Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

February 21, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Posts On The Annual MetLife Survey Of The American Teacher

The annual MetLife Survey of the American Teacher came out today, and I thought I’d share some info on it, as well as share my posts on previous editions of it.

First off, you can find this year’s edition hot off the press here.

The Educated Reporter gives a useful summary. I summarize what it has to say about parent engagement here.

Here, in my mind, is the most important take away from the report that I’ve seen so far, but I haven’t really gotten a chance to review it carefully:

Principal and teacher job satisfaction is declining. Principals’ satisfaction with their jobs in the public schools has decreased nine percentage points since it was last measured in 2008. In that same period, teacher satisfaction has dropped precipitously by 23 percentage points, including a five-point decrease in the last year, to the lowest level it has been in the survey in 25 years. A majority of teachers report that they feel under great stress at least several days a week, a significant increase from 1985 when this was last measured.

Here are my posts on previous MetLife surveys:

“MetLife Survey of the American Teacher” Released Today (2012 Report)

Believing That Every Student Can Succeed Academically (2010 Report)

“Hybrid” Teachers & Engaging Parents (2010 Report)

The Saddest School-Related Statistic I’ve Heard In Awhile…. (2010 Report)

March 7, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

“MetLife Survey of the American Teacher” Released Today

The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Teachers, Parents and the Economy, the 28th in an annual series commissioned by MetLife and conducted by Harris Interactive, was released today.

You can read the press release summarizing its findings here, and the entire report here.

Here’s one paragraph from the summary:

Teacher job satisfaction has fallen by 15 percentage points since 2009, the last time the MetLife survey queried teachers on this topic, from 59 percent to 44 percent responding they are very satisfied. This rapid decline in job satisfaction is coupled with a large increase in the number of teachers reporting that they are likely to leave teaching for another occupation (17 percent in 2009 vs. 29 percent today). Teachers are also more than four times as likely now than they were five years ago to say that they do not feel their job is secure (34 percent today vs. 8 percent in 2006, the last time this question was asked). In addition, 53 percent of parents and 65 percent of teachers today say that teachers’ salaries are not fair for the work they do.

I haven’t had time to read the full report tonight, but will write a more lengthy post about it when I do. You read my reflections on previous MetLife Surveys here.

Here’s another take on this year’s survey at The Washington Post: Teacher job satisfaction plummets — Survey.

March 12, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Part Two of MetLife Survey Of American Teacher Released

Part Two Of The MetLife Survey Of The American Teacher has just been released.

I posted earlier this month about Part One of the survey — see The Saddest School-Related Statistic I’ve Heard In Awhile….

I’m just going to share a couple of items from Part that stand-out for me. For further thoughts on the report, I’d encourage you to read Today’s Education News: Rife with Contradictions by Barnett Berry of the Center for Teaching Quality.

The first statistic that stood out for me was this one on connecting with parents:

Teachers and principals believe that the most important factors for improving student achievement are having adequate public funding and support, and involving parents. Nine in ten teachers and principals believe that having adequate public funding and support for education (92% of teachers and 96% of principals) and that strengthening ties among schools and parents (88% of teachers and 89% ofprincipals) are very important for improving student achievement.

It’s great to hear that there is that high of a belief in the power of connecting better with parents. One question, though, is do teachers and principals see parent engagement or parent involvement as the way to strengthen those ties (see Expert Advice about Parent Engagement: An Interview with Larry Ferlazzo to learn more about the difference between the two.

Here’s another potentially more disturbing part of the report:

A majority of teachers (58%) and principals (61%) strongly agree that their school does a good job of teaching students who are English Language Learners, particularly schools with at least two-thirds ELL students (75% of teachers and 77% of principals in higher ELL schools). However, from students’ point of view, schools are not doing as well. Only one-quarter of students (25%) strongly agree that their school does a good job of helping students who are learning to speak English.

That’s certainly a disconcerting difference between the teacher/principal view and the student view. However, the key to its importance — for me at least — is if that 25% is from all the students surveyed or just from those who are English Language Learners. If it’s from all the students, it’s not surprising that they, like many people, might share misconceptions about how quickly ELL’s are supposed to be able to develop proficiency in the language and might question what kind of teaching is going on.

However, if the answers to that question only come from ELL’s, then it’s an entirely different story, and I’d be just as concerned about that statistic as I was about the one I blogged about earlier this month.

I’ll try to get the answer to that question and post the response.

In the meantime, please feel free to leave your thoughts about the report in the comments section.

February 17, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Articles & Videos Showing How Parkland’s Teens Are Responding To Tragedy

NOTE: This post was originally headlined “Quote Of The Day: Teen Shooting Survivors Call For Change.” However, because of its importance and subsequent articles appearing in the media, I turned it into a “Best” list…

The Righteous Anger of the Parkland Shooting’s Teen Survivors is a very interesting, and inspiring article, on The Atlantic’s site today.

