Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

February 14, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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You’ll Want To Read This Interview With Education Researcher Kirabo Jackson

I’ve previously written about the work of education researcher Kirabo Jackson, particularly in More Evidence Showing The Dangers Of Using High-Stakes Testing For Teacher Evaluation and Statistic Of The Day: New Study Finds That Money Matters For Schools.

Today, Matt Barnum (whose work I have also shared several times) interviews him over at The 74, The 74 Interview: Kirabo Jackson on the Importance of School Spending, ‘Soft Skills’ and Teacher Quality.

You’ll definitely want to read the entire interview, but I was particularly struck by this part:

Can you describe the relationship between the teacher effects and students’ long-run outcomes?

The long-run outcomes that I look at in this current study, looking at students in ninth grade and their ninth-grade teachers. Then I look at their 12th grade outcomes, whether they graduate from high school and whether they report that they’re going to attend college. The finding there is that the teacher effects on these soft skills are much more predictive of their effects on these longer-run outcomes than the teacher effects on test scores. Teacher effects on test scores do predict — teachers who raise test scores are associated with higher levels of high school graduation and higher levels of students planning to go to four-year college, but the effects of teachers on the soft skills are much larger in magnitude.

I wasn’t quite sure if it said what I thought it said, so I corresponded with Matt, who gave me permission to include his responses – I think it’s pretty interesting and important and definitely food for thought:

LF: I really liked the interview you did with Kirabo Jackson, and plan to blog about it. I do have a question about one portion of it, however. In the response on soft skills and long-term outcomes, is he saying that ninth-grade teachers who are particularly good in helping student acquire soft skills are more successful “much larger in magnitude” in having students graduate and attend college? Or is he talking about other kinds of long-term outcomes?

Matt Barnum:

I think your initial interpretation is correct – that is teachers’ “value-added” to soft skills is more predictive than their value-added to test scores of students’ long run outcomes like graduating high school and attending college. However, teachers’ value-added to test scores *is* itself predictive of long run outcomes – just less so than their value-added to soft skills>

LF: One more question- in his past research, I know he has looked at suspension rates and other elements (I’ve listed them in a previous post about his studies tho can’t remember the others right now). That’s still the measurement he is using for ‘soft skills’?

Matt Barnum:

Yep – that’s right. The “soft skills” are “absences, suspensions, course grades, and on-time grade progression” and he’s connected teachers effects on those soft skills to teachers’ impacts on long run outcomes including high school graduation and college attendance. That is teachers who improve short-run soft skills (and test scores) also improve long-run outcomes.

November 4, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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More Studies Finding That If Educators Are Good At Raising Test Scores, They Might Be Missing The Boat With Other Skills

I’ve previously posted about studies that have found that the laser-like focus on raising student test scores often identifies teachers who are good at doing that, but those VAM-like measures tend to short-change educators who are good at developing Social Emotional or “non-cognitive skills” (see More Evidence Showing The Dangers Of Using High-Stakes Testing For Teacher Evaluation ; Another Study Shows Limitations Of Standardized Tests For Teacher Evaluations; Study Finds Teachers Whose Students Achieve High Test Scores Often Don’t Do As Well With SEL Skills and SEL Weekly Update).

And those have been followed-up by further research finding that that ninth-grade teachers who are particularly good in helping student acquire non-cognitive skills are more successful “much larger in magnitude” in having students graduate and attend college than those whose work results in higher test scores alone (see You’ll Want To Read This Interview With Education Researcher Kirabo Jackson).

Two additional studies now reinforce the findings that focusing on test scores could result in teachers missing the boat on other critical factors.

Teacher Effects on Complex Cognitive Skills and Social-Emotional Competencies is the title of one by Matthew A. Kraft. Here’s an excerpt:

 

One additional practical benefit from his paper is that he reproduces in the appendix copies of simple surveys that have been used to measure perseverance and a growth mindset. No, they shouldn’t be used for high-stakes assessment (you can find lots of articles at The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources about why that’s a bad idea). However, I think they could be very useful for those of us in the classroom who want to use it in the spirit of being data-informed and not data-driven (The Best Resources Showing Why We Need To Be “Data-Informed” & Not “Data-Driven”) as formative assessments.

Chalkbeat covers more research at When teachers are better at raising test scores, their students are less happy, study finds.

And before some begin to wonder if “happiness” is a loosey-goosey term that means teachers just have to show movies and give out candy, the researcher instead finds that a pre-requisite for student happiness is creating an “emotionally supportive classroom environment.”

