Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

June 27, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

Video Of Yong Zhao’s Keynote Speech At ISTE

Professor Yong Zhao gave a terrific keynote speech yesterday at the ISTE Conference in San Diego (I wasn’t there, but followed it through Twitter). I’ve posted about many articles by Professor Zhao, and he’s contributed to my Education Week column.

Here’s a video of his keynote (thanks to Alice Mercer for letting me know ISTE posts videos of speeches). It’s embedded, and you may have to click through in order to view it if you’re reading this post on an RSS Reader:

Professor Zhao has also posted his slide presentation here, and sample chapters of his new book.

April 16, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Useful Posts & Articles On Education Policy

''Wisconsin is Open For Business Closed for Schools'' photo (c) 2011, rochelle hartman - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Here are some relatively recent articles and blog posts on educational policy issues that are worth reading:

All schools should have good teachers is from The Los Angeles Times. I’m adding it to The Best Articles For Helping To Understand Both Why Teacher Tenure Is Important & The Reasons Behind Seniority-Based Layoffs.

How Seniority Reform Backfired In Minneapolis is by John Thompson. I’m adding it to the same list.

Evidence Based Education Policy and Practice: A Conversation is from Larry Cuban’s blog.

Evaluation: A Revolt Against The “Randomistas”? is by Alexander Russo. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research.

What Is A Standard Deviation? is from The Shanker Blog. I’m adding it to the same list.

A Brilliant Management Insight Helps Chipotle Retain Its Best Employees is an interesting article from Business Insider that I think has applications for the development of teacher leadership. I’m adding it to The Best Posts, Articles & Videos On “Teacher Leadership.”

Big data: are we making a big mistake? is from The Financial Times. I’m adding it to The Best Resources Showing Why We Need To Be “Data-Informed” & Not “Data-Driven.”

Ainge: Analytics Sometimes Leads To Shortcuts is from RealGM Basketball. I’m adding it to the same list.

New Common Core exams will test whether a robo-grader is as accurate as a human is from The Hechinger Report. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Computer-Graded Essays.

The Classroom of the Future: Student-Centered or Device-Centered? is by Anthony Cody at Education Week Teacher.

A Teacher Offers Sound Advice to Tom Friedman is from Diane Ravitch’s blog.

Teaching as a Second Act, or Maybe Even a Third is from The New York Times.

One of many nails in the VAM coffin…. is from Better Living Through Mathematics. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Value-Added” Approach Towards Teacher Evaluation. Thanks to Alice Mercer for the tip.

Here is a VAM mathematical formula from Florida. I’m adding it to the same list.

I’m adding this tweet to The Best Resources On “Race To The Top” (& On “Personalized Learning”):

How Does PISA Put the World at Risk (Part 5): Racing to the Past is by Yong Zhao. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On 2012 PISA Test Results.

The Great Lakes Center has done an important review of infamous Raj Chetty, John Friedman, & Jonah Rockoff study on teacher’s value-added. I’m adding it to the list where many critiques of that study can be found, The Best Posts On The NY Times-Featured Teacher Effectiveness Study.

Classes of Donkeys is by David Truss, and offers some thoughtful commentary on the popular Class Dojo behavior management tech tool. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students.

On Using And Not Using ClassDojo*: Ideological Differences? is by Larry Cuban. Motivating is from ELT Reflections, and is also on Class Dojo. I’m adding both to the same “Best” list.

I’ll end this post with this tweet:

March 13, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Good Posts & Articles On Education Policy

'Protest March Against Cuts In Education Budget' photo (c) 2008, William Murphy - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Here is a collection of recent useful posts and articles on educational policy issues:

Vergara Plaintiffs Shouldn’t Put Individual Teachers On Trial is by Paul Bruno. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On California Court Case Attacking Teacher’s Rights.


This took Teach For America 24 years to figure out?
is by Valerie Strauss. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Raising Concerns About Teach For America.

How Does PISA Put the World at Risk (Part 1): Romanticizing Misery is by Yong Zhao. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On 2012 PISA Test Results.

An Even Sadder Tale of D.C. Common Core Testing is by John Thompson. I’m adding it to
The Best Resources For Learning About The “Next Generation” Of State Testing.

Essay-Grading Software Seen as Time-Saving Tool is from Education Week. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Computer-Graded Essays.

This story about what’s happening in San Jose is worth reading about — it seems to me that they’re doing exciting stuff, but, though I don’t pretend to know the whole story, it’s very surprising to me the local union pushed forward on this right now (both stories are from Ed Source): San Jose Unified, teachers to ask State Board for waiver from tenure law and State Board punts, for now, on San Jose’s request for waiver from tenure law.

Teacherpreneurs Panel and How We Benefit Students is by Ariel Sacks. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Being A Teacherpreneur.

A Great Divide: The Election Fight for California’s Schools is from Capital and Main.

Can Professional Environments in Schools Promote Teacher Development? Explaining Heterogeneity in Returns to Teaching Experience is a new Harvard report showing how important working conditions are to teacher effectiveness. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About The Importance Of Teacher (& Student) Working Conditions.

Are Working Conditions Related To Teacher Effectiveness? is another recent study. I’m adding it to the same list.

In standoff with California over testing, U.S. Education Department blinks is from The Washington Post.

