting, Article By David Brooks

I generally appreciate columns by David Brooks, the New York Times columnist. Though, when he writes about education issues, he can be way off base.

He’s just published a rather odd, but interesting, piece in The New Yorker Magazine titled Social Animal: How the new sciences of human nature can help make sense of a life.

It’s pretty meandering, but there are some intriguing parts. Here are a couple of excerpts:

One of Harold’s key skills in school was his ability to bond with teachers. We’ve spent a generation trying to reorganize schools to make them better, but the truth is that people learn from the people they love. In eleventh grade, Harold developed a crush on his history teacher, Ms. Taylor. What mattered most was not the substance of the course so much as the way she thought, the style of learning she fostered. For instance, Ms. Taylor constantly told the class how little she knew. Human beings are overconfidence machines…

Ms. Taylor was always reminding the class of how limited her grasp of any situation was. “Sorry, I get distracted easily,” she’d say, or, “Sorry, sometimes I jump to conclusions too quickly.” In this way, she communicated the distinction between mental strength (the processing power of the brain) and mental character (the mental virtues that lead to practical wisdom). She stressed the importance of collecting conflicting information before making up one’s mind, of calibrating one’s certainty level to the strength of the evidence, of enduring uncertainty for long stretches as an answer became clear, of correcting for one’s biases. As Keith E. Stanovich, a psychologist at the University of Toronto, writes in his book “What Intelligence Tests Miss” (2009), these “thinking dispositions” correlate weakly or not at all with I.Q. But, because Ms. Taylor put such emphasis on these virtues and because Harold admired her so much, he absorbed and copied her way of being.

Here a second excerpt:

Harold was gripped by the thought that, during his lifetime, the competition to succeed—to get into the right schools and land the right jobs—had grown stiffer. Society had responded by becoming more and more focussed. Yet somehow the things that didn’t lead to happiness and flourishing had been emphasized at the expense of the things that did. The gifts he was most grateful for had been passed along to him by teachers and parents inadvertently, whereas his official education was mostly forgotten or useless.

I’d be interested in hearing other reader’s reactions — do you think it’s as odd an article as it seems to me?

May 12, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

What Is Going On With David Brooks?

Even though I haven’t always agreed with David Brooks, the New York Times columnist and commentator on the PBS News Hour, I’ve always been impressed with his intellect and reasonableness.

However, it appears that he loses these attributes when he talks about education.

I’ve posted about a relatively incoherent colum he wrote last month (see Relationship-Building, Merit Pay, & Testing).

This week he wrote another bizarre one – this time on the Harlem Children’s Zone, the well known charter school run by Geoffrey Canada.

Instead of going into my issues with what he wrote, I’d encourage you to read two other posts that express similar concerns much more eloquently than I could do:

What ‘The Harlem Miracle’ Really Teaches by Diana Ravitch

David Brooks In Opposite Land by Claus von Zastrow.

There are also some very insightful comments that were left by readers right below his column on the Times’ webpage.

I think Brooks would be better off staying off the education “beat.”

February 16, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Let Them Eat Character

We-need-to-remember-that

I am a big supporter of educators helping students develop many of the qualities highlighted in the concept of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) — perseverance (or “grit”); self-control; personal responsibility, etc.   I apply it regularly in my classroom, write in my blog about practical ideas on implementing SEL lessons in schools, and have even authored two books on the topic (and will have a third one published next year).

At the same time, I am concerned that many proponents of Social Emotional Learning might not be aware of the increasing danger to SEL of being “co-opted” by well-heeled and well-known groups and individuals, ranging from “school reformers” to columnists like The New York Times’ David Brooks,  and converted into a “Let Them Eat Character” political strategy.   I fear those “Blame The Victim” efforts may  be used to distract from the importance of supplying needed financial resources to schools, providing  increased support to families by dealing with growing income and wealth inequality, and developing a comprehensive anti-poverty strategy.

Already, “school reformers” in Los Angeles are using SEL terms (they even call their report, True Grit) to justify pushing performance pay for teachers and rewards for students, as well as advocating for an increased emphasis on being data-driven (instead of being data-informed) through the use of  ”dynamic data.”   KIPP schools have begun the destructive strategy of grading character traits.  And, in a column last month, David Brooks proclaimed that Social Emotional Learning and training “average” parents to become better ones  will take care of everything.