I think everyone would agree that this kind of atmosphere is a critical one for learning to flourish.

So, perhaps evaluating teacher effectiveness is far-more complicated than many think. Who would have thought?

August 12, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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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, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2017 – So Far):

A New Kind of Classroom: No Grades, No Failing, No Hurry is from The New York Times.

Betsy DeVos: School Voucher Program Could Be Included in Tax Overhaul Discussion is from TIME. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Our New U.S. Secretary of Education.

After 6 months on job, education chief still highly divisive is from The Associated Press. I’m adding it to the same list.

When Privatization Means Segregation: Setting the Record Straight on School Vouchers is by Leo Casey. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning Why School Vouchers Are A Bad Idea (& Other Commentaries On “Choice”).

What should America do about its worst public schools? States still don’t seem to know. is from The Washington Post.

Black plaintiffs in Alabama appeal decision to allow white city to secede from its school district is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About School Desegregation (& Segregation) – Help Me Find More.

This sequence of tweets from education researcher Kirabo Jackson (You’ll Want To Read This Interview With Education Researcher Kirabo Jackson) seem pretty important to me. He points out that while test scores might not be increasing rapidly, that “slow” growth coincides with a substantial reduction of the drop-out rates across all ethnic groups. So, the overall student population taking the tests now has different, and more challenging, characteristics than the student population who formerly took the test:

June 3, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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My Favorite Posts In 2017 – So Far

 

Every year I identify my personal favorite posts, and it’s time for my mid-year selection.

You can see my choices for each of the past ten years here.

And you can also see a list of my My All-Time Favorite Posts!

I’ve also been highlighting some of the “best-of-the-best” in the “A Look Back” series.

I’m adding this post to All Mid-Year 2017 “Best” Lists In One Place.

Here are My Favorite Posts In 2016 — Part Two:

NON-“BEST” LISTS:

Two New & Very Useful Writing Frames For Teachers & Students

“Four ways to encourage speaking in the ELL classroom” Is My New British Council Post

I Talk About My Biggest Teaching Mistake In This Radio Interview

Here’s A Plan For An Oral Skills Class Next Year – Please Help Make It Better!

Amazing Bruce Springsteen Video On The Importance Of Practice

Guest Post: What ELLs Taught Our School In A Week-Long Empathy Project

New Animated Video I’ve Done With Ed Week: “What Is ‘Transfer of Learning’ and How Does It Help Students?”

Guest Post From Lorin W. Anderson, Co-Author Of The Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy

“Knowledge” & Bloom’s Pyramid

Google’s Brand New “AutoDraw” Is Likely To Become A Favorite Place For Those Of Us Who Are Artistically-Challenged

Everything You Wanted To Know About How We’re Using Virtual Reality With ELLs, But Were Afraid To Ask

Now This Is A Student Goal-Setting Strategy That May Actually Work

What ‘Scarcity’ Does To The Mind & Why Social Emotional Learning Isn’t Enough

Here Are Some Of The Knowledge Questions My TOK Students Are Using For Oral Presentations This Year

“Everyone Is A Teacher” Is A New Engagement Strategy I’m Using & It Seems To Be Working

Here’s My Entire ELL Beginners Seven-Week Unit On Writing A Story (Including Hand-outs & Links)

ASCD Educational Leadership Publishes My Article On Personalized Learning

We Should Be Obsessed With Racial Equity

You’ll Want To Read This Interview With Education Researcher Kirabo Jackson

“Putting Teacher Action Research Into Action” Is My New British Council Post

Here’s A Lesson – & A Template – That Intermediate ELL Students Taught Beginners

My Latest NY Times Post For ELLs Is On Teaching About “Fake News”

Video: “Adobe Spark” Is Excellent Tool For ELLs

What Does “Direct Instruction” Really Mean?

Play-Doh & IB Theory Of Knowledge: Student Hand-Out & Videos

Our School Is Not “Flush With Cash” & Our Students Are Not “Deprived Of All Knowledge”

“BEST” LISTS:

The Best Articles, Posts & Videos On John Hattie’s Research

The Best Resources Explaining Why We Need To Support The Home Language Of ELLs

The Thirty-Seven “All-Time” Best Lists

The Best Practical Resources For Helping Teachers, Students & Families Respond To Immigration Challenges

A Beginning List Of The Best Resources For Fighting Islamophobia In Schools

The Best Resources On Providing Scaffolds To Students

May 20, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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SEL Weekly Update

I’ve recently begun this weekly post where I’ll be sharing resources I’m adding to The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources or other related “Best” lists:

The Wallace Foundation has come out with a big report on SEL programs in elementary schools. You can also read an article about it at Ed Source.