January 1, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
4 Comments

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2013

books2

It’s that time of year again — time to share the choices from readers of this blog for the best education-related book they read in the this past year.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2012

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2011

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2010

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2009

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2008

Speaking of education-related books, you might also be interested in two other posts:

The Top 75 New York Times Best-Selling Education Books of 2013 comes from The New York Times Learning Network.

Education Books In One Sentence was a fun hashtag I started one day on Twitter.

I broke my own rules and chose four instead of one, and you can see them in the photo illustrating this post.

Now, here are the choices of over fifty readers to sent their comments and tweets (even if you didn’t send them in earlier, you can still leave your favorites in the comments):

Renee Boss:

Best book I read this year–Trusting Teachers with School Success by Kim Farris-Berg and Edward Dirkswager with Amy Junge. This book is encouraging because it promotes teachers as leaders and professionals who should make the decisions in our schools.

Mandy Vasek:

My fave 2013 read was Jim Collins’ Good to Great. Getting the RIGHT people on the bus is key to success. I also helped lead a book study with Dave Burgess’ Teach Like a Pirate. IMO, this should be a must do for all campuses no matter the level. It was very successful…and FUN.

Carrie Vartlett:

Teach Like a Pirate was my favorite this year. The PLN related to it is awesome, too!

Mike Pinto:

“Quiet” by Susan Cain. As an extrovert, it gave me a perspective on introversion and how many great leaders are introverts. Worth the read and the reflection.

Kristi:

Notice and Note by Kylene Beers.

Svetlana Sutic:

The Element by Sir Ken Robinson.How to find the point where natural talent meets personal passion.

John Young:

Embedded Formative Assessment by Dylan Wiliam. Very insightful book with excellent research based strategies bought multiple copies for my staff and gifted one to each of my teaching daughters.

Lisa Gearman:

Two books I carry around in my backpack are Untangling the Web by Adam Bellow and Steve Dembo and The Classroom Teacher’s Technology Survival Guide by Doug Johnson. Both are great for practical advice you can use immediately, and I use them for PD training ideas.

mlubelfeld:

Best book used in leadership team read this year…book study…The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes & Posner

Tim O’Connor:

I am just finishing up Dan Pink’s – To Sell is Human. This book gave me better insight into how to become more persuasive and thoughtful towards others. As a technology coach that promotes change in education it was very helpful, however all educators can benefit from such a book.

@mom2mikey:

Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined

Matt Renwick:

World Class Learners by Yong Zhao takes a different perspective about standardized tests and international comparisons. Instead of simply questioning the validity of high stakes testing, he actually provides data that suggests these practices could actually harm creativity and innovation. Dr. Zhao also shares ideas for helping teachers and students become more engaged in important work.

bob dillon:

Open by David Price has reshaped my thinking around the acceleration needed to open our schools to change

R. Deutsch:

Energize Research Reading and Writing: Fresh Strategies to Spark Interest, Develop Independence, and Meet Key Common Core Standards, Grades 4-8 by Christopher Lehman (Heinemann, 2012). Great practical book that spells out what REAL research should look like . It would make a wonderful choice for English and content area teachers working together. Not only for grades 4-8; so much of what he describes would be perfect for high school students as well.

Jamaal A. Bowman:

How Children Succeed by Paul Tough. It provides very specific and promising strategies on how to counteract poverty, and attempts to explain why good standardized tests results do not lead to college and career success.

Renee Moore:

Ann Byrd and Barnett Berry, Teacherpreneurs [disclosure, yes, my students and I are featured in it] which makes it even more interesting! Seriously, a look at the possibilities for teaching to move out of its centuries old frame into a modern profession.

Diane Ravitch’s, Reign of Error for challenging the educational crisis myths.

Jonathan Kozol, Fire Among the Ashes:25 Years Among the Poorest Children in America — the culmination of his work that began with Savage Inequalities; looks at some of the children he has followed as they grown into adulthood.

Michelle cordy:

Net Smart by Horward Rheingold is essential reading for educators and anyone interested in doing a deep dive into the abundance of information and connectivity brought to us in the present day.

Joanne Fuchs:

Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess. Inspiring, made me take a fresh look at the way I reach.

Diane Peterson:

Teach Like A Pirate by Dave Burgess – gives energy, shares passion, offers encouragement and support, and gives usable ideas to highten students’ interest to learning.

Generation iY by Tim Elmore – amazing research for all involved with youth and how to reach and teach Gen Y for a productive, successful future adult generation.

Lesli Moylan:

Smart by Nature. Great book about different ways schools across country integrating sustainability into curriculum and culture of individual schools and districts.

The Teaching Factor:

There are so many great books:

Teach Like a Pirate reminds readers to make learning fun and relevant.

Falling in Love with Close Reading and Notice and Note both help all content area teachers get students to stop and pay attention while they are reading.

Not a teacher book but YA novel that brings thought, caring, and perspective on our daily life, The Obe and Only Ivan was a favorite read with my students.

Jon Konen:

Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller. Put away the text books and get “wild” about reading authentic literature! Donalyn gives you a learning structure to promote student independence and a love of reading!

A Stevens:

The two best educationally related books that I have read this year are mindset by Carol Dweck and Teaching Through Text by McKenna and Robinson.

Peggy Drolet:

Here are a few suggestions

Douglas W. Green, EdD:

As always, I find that some of the best books for education were not written strictly for educators. The best ideas generalize well across fields, and the the hot areas for research and innovation are where the disciplines collide. I summarize the best books I find here. My summaries will help with purchasing decisions and reviewing the book after you read it. If I had to pick one book this year it would be “Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries” by Peter Sims.

