Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

March 8, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

Here are some recent useful posts and articles on educational policy issues (You might also be interested in The Best Articles, Posts & Videos On Education Policy In 2014 – Part Two):

Charter School in Miami Fails, but Proves Useful on Jeb Bush’s Résumé is from The New York Times.

Teachers in Teach for America aren’t any better than other teachers when it comes to kids’ test scores is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Raising Concerns About Teach For America.

Frustrated with the pace of progress in education? Invest in better evidence is by Thomas Kane. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research.

What Can Educators Learn From ‘Bunkum’ Research? is from Education Week. I’m adding it to the same list.

Testing ‘disaster’ in Florida prompts call for statewide suspension is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Next Generation” Of State Testing.

School Agenda Bedevils Chicago Mayor in Race is from The New York Times.

Rahm Emanuel Seemed Unstoppable—Until He Ticked Off Chicago’s Teachers is from The Nation.

Professor: Common Core Teaches Students That Murder Isn’t Wrong appeared in Education Week, and is very interesting.

Dave Powell has written two good posts on Value-Added Measurement: The Declining Value of Value-Added Models, and Why They Persist Anyway and Does the Teacher Matter or Not? I’m adding both to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Value-Added” Approach Towards Teacher Evaluation.

Chris Christie’s bold plan to remake public schools is running into trouble is from The Washington Post.

January 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

'Oct. 17, 2011' photo (c) 2011, Mario Garcia-Baeza - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Here are some recent useful posts on education policy issues:

Garbage In, Garbage Out: Or, How to Lie with Bad Data is from Medium. I’m adding it to The Best Resources Showing Why We Need To Be “Data-Informed” & Not “Data-Driven.”

Fight over school funding starts Thursday is from The San Francisco Chronicle, and gives an excellent overview of California ed policy issues.

On Listing Education Innovators and Intellectuals is by Audrey Watters.

L.A. Unified surveys prices others pay for iPads, similar devices is from the L.A. Times. Don’t you think they should have done this a little earlier? I’m adding it to A Very Beginning List Of The Best Articles On The iPad Debacle In Los Angeles Schools.

New Advocacy Group Seeks to Expose Corporate Ties to Ed. Department is from Education Week.

The Bunkum Awards 2013 is from The Education Policy Center. Here is a description:

This marks our eighth year of handing out the Bunkum Awards, recognizing the lowlights in educational research over the past year. As long as the bunk keeps flowing, the awards will keep coming. It’s the least we can do. This year’s deserving awardees join a pantheon of divine purveyors of weak data, shoddy analyses, and overblown recommendations from years past. Congratulations, we guess—to whatever extent congratulations are due.

How Schools Can Succeed Without Tests is from The Hechinger Report. I’m adding it to The Best Articles Describing Alternatives To High-Stakes Testing.

The Problem With Sec. Duncan Playing HR Guru is by Rick Hess at Ed Week.

Are We Learning From Evaluations? is from Education Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

The Global Search for Education: The World Test? is from The Huffington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On 2012 PISA Test Results.

February 21, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Most Dysfunctional Education Reports Of The Year!

The National Education Policy Center has announced their annual Bunkum Awards:

This marks our seventh year of handing out the treasured Bunkums. That’s seven years of honoring the lows and very lows, chosen from among those reports scrutinized by our expert reviewers. It’s an ugly business, akin to being hired to write weekly columns about Congress: there’s no glossing over the dysfunction, so we might as well have fun with it.

You can read my previous posts about past Bunkum Awards here.

May 31, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Check Out These Awards For “disingenuous education reports produced by think tanks”

“The Bunkum Awards highlight nonsensical, confusing, and disingenuous education reports produced by think tanks. They are given each year by the Think Twice think tank review project to think tank reports judged to have most egregiously undermined informed discussion and sound policy making.”

This is the description given by the National Education Policy Center, University of Colorado of their “awards” program. They just announced their winners for 2011.

You can access their archives from previous years at the same link.

And here’s their video about this year’s awards:

November 11, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research

'Research' photo (c) 2008, Anders Sandberg - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

This week’s “Question Of The Week” at my Education Week Teacher blog relates to how we can tell the difference between good and bad education research. As a supplement to next week’s response on that issue, I wanted to bring together some helpful resources that might be understandable to other teachers and me.

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

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

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

The Best Posts On The Study Suggesting That Bare Classroom Walls Are Best For Learning

Here are my choices for The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research:

A primer on navigating education claims by Paul Thomas.

Matthew Di Carlo at the Shanker Blog has written quite a few good posts on the topic:

In Research, What Does A “Significant Effect” Mean?

Revisiting The CREDO Charter School Analysis

Our Annual Testing Data Charade

The Education Reporter’s Dilemma

Settling Scores

A Policymaker’s Primer on Education Research: How to Understand, Evaluate and Use It is from the Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL). Here’s a non-PDF version.

School Finance 101 often does great data analysis. Bruce Baker’s posts there, though, tend to be a little more challenging to the layperson, but it’s still definitely a must-visit blog.

Here’s a related post:

Hey, Researchers and Policymakers: Pay Attention to the Questions Teachers Ask is by Larry Cuban.

What Counts as a Big Effect? (I) is by Aaron Pallas. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research. Thanks to Scott McLeod for the tip, who also wrote a related post.

Why “Evidence-Based” Education Fails is by Paul Thomas.

How to Judge if Research is Trustworthy is by Audrey Watters.