10 Incredible Lessons We Learned From Michael Phelps on Grit and Perseverance is a very accessible article that could easily be used with students, along with a simple writing prompt. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Importance Of “Grit”

Can a Difficult Childhood Enhance Cognition? is from The Atlantic. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Looking At Our Students Through The Lens Of Assets & Not Deficits.

When an Argument Gets Too Heated, Here’s What to Say is from The Harvard Business Review.

May 15, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Articles, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2017 – So Far

It’s time for another of my end-of-year “Best” lists (you can see all 1,700 “The Best…” lists here).

I’m adding this one to All Mid-Year 2017 “Best” Lists In One Place

You might also be interested in:

The Best Articles, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2016 – Part Two

The Best Articles, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2016 – So Far

The Best Articles, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2015 – Part Two

The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2015 – So Far

The Best Articles, Posts & Videos On Education Policy In 2014 – Part Two

The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2014 – So Far

The Best Articles, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2013 — Part Two

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

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

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

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

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, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2017 – So Far (let me know what you think I’m missing). these are not listed in any order of preference:

The Untold History of Charter Schools is by Rachel Cohen. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Analyzing Charter Schools.

Trump’s Wrong about the Schools is from The Huffington Post.

The Best Resources On Social Capital In Schools

Where is the U.S. in School Reform in 2017? is by Larry Cuban.

Education for Sale? is by Linda Darling Hammond.

How The Systemic Segregation Of Schools Is Maintained By ‘Individual Choices’ is from NPR.

Educator, speaker, and writer Chris Emdin gave the keynote at SXSWedu, a big education and tech conference.

You can read an extensive interview I did with Chris for Education Week last year, ‘For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…’: An Interview With Chris Emdin.

You can also read about this impressive keynote at Ed Week, SXSWedu 2017 Conference Opens With a Challenge of Attendees’ Motives.

Have We Lost Sight of the Promise of Public Schools? is an important New York Times column by Nikole Hannah-Jones. It’s about our public schools, and also discusses the role and health of our public institutions. You’ll definitely want to read the entire piece, and it’s not very long.

Here’s an excerpt:

You’ll Want To Read This Interview With Education Researcher Kirabo Jackson

The real meaning of school choice is by Nancy Vera. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning Why School Vouchers Are A Bad Idea (& Other Commentaries On “Choice”).

The Trump War on Public Schools appeared in The New York Times. Here’s an excerpt:

The Unit of Education is from Learning Spy. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research.

Our School Is Not “Flush With Cash” & Our Students Are Not “Deprived Of All Knowledge”

More Students Are Graduating Because High School Is Getting Less Boring is from Vice. I’m adding it to The Best Articles Pointing Out That Our Schools Are Not Failing — Please Suggest More.

Milwaukee’s Voucher Verdict is from The American Prospect. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning Why School Vouchers Are A Bad Idea.

New & Important Report On Deliberate Practice & Teacher Prep

School Vouchers 101: What They Are, How They Work — And Do They Work? is from NPR.

It Turns Out Spending More Probably Does Improve Education is the headline of a story in The New York Times.

A teacher makes eight education predictions for 2017 — some of them dire is the headline of my annual Washington Post column that appeared at the end of last year. I did not enjoy writing them…

There’s obviously a lot of other news related to the Trump Administration, and you can find many updates at The Best Resources For Learning About Our New U.S. Secretary of Education.

May 14, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2017 – So Far

Time for my third mid-year “Best” list this year.

You might also be interested in:

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2016 – Part Two

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2016 – So Far

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2015 – Part Two

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2015 – So Far

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2014 – Part Two

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2014 – So Far

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2013 – Part Two

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2013 — So Far

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2012 — So Far

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2011

Here are my choices for My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2017 – So Far:

Big Meta-Analysis Says Four Teaching Strategies Are Most Effective For Low-Income Students

Statistic Of The Day: School Bullying Reduced

The Best Resources For Learning About The Value Of “Self-Explanation”

New Research Suggests That “Community Trust” Enhances Self-Control & Long-Term Thinking

New Study Finds That Threats & Using Guilt Tend Not To Produce Student Engagement – Duh!