Jon Harper:

Cagebusting Leadership by Frederick Hess was a great read. It gets us to stop whining and start looking at what we have to get the job done.

Karen Linch:

Real Talk for Real Teachers by Rafe Esquith made me realize that teaching to high stakes tests will never lead to the kind of learning our students deserve.

Ms. Hunni:

Penny Kittle’s: Book Love and Write Beside Them

Jesse:

Ten Minute InService by Todd Whitaker and Annette Breaux

Brenda Giourmetakis:

Ten things a child with autism wishes you knew by Ellen Notbohm. Sensible, awesome suggestions

Colinda Clyne:

I have two: the motivational Teach like a Pirate by Dave Burgess, about keeping enthusiasm and passion in your practice, and as a history teacher, the invaluable guide to historical thinking concepts, The Big Six by Peter Seixas and Tom Morton.

Tracy Tarasiuk:

“Focus” be Mike Schmocker-the title really says it all

Kathryn Coffey:

“Opening Minds: Using Language to Change Lives”, by Peter H. Johnston

John Norton:

Full disclosure: I served as editor for both of these books. They come straight from real classrooms and represent visionary teaching practices.

Connected from the Start: Global Learning in the Primary Grades, by Kathy Cassidy.

Teaching In High Gear: My Shift Toward a Student-Driven, Inquiry-Based Science Classroom, by Marsha Ratzel.

Catherine Trinkle:

Focus by Mike Schmoker. I am committed to teaching the simplified, focus way and I know my students are working harder and learning more as the outcome.

Michael Doyle:

Ira Socol’s Drool Room blew me away, enough to make me feel unsteady in the classroom. It will change what I do, and possibly who I am.

Should be mandatory reading for anyone who works with less than perfect children.

Mrs. Rasmussen:

Book Love by Penny Kittle We have to get students reading, and Kittle’s book teaches how.

Kristen:

Donalyn Miller’s Reading in the Wild or Penny Kittle’s Book Love

Mrscreads:

Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller. Honest, challenging, thought-provoking!

Jennifer:

Either reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller or Igniying a Passion for Reading by Steven Layne.

Some readers sent in their choices with a tweet, and I’ve collected them with Storify:

Thanks to everyone who contributed and, again, you can leave your choices in the comments!

December 3, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The Best Posts & Articles On 2012 PISA Test Results

'Pisa2008_Pisa tower' photo (c) 2008, Wit Suphamungmee - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Sorry, I couldn’t resist adding this photo

 

The Internet is awash with articles about this morning’s release of the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, test results.

I’m just quickly posting the best resources I’ve seen this morning (the last portion of this post has newly added important commentaries), and articles offering real insightful commentary will be coming later. However, I’ve included a few pieces that came out prior to this morning and, of course, you can also check out The Best Sites For Getting Some Perspective On International Test Comparison Demagoguery.

Here are choices, and please suggest more in the comments:

How public opinion about new PISA test scores is being manipulated is by Richard Rothstein.

Reading the PISA Tea Leaves: Who Is Responsible for Finland’s Decline and the Asian Magic is by Yong Zhao.

Randi On PISA: Time to End Failed Policies of NCLB & RTTT is from Diane Ravitch’s blog.

Key PISA test results for U.S. students is from The Washington Post.

Are Finland’s vaunted schools slipping? is by Pasi Sahlberg.

Tom Loveless: Why Shanghai Leads the World on International Tests Like PISA is from Diane Ravitch’s blog.

U.S. students lag around average on international science, math and reading test is from The Washington Post.

OECD education report: Lessons for the UK from other nations is an exhaustive series of articles from The Telegraph.

American 15-Year-Olds Lag, Mainly in Math, on International Standardized Tests is from The New York Times.

Take-away Pisa for busy people is from The BBC.

Are you Smarter Than a 15-Year-Old? is from Smithsonian Magazine.

Here are a number of resources from OECD, which administers the test:

PISA 2012 Results: What Makes Schools Successful? ReSouRceS, PolIcIeS And PRActIceS

PISA 2012 Results in Focus: What 15-year-olds know and what they can do with what they know

PISA 2012 Results: Ready to Learn: Students’ Engagement, Drive and Self-Beliefs (Volume III)

PISA 2012 Results

NASSP Statement on PISA Results: Despite Fervor Over Scores, US Continues to Ignore Lessons

My View of the PISA Scores is by Diane Ravitch.

The PISA Puzzle is by Dana Goldstein. Here are a couple of excerpts from her Slate piece:

There’s another PISA result that should be heeded just as much as, if not more than, the rankings themselves: The OECD found that school systems with greater teacher leadership opportunities, like Canada’s, outperform those like ours, in which administrators and policymakers exert more top-down control over the classroom, through scripted lessons or teacher evaluation systems that heavily weigh student test scores. Yet you won’t hear about that much on PISA Day, because those have both become popular interventions during the Obama era of education reform…..

Maybe the takeaway from PISA shouldn’t be that Common Core is the answer, but rather that we need a comprehensive approach to educating and caring for our poorest children in order to close the achievement gap between rich and poor in this country, and between American students and their developed-nation peers.

 

Four lessons on new PISA scores — Ravitch is from The Washington Post.

So…what can we DO about those low PISA scores? is by Barnett Berry.

Could Changes in School Culture Make U.S. Schools More Competitive? is from Ed Week.