Recent research reveals the toll that poverty takes on one’s ability to execute SEL skills.  People aren’t poor because they don’t have self-control or grit — poverty itself helps create a lack of those qualities.  The cognitive “bandwidth” required to deal with financial problems,  stress  and constant “trade-offs” (a healthy food for the family tonight or new school clothes) makes it more difficult to maintain the mental reserve needed for those SEL skills.

None of these concerns, however, mean that we shouldn’t help our students develop these SEL skills in ways that are healthy for them, for their families, for us and for our schools.   For example, in addition to the many related lessons I teach now,  my colleagues and I are developing  lessons that would help students become aware of some of that research explaining why they might be experiencing some of their self-control and perseverance challenges.  All too often, students tell me that they want to make changes in how they behave, and don’t know why they do some of the unhelpful things they do.  Of course, some of that confusion can probably be attributed to common adolescent challenges.    But just-announced research findings for college students show that discussing these types of social and economic class issues resulted in dramatically increased academic achievement.   Even though that study did focus on college students, there’s no reason to believe an effort with younger students would not meet similar success.

What these concerns do mean, though, is that we should be vigilant about who is doing what and why they are doing it in the name of Social Emotional Learning.   In my teacher advice column at Education Week Teacher, I recently published a chart using Google’s Ngram Viewer.  It searched all indexed books to identify how often the phrase “teaching character” was used since 1840.  The two peak years that phrase was used most often were at the depths of the Great Depression and our more recent Great Recession.   It could go without saying that “teaching character” is a less monetarily expensive strategy to responding (or, to pretend to be responding) to economic crises than other potential solutions.

All this also reminds us, yet again, that, though we teachers can have an important impact on our students’ lives, as all the research shows, we can only impact between ten and thirty percent of the factors that influence their academic achievement.  In addition to everything we do in the classroom on SEL and non-SEL skills, parent engagement is another important strategy to pursue to potentially affect some of those other influencing factors (for those interested, the St. Paul Federation of Teachers  offers one exceptional model on how to do it).

We need to remember that Social Emotional Learning has an important place in teaching and in learning.

It’s also critical to remember that it has to be kept in its appropriate place.

October 22, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Stop The Presses! Thomas Friedman Actually Writes Something Semi-Coherent About Education

'thomas friedman' photo (c) 2005, Charles Haynes - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman is infamous for his uninformed pieces on education though, fortunately, he doesn’t seem to write about the topic as his colleague, David Brooks, who is equally off-base.

In today’s column, The Shanghai Secret, he talks about a visit he made to Shanghai schools with Wendy Kopp of Teach For America. Though I’m not sure I’d make Shanghai my first stop to see educational success (see The Best Sites For Getting Some Perspective On International Test Comparison Demagoguery), he does seem to get something close-to-right:

Shanghai’s secret is simply its ability to execute more of these fundamentals in more of its schools more of the time. Take teacher development. Shen Jun, Qiangwei’s principal, who has overseen its transformation in a decade from a low-performing to a high-performing school — even though 40 percent of her students are children of poorly educated migrant workers — says her teachers spend about 70 percent of each week teaching and 30 percent developing teaching skills and lesson planning. That is far higher than in a typical American school.

Teng Jiao, 26, an English teacher here, said school begins at 8:35 a.m. and runs to 4:30 p.m., during which he typically teaches three 35-minute lessons. I sat in on one third-grade English class. The English lesson was meticulously planned, with no time wasted. The rest of his day, he said, is spent on lesson planning, training online or with his team, having other teachers watch his class and tell him how to improve and observing the classrooms of master teachers.

“You see so many teaching techniques that you can apply to your own classroom,” he remarks. Education experts will tell you that of all the things that go into improving a school, nothing — not class size, not technology, not length of the school day — pays off more than giving teachers the time for peer review and constructive feedback, exposure to the best teaching and time to deepen their knowledge of what they’re teaching.

I’m not sure I’d include class size in that list, but I think he’s certainly hit on that kind of professional development as key.

I’ve got to really wonder, though, how many teachers in Shanghai only teach three three-five minute lessons each day?

May 4, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Special Edition: “Round-Up” Of Recent Good Posts On Education Policy

Usually, I just do a weekly “round-up” of education posts, but there have been quite a few lately. So this is a “special edition”:

Will value-added measurement survive the courts? is from The Hechinger Ed blog. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Value-Added” Approach Towards Teacher Evaluation.