Talk about student agency!

A loud, new voice after the latest school shooting: Kids wanting to know why adults hadn’t done more is a similar piece that appeared in The Washington Post.

A ‘Mass Shooting Generation’ Cries Out for Change is another article in the NY Times.

In wake of another shooting, calls for a national school walkout is from The San Francisco Chronicle.


You might also be interested in Florida School Shooting Tragedy Resources, Including Advice On Talking With Students.

And here’s a related video:

Florida student Emma Gonzalez to lawmakers and gun advocates: ‘We call BS’ is from CNN.

He survived the Florida school shooting. He vows not to return to classes until gun laws change. is from The Washington Post.

Florida students plead with Congress: It’s about the guns is from The Washington Post.

Why Parkland students have emerged as a powerful political voice is from The Washington Post.

Quote Of The Day: “…Marjory Stoneman Douglas High really could be the last school shooting in America”

Children have changed America before, braving fire hoses and police dogs for civil rights is from The Washington Post and is today’s “must-read” article of the day.

Here’s an excerpt:

Eleven Videos About Student-Let Protests For Gun Control

Quote Of The Day: Shooting Survivor Wants Her School To Be Remembered For Starting “A Revolution”

The Power of the Parkland Town Hall is from The Atlantic.

The Parkland Students Aren’t Going Away is from The Atlantic.

When it comes to guns, the Parkland shooting survivors aren’t here to play nice is from The L.A. Times.

Parkland Student Organizer Learns Quickly That Opponents Can Do The Best Organizing For You

Quote Of The Day: Parkland Student Emma González On Her Organizing Efforts

How Parkland Students Changed the Gun Debate is from The Atlantic.

How the student activists of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High demonstrate the power of a comprehensive education. is from Slate.

Parkland Survivors Meet With Chicago Students To Tackle Gun Violence ‘Beyond Gated Communities’ appeared in the Huffington Post.

Video: Preview Of Sixty Minutes Segment On Parkland Students

Students calling for change after the Parkland shooting is from 60 Minutes.

July 30, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Best and Worst Education News of 2013 — So Far


I need to add one more “Best Of 2013 – So Far” list to the ones I’ve posted so far, and that’s my annual “The Best And Worst Education News Of 2013 — So Far.”

As usual, I don’t presume to say it’s all-encompassing, so I hope you’ll take time to share your own choices in the comment section. I’ll list the ones I think are the best first, followed by the worst. It’s too hard to rank them within those categories, so I’m not listing them in any order.

You might also be interested in previous editions of this list:

The best — and worst — education news of 2012

The Best (and Worst) Education News of 2011

The Best (and Worst) Education News of 2010

The Best Education News Of 2013 — So Far:

* The successful boycott of the unnecessary MAP standardized test by teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle that spread to six other local schools and inspired educators everywhere.  Teachers who participated in the boycott were not disciplined (as had been threatened) and using the MAP tests have now been made optional.  Garfield teachers’ strategy of organizing a united front of teachers, parents and students demonstrated that collective action can have a major impact on education policy that affects our classrooms.

* Passage and approval of California Governor Jerry Brown’s new funding formula that not only increases school funding across the board, but provides more monies to districts with higher numbers of low-income students.  We can only hope that it will be a model for other states to follow.

* The deaths of children (and adults) as a result of the terrifying Oklahoma tornado will never be considered anything but awful news.  But the heroic response of local educators risking their own lives to save their students is another reminder that teachers do put the interests of children ahead of their own.

* Two new exciting books, authored by some of the best minds in education policy, were published: Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools by Diane Ravitch and Teacherpreneurs: Innovative Teachers Who Lead But Don’t Leave by Barnett Berry, Ann Byrd and Alan Wieder. These “must-reads” are follow-ups to their previous exceptional books.

* More and more research was published supporting the view that, yes, our students need good schools, but if we’re truly serious about providing them with genuine opportunities,  what really needs to happen are major economic and political changes.  I suspect quite a few of us are tired of hearing the refrain of “No Excuses” when we point out this reality.

* And more and more research was published pointing out that, you know, schools in the United States are generally doing pretty well, though you wouldn’t know that by a lot of public rhetoric.

* Charlotte Danielson is the guru for many districts that are initiating new teacher evaluation programs.  Arthur Goldstein discovered a video of her declaring that standardized test scores should not be used in those teacher evaluations.  I wonder if district administrators are listening?  And, speaking of test scores and their validity in determining teacher quality, an important study determined that teacher success in helping students’ develop non-cognitive skills (an area of high-interest these days) had no relation to their Value Added Measurement (VAM) score.

* In his annual appearance on this list, Harvard professor Roland Fryer failed once again to prove that extrinsic motivation increased student achievement.  One of this year’s failed experiments was giving students cellphones and sending them daily “inspirational” text messages.  It didn’t work, but it did receive an advertising award.