10 things teachers need to know about the Pisa results is from The Guardian.

7 Reasons I Don’t Care About the PISA Results is by Rick Hess at Education Week.

Quote Of The Day: “Our Kids — Coddled or Confident?”

Want to Look Great on Global Education Surveys? Test Only the Top Students is from Business Week.

The Meaning of PISA is by Marc Tucker at Ed Week.

“PISA Day”—An Ideological and Hyperventilated Exercise is by Richard Rothstein.

Attention OECD-PISA: Your Silence on China is Wrong is by Tom Loveless.

The New York Times Editorializes on Teachers and PISA, with Multiple Errors is from Diane Ravitch.

A PISA contradiction is by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.

Why Arne Duncan’s PISA Comments Miss the Mark is from Education Week.

The Global Search for Education: The World Test? is from The Huffington Post.

Beware Chinese data: Its schools might not be so great is by Jay Mathews at The Washington Post.

How Does PISA Put the World at Risk (Part 1): Romanticizing Misery is by Yong Zhao.

David Berliner on PISA and Poverty is from Diane Ravitch’s blog.

How Does PISA Put the World at Risk (Part 5): Racing to the Past is by Yong Zhao.

Academics call for pause in PISA tests is from The Washington Post.

June 26, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Excellent Project-Based Learning Resources

Here are some new additions to The Best Sites For Cooperative Learning Ideas:

Yong Zhao Makes the Case for Creativity is by Suzie Boss.

Classroom Guide: Top Ten Tips for Assessing Project-Based Learning
is from Edutopia.

This is the slide deck that Suzie Boss and Mike Gwaltney used in the ISTE presentation on PBL, but you should go to Mike’s post where he shares additional resources, too.

January 24, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

This Week’s “Round-Up” of Good Posts On Education Policy Issues

Here are a few relatively recent good posts and articles on education policy issues:

The MET Project: The Wrong 45 Million Dollar Question is from ASCD Educational Leadership (thanks to Alfie Kohn for the tip). This is one of the best pieces I’ve seen on teacher evaluation. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On The Gates’ Funded Measures Of Effective Teaching Report and to The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

Five Questions to Ask about the Common Core is by Yong Zhao. I’m adding it to The Best Articles Sharing Concerns About Common Core Standards.

Why Rating Your Doctor Is Bad For Your Health is from Forbes. There may be some parallels to including student evaluations of teachers in a formal evaluation process. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Students Evaluating Classes (And Teachers).

Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation is a new study raising questions about the use of Value-Added Measurement. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Value-Added” Approach Towards Teacher Evaluation.

December 11, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Analyses Of Today’s Release Of TIMSS and PIRLS International Student Test Results

International test results were released today, and I thought I’d pull together a short list of posts that can make good sense of them.

You might also be interested in The Best Sites For Getting Some Perspective On International Test Comparison Demagoguery

Here they are:

This morning, I posted “Keep Calm & Carry On” About International Test Results Released Today.

Clearly, the best analysis is from Yong Zhao at Numbers Can Lie: What TIMSS and PISA Truly Tell Us, if Anything?

What international test scores really mean comes from Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.

Engagement, Safety, Health Linked to Achievement in Global Data is from Education Week.

The Sky Is Not Falling
is by GF Brandenburg.

Pasi Sahlberg on TIMSS and PIRLS

TIMSS/PIRLS: Reactions from Asia’s Top Performers is from Yong Zhao.

All feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

November 4, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

The Best Resources On How Hurricane Sandy Is Affecting Schools

Here are several articles about the affect of Hurricane Sandy on New York and New Jersey schools (you might also be interested in The Best Online Resources About Hurricane Sandy):

With Students Set to Return, Schools Face Tough Logistics is from The New York Times.

The New York Times Learning Network has an article from a New Jersey educator.

The First Day in the Classroom, Post-Sandy is by a teacher and appeared in the New York Times.

New York’s Battered Public School System is an interactive from The Wall Street Journal.

Suspend Testing after the Hurricane is by Yong Zhao.

Hurricane Sandy: Recommendations for Administrators and Teachers by Denny Taylor is from Yong Zhao.

New Books For The Youngest Victims Of Hurricane Sandy is from The Shanker Blog.

New York Schools Back in Session…Mostly
is from Education Week.

Pictures: Schools At Center Of Storm Aftermath is from This Week In Education.

Gotham Schools is probably the best place to get up-to-date info on NYC schools.

NYcore has posted a ton of Sandy-related lesson plans.

School in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood begins healing process after Hurricane Sandy

Schools Reopen to Snarls; Transit Headaches Persist is from The New York Times.

Some New York City Students Head Back To School is from NPR.

Hurricane Sandy Damage To Schools: Power Outages, Flooding Keep Schools Closed In New York, Elsewhere (PHOTOS) is from The Huffington Post.

More Students Return to Classroom, at Strange Schools in Strange Places is from The New York Times.

Weighing Dangers of Cold Classrooms Against Risks of Missing Class
is from The New York Times.

Students In Displaced Schools Can Now Attend Nearest School They Can Get To is from NY1.

Youth Voices has a collection of student essays about Sandy.

A Good School Washed Away in the Storm is by Robert Pondiscio.

This is from the PBS News Hour (thanks to Alexander Russo for the tip):

The Road to Disaster Recovery is from Teaching Tolerance.