Data are no good without theory is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Resources Showing Why We Need To Be “Data-Informed” & Not “Data-Driven.”

The Perils of Economic Thinking about Human Behavior is from School Finance 101. I’m adding it to the same list.

What You’ll Do Next is by David Brooks and I’m adding it the same list, too.

Proceed With Caution When Closing Schools is from Education Week. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On The Impact Of School Closures.

Framing the School Technology Dream is by Larry Cuban. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning About The History Of Technology.

Hidden power of teacher awards is by Jay Mathews at The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

My discussion with Matt Barnum Part 1 is by Gary Rubinstein. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On How To Prepare For Standardized Tests (And Why They’re Bad).

‘Test-and-punish’ sabotages quality of children’s education is by Linda Darling-Hammond. I’m adding it to the same list.

TFA Faces a California Showdown Over Qualifications to Teach English Learners is by Anthony Cody. I’m adding it to
The Best Posts & Articles Raising Concerns About Teach For America.

Why it’s caveat emptor when it comes to some educational research is by Tom Bennett. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research.

22 Thoughts on Automated Grading of Student Writing is from Inside Higher Ed. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Computer-Graded Essays.

Standards-based tests and public schooling is from The Economist. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Next Generation” Of State Testing.

FactCheck: should we make the school day longer? is from Channel 4 News. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On The Idea Of Extending The School Day & Year.

January 31, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Two Important Articles On Immigration Reform

Two important articles on the immigration reform debate were published today, and I’m adding both to The Best Resources About The New Push For Immigration Reform:

The first is from a New York Times columnist, David Brooks, who I often criticize when he writes about education but also often praise when he writes on other topics he knows something about. He writes about immigration in his piece headlined “The Easy Problem”. He takes on a lot of the typical arguments against immigration reform and then ends this way:

The first big point from all this is that given the likely gridlock on tax reform and fiscal reform, immigration reform is our best chance to increase America’s economic dynamism. We should normalize the illegals who are here, create a legal system for low-skill workers and bend the current reform proposals so they look more like the Canadian system, which tailors the immigrant intake to regional labor markets and favors high-skill workers.

The second big conclusion is that if we can’t pass a law this year, given the overwhelming strength of the evidence, then we really are a pathetic basket case of a nation.

Another important article from The Washington Post deals with what may be one of the most critical, if not THE most critical, question in the debate — what and when is the process for the undocumented who are here to become citizens? The article reviews typical waiting times (you can get the sense of them by the title — How long is the immigration ‘line’? As long as 24 years ) and ends this way:

Immigration advocates worry that the promise of citizenship could end up being “in name only” for some undocumented immigrants. ”Instead of dying in the desert, they might just die waiting to become permanent residents,” concludes Paparelli.

January 29, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Resources About The New Push For Immigration Reform

'DREAM act' photo (c) 2011, Quinn Dombrowski - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

My oh my, the tone about immigration reform and the idea of providing a path to citizenship to the undocumented sure seems to have changed recently!

I thought it would be useful for readers, my students and me to start bringing together useful resources.

By the way, be sure to check out my post on citizenship at The New York Times next week — I think people will find it useful.

You might also be interested in these previous “The Best….” lists:

The Best Resources On The Obama Administration’s Plan To Partially Implement The DREAM Act

The Best Websites For Learning About Civic Participation & Citizenship

The Best Sites For Learning About Immigration In The United States

The Best Sites To Learn About Arizona’s New Immigration Law

The Best Resources To Learn About Alabama’s Awful Immigration Law (& Its Impact On Schools)

Here are my choices for The Best Resources About The New Push For Immigration Reform:

The best resource out there for now is the Associated Press interactive comparing President Obama’s proposals with those from the bipartisan group of eight Senators.

Here’s the closed-captioned video of President Obama’s address :

And here’s the transcript of his speech.

Here’s a NY Times article about his speech.

Here’s a New York Times article about the Senators’ plan, and a Wall Street Journal interactive about it.

And here’s a great NY Times editorial.. Here’s another one.

Obama Spotlights Undocumented Student in Immigration Speech is from Education Week.

Five things economists know about immigration is an interesting piece in the Washington Post.