The “Journal of Errology” has a very funny post titled What it means when it says …. Here’s a sample:

“It has long been known” means “I didn’t look up the original reference”

“It is believed that” means “I think”

“It is generally believed that” means “A couple of others think so, too”

Value-Added Versus Observations, Part One: Reliability is from The Shanker Blog.


Understand Uncertainty in Program Effects
is a report by Sarah Sparks over at Education Week.

Limitations of Education Studies is by Walt Gardner at Education Week.

More Evidence of Statistical Dodginess in Psychology? is from The Wall Street Journal.

How To Tell Good Science From Bad
is by Daniel Willingham.

When You Hear Claims That Policies Are Working, Read The Fine Print is from The Shanker Blog.

Esoteric Formulas and Educational Research is from Walt Gardner at Education Week.

Effect Size Matters in Educational Research
is by Robert Slavin.

Beware Of “Breakthrough” Education Research is by Paul Bruno.

Why Nobody Wins In The Education “Research Wars” is from The Shanker Blog.

Why it’s caveat emptor when it comes to some educational research is by Tom Bennett.

Six Ways to Separate Lies From Statistics is from Bloomberg News.

Thinking (& Writing) About Education Research & Policy Implications is from Bruce Baker.

Quote Of The Day: “When Can You Trust A Data Scientist”

How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists is from “Violent Metaphors.”

Word Attack: “Objective” is by Sabrina Joy Stevens.

How people argue with research they don’t like is a useful diagram from The Washington Post.

Twenty tips for interpreting scientific claims is from Nature.

5 key things to know about meta-analysis is from Scientific American.

Understanding Educational Research is by Walt Gardner at Ed Week.

Evaluation: A Revolt Against The “Randomistas”? is by Alexander Russo.

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

Spotting-Bad-Science-v2

Thanks to Compound Interest

Here’s how much your high school grades predict your future salary is an article in The Washington Post about a recent study. It’s gotten quite a bit of media attention. How Well Do Teen Test Scores Predict Adult Income? is an article in the Pacific Standard that provides some cautions about reading too much into the study. It makes important points that are relevant to the interpretation of any kind of research.

How qualitative research contributes is by Daniel Willingham.

Why Statistically Significant Studies Aren’t Necessarily Significant is from Pacific Standard.

The Problem with Research Evidence in Education is from Hunting English.

The U.S. Department of Education has published a glossary of education research terms.

If the Research is Not Used, Does it Exist? is from The Teachers College Record.

How to Read Education Data Without Jumping to Conclusions is a good article in The Atlantic by Jessica Lahey & Tim Lahey.

Here’s an excerpt:

Correlationdoes-not

A Draft Bill of Research Rights for Educators is by Daniel Willingham.

Which Education Research Is Worth the Hype? is from The Education Writers Association.

This Is Interesting & Depressing: Only 13% Of Education Research Experiments Are Replicated

Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post picked up my original post on the lack of replication in education research (This Is Interesting & Depressing: Only .13% Of Education Research Experiments Are Replicated) and wrote a much more complete piece on it. She titled it A shocking statistic about the quality of education research.

Usable Knowledge: Connecting Research To Practice is a new site from The Harvard School of Education that looks promising.

When researchers lie, here are the words they use is from The Boston Globe.

Education researchers don’t check for errors — dearth of replication studies is from The Hechinger Report.

How to Tell If You Should Trust Your Statistical Models is from The Harvard Business Review.

What You Need To Know About Misleading Education Graphs, In Two Graphs is from The Shanker Blog.

The one chart you need to understand any health study is from Vox. I think it has implications for ed research.

Small K-12 Interventions Can Be Powerful is from Ed Week.

Trust, But Verify is by David C. Berliner and Gene V Glass and provides a good analysis of how to interpret education research. Here’s an excerpt:

Many-reports-of-a

Quote Of The Day: Great Metaphor On Standardized Tests

How can you tell if scientific evidence is strong or weak? is from Vox.

Frustrated with the pace of progress in education? Invest in better evidence is by Thomas Kane.

What Can Educators Learn From ‘Bunkum’ Research? is from Education Week.

The Difference Between “Evidence-Based” & “Evidence-Informed” Education

Two “Must Use” Resources From The UK On Education Research

Quote Of The Day: “Real-world learning is messy”

Making Sense of Education Research is from The Education Writers Association.

Useful Tweets On Ed Research From #rEDNY

The uses and abuses of evidence in education is not a research study, but a guide to evaluating research. It’s by Geoff Petty.

Education Studies Warrant Skepticism is by Walt Gardner.

Ten reasons for being skeptical about ‘ground-breaking’ educational research is from The Language Gym.

A Quick Guide to Spotting Graphics That Lie is from National Geographic (thanks to Bruce Baker for the tip).

A Trick For Higher SAT scores? Unfortunately no. is by Terry Burnham.

How Not to Be Misled by Data is from The Wall Street Journal.

Additional suggestions are 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 800 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

February 3, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Check Out These Awards For “disingenuous education reports produced by think tanks”

“The Bunkum Awards highlight nonsensical, confusing, and disingenuous education reports produced by think tanks. They are given each year by the Think Twice think tank review project to think tank reports judged to have most egregiously undermined informed discussion and sound policy making.”

This is the description given by the National Education Policy Center, University of Colorado of their “awards” program. They just announced their winners for 2010.

You can access their archives from previous years at the same link.