Students Lives Upended is a New York Times slideshow.

For storm-swept Rockaway football team, a brief bright moment is from Gotham Schools.

Uprooted in Storm, Students Endure Trek to Class is from The New York Times.

September 26, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Good Posts & Articles On Education Policy

Here are some relatively recent good posts and article on education policy:

Can Teacher Evaluation Improve Teaching? is from Education Next. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

More Evidence of Statistical Dodginess in Psychology? is from The Wall Street Journal. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research.

Business Opportunities Seen in New Tests, Low Scores is from Education Week. I’m adding it to A Beginning “The Best…” List On The Dangers Of Privatizing Public Education.

The Danger Of Denying The Coleman Report is by Gary Rubinstein. I’m adding it to The Best Places To Learn What Impact A Teacher & Outside Factors Have On Student Achievement.

Dialogue with the Gates Foundation: Can Schools Defeat Poverty by Ignoring It? is from Anthony Cody. I’m adding it to the same list.

Freakonomics and the application of science to education is by Daniel Willingham. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On “Loss Aversion” & Schools.

The Paradoxical Logic of School Turnarounds: A Catch-22 is from Larry Cuban’s blog. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Four School Improvement Grant Models.

Is Education a National Security Issue: A Critique of the Rice-Klein Report is by Yong Zhao. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On The Education & National Security Report.

School Choice & Social Capital is by Justin Baeder. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Analyzing Charter Schools.

August 21, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The Best Articles, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2012 — Part One

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’m doing mid-year “The Best…” lists to make it easier for me to do my end-of-the-year ones.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2011 — Part Two

The Best Articles & Posts On Education Polcy In 2011 — Part One

The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy — 2010

The “Best” Articles (And Blog Posts) About Education Policy — 2009

The “Best” Articles About Education — 2008

The “Best” Articles About Education — 2007

Here are my choices for The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2012 — So Far (not listed in order of preference):

Guest Post: Here’s What Was Missing From The Wall Street Journal’s Column On Teacher Evaluation is by John Thompson.

Professor Yong Zhao has done a fascinating analysis of the international PISA math assessments, and followed that up with a speech at the ISTE conference:

Professor Zhao has also posted his slide presentation here, and sample chapters of his new book. And he expanded on it in an Education Week commentary, Doublethink: The Creativity-Testing Conflict.

John Thompson published another great post — The Gates Foundation’s Belated Evolution — where he shares his thoughts on this week’s interviews with Melinda Gates and Diane Ravitch on the PBS News Hour. He discusses the work of the Measures Of Effective Teaching project (see The Best Posts On The Gates’ Funded Measures Of Effective Teaching Report) and its videotaping of teachers (see my Washington Post piece on Videotaping teachers the right way (not the Gates way)).

A Significant Error That Policymakers Commit is a new post by Larry Cuban that I’m sure will be a candidate for the best educational commentary of the year. In it, he discusses differences between “good” teaching and “successful” teaching, and describes “successful” learning.

What I believe is the best piece yet published on teacher evaluation was published this year. You can download Linda Darling Hammond’s Creating A Comprehensive System For Evaluating and Supporting Effective Teaching at the website of the Stanford Center For Opportunity Policy In Education.

My Teacher Leaders Network colleague Anthony S. Colucci has written an article titled “The Core Standards That Matter Most In My Classroom” that emphasize the standards that I think we should all be emphasizing, including:

• My class will be engaging.

• I will stress the importance of hard work.

• I will teach my students what it means to be responsible citizens.

• I will encourage my students to find careers they’ll love.

• I will treat my students with respect.

He encourages people to share their own “core” standards, too.

A Lesson in Teaching to the Test, From E.B. White is a must-read commentary over at The New York Times. In it, Anne Stone and Jeff Nichols share a great excerpt from E.B. White’s “The Trumpet of the Swan” and relates it to today’s education policy issues.

Value-Added Evaluation Hurts Teaching is a very important commentary written by Linda Darling-Hammond for Education Week.

“Socrates Fails Teacher Evaluation” is a great post by Heidi_Hayes_Jacobs.

Michael Winerip at The Times wrote an exceptional commentary on the controversial teacher effectiveness study highlighted on the front page of The New York Times earlier this year. You can read all about it at The Best Posts On The NY Times-Featured Teacher Effectiveness Study.

Getting Real About Turnarounds is by Diane Ravitch.

This twelve minute video of Anthony Bryk from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is one of the best things I’ve seen about teacher evaluation. Among other points, he compares summative teacher evaluation with teacher improvement.

I learned about it from Matthew Di Carlo at The Shanker Blog, a “must-read” blog for educators.

It is (Mostly) About Improvement from EdWriters on Vimeo.

Here’s a video of Diane Ravitch’s speech to the American Federation Of Teachers Convention in Detroit:

Responding to the Gates Foundation: How do we Consider Evidence of Learning in Teacher Evaluations? is by Anthony Cody at Education Week Teacher.

I’ve written quite a bit on education policy issues, and here are my three favorite ones — they may, or may not, deserve to be on this list:

Bribing students: Another ‘magical solution’ that doesn’t work is a piece I wrote that was published in The Washington Post.

I wrote Merit pay and ‘loss aversion’ at The Washington Post.

Teaching Students To Teach (& What School Reformers Are Missing) is a post I wrote, but the meat of it is an excerpt from a Larry Cuban post.

Feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at the 900 other “The Best…” lists and consider subscribing to this blog for free.