The first is from a New York Times columnist, David Brooks, who I often criticize when he writes about education but also often praise when he writes on other topics he knows something about. He writes about immigration in his piece headlined “The Easy Problem”. He takes on a lot of the typical arguments against immigration reform and then ends way:

The first big point from all is that given the likely gridlock on tax reform and fiscal reform, immigration reform is our best chance to increase America’s economic dynamism. We should normalize the illegals who are here, create a legal system for low-skill workers and bend the current reform proposals so they look more like the Canadian system, which tailors the immigrant intake to regional labor markets and favors high-skill workers.

The second big conclusion is that if we can’t pass a law year, given the overwhelming strength of the evidence, then we really are a pathetic basket case of a nation.

Another important article from The Washington Post deals with what may be one of the most critical, if not THE most critical, question in the debate — what and when is the process for the undocumented who are here to become citizens? The article reviews typical waiting times (you can get the sense of them by the title — How long is the immigration ‘line’? As long as 24 years ) and ends way:

Immigration advocates worry that the promise of citizenship could end up being “in name only” for some undocumented immigrants. ”Instead of dying in the desert, they might just die waiting to become permanent residents,” concludes Paparelli.

Which G.O.P. House Members Might Support Immigration Reform? is from The New York Times, and is pretty interesting.

Five things economists know about immigration is from The Washington Post.

House Group Works to Present Its Own Immigration Plan is from The New York Times.

House G.O.P. Open to Residency for Illegal Immigrants is from The New York Times.

Do Illegal Immigrants Actually Hurt the U.S. Economy? is from The New York Times.

USA has published details of the Obama Administration’s immigration reform plan. Check out White House immigration bill offers path to residency.

Newspaper Article About Our Extraordinary Bilingual Aide

What’s the immigration solution? Your Say Interactive is from USA .

A Senate Plan Alters Waiting Periods for Immigration is from The New York Times.

Five reasons why immigration reform is moving forward
is from The Washington Post.

Path to Citizenship for Immigrants Draws Support Across Party Lines, Survey Finds is from The New York Times.

Key provisions expected in immigration legislation proposal is a very useful interactive infographic from The Washington Post.

The Senate immigration bill: Here’s what you need to know is also from The Washington Post.

The Weird Math of the Immigration Bill is from The Atlantic.

Quote Of The Day: Heritage Foundation Makes a $5.3 Trillion Mistake

Preview | Immigration: The pathway to now is a preview to a multi-part video series The Washington Post is publishing on the last thirty years of immigration reform. It will start on May 14th, and is embedded below:

Immigration reform: The five most important issues is from The LA Times.

Boomers need immigrants is also from The LA Times.

Progress on an Immigration Overhaul in 5 Areas is from The New York Times.

What Happens Next With The Immigration Bill is from The Washington Post.

The Washington Post has a very important analysis of immigration and jobs.

Quote Of The Day: David Brooks Hits A Home Run On Immigration Reform

In Report, 63% Back Way to Get Citizenship is from The New York Times.

Illegal Immigrants Are Divided Over Importance of Citizenship is from The New York Times.

What Happened To Immigration Reform is from The Atlantic.

What gives us a right to deport people? Joseph Carens on the ethics of immigration is a really interesting interview at The Washington Post.

Republican Ideas on Immigration Could Legalize Up to 6.5 Million, Study Says is from The New York Times.

This is amazing.

What has happened to the Republicans?

I’m adding this to The Best Resources About The New Push For Immigration Reform.

Suggestions are welcome.

If you found post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to blog for free.

You might also want to explore the 1050 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

December 26, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

December’s Best Posts From This Blog

I regularly highlight my picks for the most useful posts for each month — not including “The Best…” lists. I also use some of them in a more extensive monthly newsletter I send-out. You can see older Best Posts of the Month at Websites Of The Month (more recent lists can be found here).

These posts are different from the ones I list under the monthly“Most Popular Blog Posts.” Those are the posts the largest numbers of readers “clicked-on” to read. I have to admit, I’ve been a bit lax about writing those posts, though.

Here are some of the posts I personally think are the best, and most helpful, ones I’ve written during this past month (not in any order of preference):

I Wish Everyone Connected To A Private Foundation Would Read This Article, But I Suspect My Wish Will Go Unfulfilled

This Year’s “What If?” History Lesson

“Make It Share It” Seems Like The Easiest Way To Make Online Animations

What Has Each Of Us Done Lately To Bend The “Arc Of The Moral Universe”?