* The millions of students who had great learning experiences in their schools this year.


The Worst Education News Of 2013 — So Far:

 * The North Carolina legislature went off the deep end in a number of areas, including eliminating teacher tenure and pay raises.

* Attacks on low-income communities continued with massive school closures in Chicago, Philadelphia and elsewhere.

* Here we go again — Cleveland’s newspaper published the Value Added ratings of teachers.

* Sadness, on a number of levels, in seeing the indictments of 34 Atlanta educators, including its former Superintendent, as a result of the test-cheating scandal there.

* Two surveys found what many of us knew already — that teacher morale is plummeting in the face of “school reform.”

* Bill Gates’ PBS-televised TED Talk where he announced that billions of dollars should be spent videotaping all teachers.  Almost simultaneously, the teacher he showed a video of in his talk said she disagreed with him.  And, even though his foundation announced at the same time they want to  start listening to teachers more, there was no chorus of “preach on, Bill!” from educators across the U.S.

* The millions of students who are not getting the education they deserve.

Again, feel free to point out what I’ve missed!

June 28, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

All My 2013 “The Best…” Lists (So Far) On Education Policy In One Place


I’ve posted quite a few “The Best…” lists on education policy issues this year, and thought readers might find it useful if I collected them all in one post.

You might also be interested in:

All My 2012 “The Best…” Lists On Education Policy In One Place

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

The Best “The Best…” Lists On School Reform Issues — 2010

Here are all my 2013 (So Far) “Best” lists on education policy issues:

The Best Posts & Articles On The New NCLB Reauthorization Bill

A Beginning List Of The Best Posts & Articles On The Charter School CREDO Study

The Best Articles, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2013 – So Far

The Best Of The Hashtag #SaidNoEducationVendorEver

The Best Evidence For Why Giving Schools “Report Cards” Is Bad — Help Me Find More

The Best Resources On The Memo Warning Rhee About Cheating (“It seems to me a responsible executive really ought to have looked further”)

The Best Posts On LA’s Banning Of Suspensions For “Willful Defiance” (Along With Commentary From An LA Teacher)

The Best Posts & Articles On MOOC’s — Help Me Find More

My Choices For The Best Posts From The Shanker Blog

The Best Posts & Articles On The Impact Of School Closures — Suggest More!

The Best Resources For Learning About Ability Grouping & Tracking — Help Me Find More

The Best Posts On The Annual MetLife Survey Of The American Teacher

The Best Resources On Peer Assistance & Review (PAR) Programs

A Beginning List Of The Best Resources On The Seattle Standardized Test Boycott

A Beginning List Of The Best Posts On Gates’ Final MET “Effective Teaching” Report

March 28, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

Gallup Poll: ” U.S. Teachers Love Their Lives, but Struggle in the Workplace”

The New York Times this morning ran a pretty inaccurate headline and article about a new Gallup Poll related to workplace “well-being” (see Beleaguered? Not Teachers, a Poll on ‘Well-Being’ Finds) and tried to use it to question results of a recent Met Life poll that indicated sharply declining teacher satisfaction.

Here are direct quotes from Gallup that tell the real story:

Despite earning top marks in most areas of wellbeing, teachers’ answers to various questions about their workplace produces a 49.9 Work Environment Index score, which is eighth out of 14 occupation groups. The nation’s educators rank sixth in saying their “supervisor treats me more like a partner than a boss.” And they are dead-last –14th — in saying their “supervisor always creates an environment that is trusting and open.”

About seven in 10 teachers are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” in their work, meaning they are emotionally disconnected from their work environment. Thirty-one percent are engaged. As teacher engagement is the No. 1 predictor and driver of student engagement, these findings have serious implications for students and administrators….

February 26, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

February’s “The Best…” Lists — There Are Now 1,072 Of Them

Here’s my monthly round-up of new “The Best…” lists I posted this month (you can see all 1,072 of them categorized here):

The Best Resources For International Mother Language Day

The Best Multimedia On The Russian Meteor

The Best Resources For Learning About The Next Papal Election

The Best Info On Skills Employers Are Looking For In Job-Seekers

The Best Resources On Why Raising The Minimum Wage Is Important

The Best Resources About The New Push For Immigration Reform

The Best Geography Sites For Learning About Europe

The Best Resources For Learning About Flight

The “Best” Multimedia News Content In The World

My Best Posts On Parent “Academies” & “Universities”

The Best Posts On The Annual MetLife Survey Of The American Teacher

The Best Resources On The Value & Practice Of Having Older Students Mentoring Younger Ones

The Best Ways To Deal With Rudeness In Class

The Best Sports Videos To Use With English Language Learners

The Best Resources For Learning To Use The Video App “Twine”

The Best Tools For Creating Visually Attractive Quotations For Online Sharing

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