July 25, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

This Week’s Round-Up Of Good Education Posts

June 27, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

June’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):

No, The Dancing Guy Does Not Teach The Best Leadership Lessons

Part Two Of “Can’t Economists Stay Away From Schools?” — My Worst Fears Realized

Video Of Yong Zhao’s Keynote Speech At ISTE

Variations On “The Benjamin Franklin Effect”

“First Year Highlights: Helping Our Students Become Better Readers”

Guest Post: Here’s What Was Missing From The Wall Street Journal’s Column On Teacher Evaluation

Wow, MarQueed Could Be One Of The Best New Web 2.0 Tools Of The Year

Collaborate On An Essay With Nietzsche, Poe, & All Your Favorite Dead Writers

Being Reminded Of The Consequences Of Losing Self-Control Doesn’t Help; Asking About Goals Does

What Are The Best Sites For Smartboard Resources (& For Other IWB’s)?

“21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity”

Can’t Economists Stay Away From Schools? Don’t They Have Enough Other Things To Do?

“ImageSpike” Seems — Almost — Just Like “Thinglink”

This Sure Is One Impressive Interactive Infographic On The Civil War

Teachers’ Union Unveils Site To Share Lessons

“First Year Highlights: Student Motivation”

Yet Another Reason Why We Need To Be Positive With Our Students

“BeeClip.Edu” Looks Great

Subject Matter Knowledge Versus Pedagogy?

On The Importance Of Being Positive In Class

“Stories are about 22 times more memorable than facts alone”

How Students Evaluated Me This Year

“Check This” Is Another Super-Easy Way To Create A Webpage

This Is Really An Extraordinary Video…

An Even MORE Useful Infographic On “Smart Teaching”

“Response: Several Ways We Can Help Students Develop Their Creativity”

“‘What Money Can’t Buy’ and What it Shouldn’t Buy”

“Test Scores vs. Entrepreneurship”

“Did You Ever Grow Anything In The Garden Of Your Mind?” — Great PBS Remix Of Mister Rogers

This Post By John Thompson On Gates Is Candidate For Best Ed Policy Commentary Of The Year

“What If?” Slideshows From My English Language Learner Students

Qwiki Is Back! (Though It Never Really Went Away)

“Part Two Of Several Ways We Can Help Students Develop Good Habits”

“Tank Man of Tiananmen”

“You Cannot Make A Plant Grow — You Can Provide The Conditions For Growth”

U.S. Department Of Education Tries To Put Lipstick On A Pig

“You’re Never Going To Keep Me Down”

Excellent Commencement Address On Failure By Atul Gawande

More Evidence Reinforcing The Importance Of Connecting To Student Prior Knowledge

“Croak.it” Lets You Easily Record a Thirty Second Message

A Very Good Article On Metacognition

Here’s Another “Wow!” Site From Google — The “World Wonders Project”

Part Two Of “How I’m Helping My Students Try To Avoid The “Summer Slide””

How I’m Helping My Students Try To Avoid The “Summer Slide”

“Several Ways To Connect With Disengaged Students”

Free Resources From All My Books

“Film Story” Is A Very Impressive Site

June 9, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Good Education Policy-Related Posts & Articles

Here are several recent good education policy-related posts and articles:

High School Reunion is by Mike Rose.

What Can Voucher Fans Learn from the Space X Mission? is by Bill Ferriter. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning Why School Vouchers Are A Bad Idea.

Do Our Public Schools Threaten National Security? is by Diane Ravitch. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On The Education & National Security Report.

Yong Zhao in Conversation: Education Should Liberate, Not Indoctrinate is from Education Week.

What Do NAEP Scores Mean? is by Diane Ravitch.

The worst eighth-grade math teacher in New York City is by Aaron Pallas. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About The New York Court Decision Releasing Teacher Ratings.

Student surveys for children as young as 5 years old may help rate teachers is from The Washington Post. This ridiculous idea is just another example of how “school reformers” can take an idea that has great potential and warp it so everyone gets harmed. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Students Evaluating Classes (And Teachers).

The fantasies driving school reform: A primer for education graduates is by Richard Rothstein. I’m adding it to The Best Places To Learn What Impact A Teacher & Outside Factors Have On Student Achievement.

Teachers’ performance pay ‘does not raise standards’ is from The BBC. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning Why Teacher Merit Pay Is A Bad Idea.

The Paradox Of Performance Pay is from Farnam Street. I’m adding it to the same list.

Where should we focus our efforts? is from Delta Scape.

June 1, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Special Edition: “Round-Up” Of Good Education Policy Posts & Articles

Usually, I just post one of these “round-ups” each week, but I’ve got a bunch, so here’s a special edition:

A Test Worth Teaching To is from The Washington Monthly. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Next Generation” Of State Testing.

Machines Shouldn’t Grade Student Writing—Yet is from Slate.

More Important Things to Do With Student Writing Than Just Grade It is by Renee Moore.

I’m adding both to The Best Posts On Computer-Graded Essays.

Yong Zhao Interview: Will the Common Core Create World-Class Learners? appeared in Anthony Cody’s blog at Education Week. I’m adding it to The Best Articles Sharing Concerns About Common Core Standards.

March 25, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

The Best Posts & Articles On The Education & National Security Report

Earlier this week, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Independent Task Force on U.S. Education Reform and National Security (chaired by Joel Klein and Condoleezza Rice) was released.