My Most Popular Posts Of The Year — 2012

This May Be The Most Uplifting Video I’ve Seen All Year….

“Cutting a deal doesn’t necessarily have to mean capitulation”

“Effective Ways to Use Tech in The Classroom — Part Three”

Is This The Most Important Research Study Of 2012? Maybe

Engagement — Dilbert Style

This Is What Happened In My Classroom Today — What Happened In Yours?

What Can We Learn From Today’s Most Depressing Piece Of News?

New Common Core Unit Plan On Persuasive Writing

This Is A Very Worrying Interview About Students Grading Teachers

Questions To Ask People We Want To Mentor, Including Students (& Ones We Might Want To Ask Ourselves)

“Teaching Writing by Respecting Student Ideas”

How To Recover From A Classroom Train Wreck….

Useful Infographic & Commentary On Flipped Classroom

Wow, What A Chart On International Education!

“Ideas for English Language Learners | Celebrate the Holidays”

“9Slides” Shows Your Slides & You At The Same Time

Here’s What I Do During My Favorite Time Of The School Week

Will $3 Million Buy A “Total School Makeover” For 20,000 Students? The Ford Foundation Says It Will

Student Goal-Setting Form I’m Using This Month

Check Out What We’ve Been Doing In Class….

Excellent Critique Of The Silliest Column Of The Year Related To Education

“Helping Boys Become Stronger Writers”

David Brooks Gives Great Education Advice When He Isn’t Writing About Education

“Helping Our Students Become Better Writers — Part Two”

November 25, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Excellent Articles On Lincoln

In the midst of the “Lincoln mania” that is going around these days, I’ve found two pieces to be the best. I’m adding them to The Best Resources About President’s Day, which is where I list sites about Lincoln and about Washington:

Abraham Lincoln: The Great Campaigner is from Newsweek.

Why We Love Politics is by David Brooks.

December 20, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

December’s Best Posts

I regularly highlight my picks for the most useful posts for each month — not including “The Best…” lists. I also use some of them in a more extensive monthly newsletter I send-out. You can see my previous Best Posts of the Month at Websites Of The Month.

These posts are different from the ones I list under the monthly “Most Popular Blog Posts.” Those are the posts the largest numbers of readers “clicked-on” to read. I have to admit, I’ve been a bit lax about writing those posts, though.

Here are some of the posts I personally think are the best, and most helpful, ones I’ve written during this past month (not in any order of preference):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 6, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

A Collection Of “The Best…” Lists On School Reform Issues — 2011

Since I have published so many “The Best…” lists, I thought it might be helpful to readers if I posted a few year-end collections.

You might also be interested in The Best “The Best…” Lists On School Reform Issues — 2010.

Here is A Collection Of “The Best…” Lists On School Reform Issues — 2011:

The Best Posts On Attracting The “Best Candidates” To Teaching

The Best Posts/Articles On This Year’s Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup Education Poll — August, 2011

The Best Articles Describing Alternatives To High-Stakes Testing — Help Me Find More

The Best Commentaries On Steven Brill’s Book, “Class Warfare”

The Best Posts & Articles About The New York Court Decision Releasing Teacher Ratings

The Best Posts About Trust & Education

The Best Posts & Articles On The Save Our Schools March

The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2011 — So Far — July, 2011

The Best Posts About Public Officials (& Non-Elected “Reformers) Sending Their Children To Private Schools

The Best Posts & Articles About Compromise

The Best Resources For Learning About Small Learning Communities

The Best Posts For Learning About The NEA’s New Policy Statement on “Teacher Evaluation and Accountability”

The Best Posts & Articles About The Atlanta Testing Scandal

The Best Resources For Helping Students (& The Rest Of Us) Learn The Concept Of Not Blaming Others

The Best Posts Responding To David Brooks Criticism Of Diane Ravitch (& Many Of The Rest Of Us)

The Best Resources For Learning About The “Next Generation” Of State Testing

The Best Resources For Learning About The Four School Improvement Grant Models

The Best Posts/Articles On National Research Council Finding That Carrots & Sticks Don’t Work