Here’s a simple way to boost your learning from videos: “Prequestion” is from BPS Digest. Daniel Willingham writes about the same study. I’m adding both links to The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL, where you’ll find other resources related to effective student video viewing.

The Best Resources Explaining Why We Need To Support The Home Language Of ELLs

The Importance Of “Purpose”

Quote Of The Day: Bilingual Is Better!

Another Study Highlights Importance Of Teacher Diversity

The Best Articles, Posts & Videos On John Hattie’s Research

“Unpaywall” Is New Tool For Accessing Research Papers For Free

Another Unsurprising Research Result: Students Less Likely To Drop-Out If Teachers Encourage Them To Continue

The Best Resources For Learning About The Issue Of “Learning Styles”

New Report Connecting SEL To Standards Should Be On “Must-Read” List For Most Educators

Nice Article On Metacognition

Video: “This is what happens to your brain when you stop exercising”

What ‘Scarcity’ Does To The Mind & Why Social Emotional Learning Isn’t Enough

Quote Of The Day: Reflection Is Important

Teaching Critical Thinking In History Reduces Belief In Pseudoscience

New Study: The Milgram Experiment Is Replicated

How P.A. Announcements Affect Student Learning

The Best Resources For Learning About Teacher Action Research – Help Me Find More

New Study On Reading Takes Right Idea & Messes It Up

Study Finds That It’s True: Good Teaching Conditions For Educators Equals Good Learning Conditions For Students

New Study Reaffirms What Teachers Know: Relationships Matter

You’ll Want To Read This Interview With Education Researcher Kirabo Jackson

Another Depressing Statistic On Wealth Inequality

No Surprise: Study Finds That If Teachers Show Bias, Then Students Don’t Trust Them Or School

Finally, Developing Leadership Is Recognized as Improving Educational Outcomes! is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Posts, Articles & Videos On “Teacher Leadership” — Contribute More!

New Study Connects Growth Mindset & “Bouncing Back” From Mistakes

Yet Another Study Finds Advantages To Being Bilingual

Study Finds Lecturing Not Best Way To Teach – Shocking (NOT!)

Surprise – NOT! Study Finds That Money Matters To Education

Quote Of The Day: Studying & Listening To Music Don’t Mix

New Study Finds Connection Between Empathy & Self-Control

Big New – & Useful – Federal Report Out Today On Helping Students Develop Self-Regulation Skills

Statistic Of The Day: Less Physical Activity For Boys Equals Less Academic Achievement

Statistic Of The Day: This One Should Make Everyone Learning A New Language Happy

“Practitioners’ Instincts, Observations” Have Important Role In Research

Mathematica Releases “Must-Have” Guide For Any Educator Trying To Interpret Research

New Study Finds That PD, Collaboration, Safety, Expectations Important For Schools – What A Surprise!

The Elephant In The Room In The Talent vs. Practice Debate

Round Two: How Much “Content” Knowledge Do You Really Need To Be An Effective Teacher?

A Decent Post About The Value Of Guided/Assisted Discovery Learning – Too Bad It Uses The Wrong Comparison

April 18, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

SEL Weekly Update

I’ve recently begun this weekly post where I’ll be sharing resources I’m adding to The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources or other related “Best” lists:

Nearly half of California school districts earn top ratings for lowering suspensions is from Ed Source. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Restorative Practices – Help Me Find More.

Suspending Students Costs Billions in Economic Losses, New Study Finds is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to the same list.

The Difference between a Motivation Problem and a Discipline Problem is from Mindsteps. I’m adding it to Best Posts On “Motivating” Students.

ASCD summarizes a recent study on the economic benefits of SEL:

Across all six programs, the study found that “identified benefits outweigh the costs by a factor of 11:1.”

Got grit? Maybe . . . is from Kappan Online provides good cautions about the effort to measure grit. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Importance Of “Grit”

Forget Grit. Focus on Inequality. appeared in Ed Week. I’m adding it to the same list.

The Surprising Benefits of Gratitude comes from Fast Company. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On “Gratitude”

I’ve previously shared the research of Kirabo Jackson, who has found that evaluating teachers using test scores often miss the positive impact teachers have on social emotional learning skills development.

Now, some new research reinforces what he found.

From a new study, Teacher Quality, Test Scores and Non-Cognitive Skills: Evidence from Primary School Teachers in the UK:

I also find that teachers’ effects on test scores and non-cognitive skills are not strongly correlated, so that many teachers who increase
non-cognitive skills do not raise test scores, and vice versa.

Jackson himself has also found some very interesting data in some of his new research:

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