Happily, it received attention for a couple of days and then dropped off of everybody’s radar screen. It will join the countless other task force reports that rest in the dust bin of history.

In the unlikely chance that someone does bring it up again in an education discussion, I thought it would be worth bringing together a few useful posts about it.

Here are my choices for The Best Posts & Articles On The Education & National Security Report:

The Joel Klein-Condi Rice ed report: What it will and won’t say is by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.

Condi Rice-Joel Klein report: Not the new ‘A Nation at Risk’ is also by Valerie Strauss.

Best part of ‘schools-threaten-national-security’ report: The dissents is, again, by Valerie Strauss.

U.S. Education Woes Threaten National Security, Report Says is from Education Week.

Do Our Public Schools Threaten National Security? is by Diane Ravitch.

Is Education a National Security Issue: A Critique of the Rice-Klein Report is by Yong Zhao.

Feedback is always 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 900 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

January 8, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

“Round-Up” Of Recent Good Posts & Articles On School Reform Issues

January 1, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
4 Comments

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2011

I put out a request, as I do every year, to readers to share the best education-related books that they had read over the past year. The books could have been published earlier and the only requirement was that you had read them sometime this year.

You might also be interested in these posts from previous years:

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2010

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2009

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2008

Thanks to all of you who took the time to contribute. Even if you didn’t, though, you can still share your recommendations in the comments section of this post.

My own personal favorite was Teaching 2030: What We Must Do for Our Students and Our Public Schools–Now and in the Future by Barnett Berry and my colleagues at the Teacher Leaders Network.

Here are others readers shared:

John Robinson:

From a school leadership perspective, one of the best books I’ve reviewed for the “not-quite-there” school administrator who wants an overview of educational technology, there is no better book than Lynne Schrum and Barbara Levin’s book Leading 21st Century Schools: Harnessing Technology for Engagement and Achievement. It is simple to read and well-organized. It would make an excellent gift for the administrator who wants or needs an overview of technology, especially Web 2.0. I posted on this book earlier in the year.

dogtrax (Kevin Hodgson):

I have a few books on my list this year (and I look forward to the recommendations of your readers) but in terms of offering teachers a practical and interesting way into using technology in a meaningful way, I suggest Wesley Fryer’s ebook “Playing with Media.” Fryer not only shows how technology can impact learning, but also provides the tools and links and guidance for teachers who know they need to move in that direction, but are not sure where to begin. The ebook format also allows Fryer to embed all sorts of examples.  And he is consistent with the message that I believe in: we teachers need to “play” and create with new media tools before we can envision the possibilities in the classroom for our students.

Steve Owens:

I Used to Think..and Now I Think..: Twenty Leading Educators Reflect on the Work of School Reform (Harvard Education Letter Impact Series) Richard F. Elmore (Author, Editor) Thought provoking essays on education policy that I keep near at hand – a lot of wisdom packed in a thin paperback!

Cindy Zavaglia:

The best education-related book that I read this year is “Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning” by Mike Schmoker. In a time full of so many new forms which are attempting to once again reform our educational system, Schmoker has the courage to suggest getting back to the essentials of deep reading and frequent writing. Our entire faculty read this book as part of our professional development plan this year and many are experiencing increased student engagement and achievement. I can’t recommend this book too highly.

Terry Elliott (Tellio):

I would recommend three books:

1. The Master and His Emissary by Iain McGilchrist:

An astonishing, rich feast of a book that finally puts left and right brain research in context. This is a book I read a few pages at a time in my Kindle where I highlighted and annotated it as well. This is a book that yields compound learning dividends.

2. Unschooling Rules by Clark Aldritch:

Every chapter (55 of them, very short) has gems of disruptive beauty that are useful and clarifying. As usual we get our best advice on learning from those outside the field. Aldritch is a games and sims developer who is on the periphery of school.

3. The Living Classroom by Christopher M. Bache:

This is the kind of book that provides brand new thrust for someone whose career is spluttering. New theory, new fuel, new power. I am still working my way through this one. I borrowed it via interlibrary loan via my university and have decided to get it to finish reading on my Kindle.

Good luck and maybe we will meet via highlights and notes in our respective Kindles.

Daniel W. Dyke:

I vote for Abe, as in “Learning from Lincoln – Leadership Practices for School Success,” by Harvey Alvy and Pam Robbins. Eleven well-written chapters are interspersed with leadership qualities from Lincoln’s life and culminate in 10 qualities, attributes, and skills for the 21st century school leader. The authors strive to show not only the need for each of these qualities to be present in our work today, but that they must be practiced as an interrelated whole if we, like Lincoln, are going to achieve success as leaders.

Cynthia Stogdill:

As a school librarian, my top picks for this year are:

Curriculum 21: Essential education for a changing world. This book really got me thinking about how we present information to our students. Are we doing them a dis-service by the methods we use in the classroom. Really turned my thinking upside down. My second choice was Beyond Cut and Paste by Jamie McKenzie. This little book is jammed full of information on multiple literacies and how we best prepare ours students to face all that information.

Beth Redford:

John Medina’s Brain Rules topped my list. With its emphasis on ALL the things our students’ brains require to succeed, including a low stress environment and exercise, this book makes clear, science-based arguments for schools that consider the needs of the whole child.

Nancy Flanagan:

My recommendation: “Someone Has to Fail: The Zero-Sum Game of Public Schooling,” by David Labaree.