The Best Posts About Attrition Rates At So-Called “Miracle” Schools

The Best Posts Discussing Arrogance & School Reform

A Beginning “The Best…” List On The Dangers Of Privatizing Public Education

The Best Resources For Learning About The “Achievement Gap”

The Best Posts & Articles About “Erase To The Top”

The Best Posts & Articles To Learn About “Fundamental Attribution Error” & Schools

The Best Articles Providing An “Overall” Perspective On Education Policy

The Best Posts & Articles About The Importance Of Teacher (& Student) Working Conditions

The Best Posts Debunking The Myth Of “Five Great Teachers In A Row”

The Best Posts Responding To Bill Gates’ Appallingly Clueless Op-Ed Piece

The Best Resources For Learning Why School Vouchers Are A Bad Idea

The Best Resources For Learning About Attacks On Teachers & Other Public Sector Workers In Wisconsin

The Best Places To Get Reliable, Valid, Accessible & Useful Education Data

The Best Posts About Michelle Rhee’s Exaggerated Test Scores

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September 1, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Best “Tweets” Of 2011 — So Far

Every month I make a short list highlighting my choices of the best resources I shared through (and learned from) Twitter, but didn’t necessarily include them in posts here on my blog.

I thought it might be useful for both readers of this blog and for me to review those monthly lists and pick a few that I think are the very best “tweets” of the year. I’ll publish a final list in late December.

If you don’t use Twitter, you can also check-out all of my “tweets” on my Twitter profile page or subscribe to their RSS feed.

You might also be interested in:

Best “Tweets” Of 2010

Best “Tweets” Of 2009

Here are my choices for The Best “Tweets” Of 2011:

“Google Is Making Us Stupid and Smart at the Same Time?” The Atlantic

Video: This teacher keeps her students calm as a gunfight emerges outside (Thanks to Vicki Davis)

“The disgraceful interrogation of L.A. school librarians” LA Times

Onion: Budget MixUp Provides Schools With Enough Money To Properly Educate Students

ADS FOR GOOD 10 Funny Public Service Ads About Serious Issues (VIDEOS)

David Brooks writes about the central role of metaphors in our thinking, NY Times

10 Ways to Help Students Ask Better Questions

“Pay-4-Performance: Individual vs. Group Incentives” by Larry Cuban

Famous Inboxes (Thanks to Stephen Davis for the tip)

Funny “Facebook Comment Flowchart”

“Why Your Boss Is Wrong About You” NY Times

Funny or offensive, these 14 screenshots provide a wealth of info about cultural stereotypes

From The Onion “Gap Between Rich And Poor Named 8th Wonder Of The World”

“When a Friend Grieves, How to Get Sympathy Right” Wall St Jrnl

Forgotten Technologies, cute video

“Amid E-Book Growth, Students Still Prefer Paper Textbooks”

“The Top Ten Daily Consequences of Having Evolved” Smithsonian

Feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

You might also want to explore the nearly 500 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

August 29, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

August’s Best Tweets

Every month I make a short list highlighting my choices of the best resources I shared through (and learned from) Twitter, but didn’t necessarily include them in posts here on my blog. Now and then, in order to make it a bit easier for me, I may try to break it up into mid-month and end-of-month lists (and sometimes I’m a bit late).

I’ve already shared in earlier posts several new resources I found on Twitter — and where I gave credit to those from whom I learned about them. Those are not included again in this post.

If you don’t use Twitter, you can also check-out all of my “tweets” on Twitter profile page or subscribe to their RSS feed.

Here are my picks for August’s Best Tweets (not listed in any order):

“The Haimish Line”
by David Brooks, NY Times

“Animated Sheet Music” makes music make sense (and looks cool while doing so) video

“The Nation’s Cruelest Immigration Law” NY Times

NYTimes: Commemorating Those Lost Through Time

“How to understand regret — and 2 ways to avoid it” by Daniel Pink

“Smartphone cameras bring independence to blind people” BBC

Language Lessons by the Peace Corps

Thoughtful article on differentiated instruction by Michael Petrilli

“Jon Stewart Has Had It with How Fox Talks About Class Warfare”

Storytelling to boost scientific literacy

Do we only save the endangered animals that are cute?

How a book is made, from the Middle Ages to today

Volleyball playing dog video

The Eye On Education blog also regularly lists their favorite tweets.