If you ever wanted to understand how events and history conspired to get us to the position we’re in now, in terms of public education and policy, this is the book.

Bev Fine:

I liked How the ELL Brain Works by David A. Sousa. It’s thorough, starting with L1 and L2 acquisition, then has chapters devoted to teaching listening, speaking, reading, writing, and content areas, with lots of strategies, guidelines, and tips for teaching ELLs. It’s a well-put together book on a topic that we always want to learn more about.

Trudi Lawless:

My pick is Dealing With Difficult Teachers. It’s a great book for getting some perspective on the system for teachers. An epiphany for me was a passage about us as teachers having to deal with a challenging student for one year while their peers have to deal with them for up to twelve. Lots of good insights into the ‘mechanism’.

Myrdin Thompson:

Steve Perry When Push Comes to Shove-I’ve read the stack of required ed-reform/anti-ed-reform books this year, who hasn’t? But Perry’s book definitely struck more of a chord-perhaps because I’m a parent and advocate on a daily basis for more family engagement in education I was ready to hear a message of it’s time to step up and do more, rather than read another book that listed all the things in the past that went wrong with education reform/transform. I recognize it is important to know the history in order to not repeat it, but it is also important to recognize that for parents, it is the NOW that matters most to them, and what role they have as partners in the NOW and the TOMORROW because far too often they have been neglected in the past.

mrmyers:

The Book Whisperer – Donalyn Miller

This book made me question, revise, or ditch some of the long-standing things we’ve done regarding reading instruction and practice. She drove home the point of self-selection by students of reading material and giving students time to read – without test, quizzes, journals, etc attached to it. I can say it has made a tremendous difference in my students ability (and desire) to read.

James McKee:

Yong Zhao,  Catching Up or Leading The Way. Made me realize how much of what we do is based on myth and fear.

Carmen Buchanan:

Unmistakable Impact by Jim Knight

This book is extremely helpful to me as an instructional coach. We are working to be become an impact school. We are partnering within our building and with other schools in order to design a school that focuses on instruction and collaboration. This book is a model to go by!

L. Dijon Anderson:

I am currently reading the book, ‘The Purpose of Boys’ by Michael Gurian. It is a good read so far. Although it is not technically a book on education, some of the features can be applied to teaching. A good read so far.

Beth Sanders:

Teaching Digital Natives—Partnering for Real Learning (Corwin 2010)

This book has became my “teaching bible” for the school year. The idea of partnering is central to my hopes for creating a student-centered, 21st century thinker supporting, community classroom where teachers are learners, and learners are teachers.

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach:

Maybe someone would like to read my new book I co-authored with Lani. We feel like it is a must read:

The Connected Educator:Learning and Leading in a Digital Age

It guides an individual toward becoming a connected educator as well as how to design DIY PD in addition to providing a path to PLCs Next Generation.

Jackie Flowers:

Drumming to the Beat of Different Marchers by Debbie Silver

It is a great read for us secondary instructional coaches and teachers who are interested in improving their instructional skills in a differentiated classroom. The book is full of practical strategies.

Karen Vogelsang:

Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov; It’s a resource filled with tools that you can put into action right away. You don’t have to make anything, change your schedule or buy anything to implement. You just do it!

Deb Truskey:

Best book I read was: The Practical (and fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools by Christopher Bugaj & Sally Norton-Darr.

Thanks again to everybody who contributed! Feel free to leave additional recommendations in the comments section.

December 19, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2011 — Part Two

There have been so many excellent posts and articles about school reform (and videos, too!) this year that it’s been extraordinarily difficult to narrow them down.

So, I gave up. I’m keeping The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2011 — So Far, which covers the first six months of this year, and making this “Part Two” post so that it only covers the last six months.

In addition to Part One, you might also be interested in these previous editions:

The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy — 2010

The “Best” Articles (And Blog Posts) About Education Policy — 2009

The “Best” Articles About Education — 2008

The “Best” Articles About Education — 2007

Here are my choices for The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2011 — Part Two (not listed in order of preference):

How Online Learning Companies Bought America’s Schools is from The Nation.

Roxanna Elden has hit another home run with her post “Five School Reform Sound Bites That Hurt Teacher Buy-In.”

I’m going to humbly include Why schools should not grade character traits, a piece I wrote for The Washington Post.

Paradoxes of the Finland Phenomenon is by Joe Bower.

Atul Gawande’s feature article The New Yorker, Personal Best: Top athletes and singers have coaches. Should you?, sure sparked a lot of discussion on instructional coaches. I did an interview with Pam Moran, the Superintendent of the District featured in Gawande’s article. It is, be far, the most important piece on instructional coaching I’ve seen.

Linda Darling-Hammond’s Getting teacher evaluation right at The Answer Sheet may be THE piece on teacher evaluation.

The Grass Is Greener: Learning from Other Countries is by Yong Zhao.

Bias toward Numbers in Judging Teaching is by Larry Cuban.


School ‘Reform’: A Failing Grade
is by Diane Ravitch.

What Americans Think About Teachers Versus What They’re Hearing is from The Shanker Blog.

Why Are Finland’s Schools Successful? is from The Smithsonian Magazine.

Scapegoating is by Richard Kahlenberg.

When an adult took standardized tests forced on kids is from Valerie Strauss’ blog at The Washington Post.

Feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at the 800 other “The Best…” lists and consider subscribing to this blog for free.