Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

October 17, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

“Richard Rothstein: Why teacher quality can’t be only centerpiece of reform”

December 28, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Excerpt From Great Richard Rothstein Book

I like education writer Richard Rothstein a lot, as you can see from some previous posts.

I just learned that an excerpt from his excellent book, Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic, and Educational Reform To Close The Black-White Achievement Gap. is available online.

I also included several quotes from his book in my own, Building Parent Engagement In Schools. I use his research to help reinforce why schools need to work with parents to respond to the major impediments to student achievement outside the schoolhouse walls.

Thanks to Susan Ohanian for the tip.

October 13, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Wash. Post Article Wonders If Test Scores Might Not Accurately Evaluate Teachers — Ya’ Think?

one-teacher-might-be

Jesse Rothstein’s new paper questioning the infamous Chetty study (see a best list on that research here) received some thoughtful coverage today in The Washington Post.

As Rothstein’s analysis suggests, perhaps using test scores to evaluate teachers might not be a good idea….

You might also be interested in:

The Best Resources For Learning About The “Value-Added” Approach Towards Teacher Evaluation

The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments

And look for a series in my Education Week Teacher column later this month on this very topic!

June 13, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

'UTLA Protest Against Principal' photo (c) 2014, Clotee Allochuku - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Here are some recent important posts and articles on educational policy issues:

Of course, the big news this week was the awful Vergara decision. Here are some good pieces that have come out and that I’m adding to California Court Rules It’s All The Teachers’ Fault, which is where I’ve been collecting post-court-decision analyses. You can also find a lot of background info at The Best Resources On California Court Case Attacking Teacher’s Rights (I used the photo to illustrate this post because of LA Supt Deasy’s public support of the ruling):

AFT’s Weingarten smacks Arne Duncan about his praise for Vergara decision is from The Washington Post.
Tenure Is Not the Problem is by Richard Kahlenberg.

Taking On Teacher Tenure Backfires is by Jesse Rothstein and appeared in The New York Times.

Fuzzy Math: The guesstimate that struck down California’s teacher tenure laws. is from Slate.

“Strict scrutiny” of Vergara ruling a setback for California teachers is by David B. Cohen.

A silver lining in the Vergara decision? is from The Washington Post.

Why that ruling against teacher tenure won’t help your schoolchildren appeared in The LA Times.

Here’s a great video response from National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel:

Here are posts on other policy topics:

Is Teacher Attrition Actually Increasing? is from The Shanker Blog.

Unions and the Concept of ‘Adult Interests’ is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning Why Teachers Unions Are Important.

The VA and VAM is by Gene Glass.

Morality, Validity, and the Design of Instructionally Sensitive Tests is by David Berliner and appeared in Ed Week. Here’s an excerpt:

A consensus is that outside of school factors account for about 60% of the variance in student test scores, while schools account for about 20% of that variance (Haertel, 2013; Borman and Dowling, 2012; Coleman et al., 1966). Further, about half of the variance accounted for by schools is attributed to teachers. So, on tests that may be insensitive to instruction, teachers appear to account for about 10% of the variance we see in student achievement test scores (American Statistical Association, 2014). Thus outside-of-school factors appear 6 times more powerful than teachers in effecting student achievement.

I’m adding it to The Best Places To Learn What Impact A Teacher & Outside Factors Have On Student Achievement.

Gates Foundation urges delay in using tests for teacher evaluation
is from The Washington Post.

June 10, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

California Court Rules It’s All The Teachers’ Fault

'Tel Aviv - It's all your fault' photo (c) 2011, Yaffa Phillips - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

In an awful ruling for teachers, students and their families, a California court “struck down teacher tenure and seniority protections embedded in California law.”

You can read a lot more about it at:

The Best Resources On California Court Case Attacking Teacher’s Rights

You might also be interested in I Am Tired Of “School Reformers” Using The Civil Rights Movement Legacy To Support Their Agenda

The Best Articles For Helping To Understand Both Why Teacher Tenure Is Important & The Reasons Behind Seniority-Based Layoffs

Here are some reactions:

This is the best analysis of the decision that I’ve seen so far:

And follow-up to that post:

And here’s another very intriguing analysis:

This is a good one, too:

 

 

 

 

And here’s a very interesting “quick reaction” to the verdict people will want to read.

Here’s an article from The NY Times.

Informed Student Advocates Pursue Reforms that, Unlike Vergara v. California, Actually Address Inequity is by Ben Spielberg.

Making it easier to fire teachers won’t get you better ones is by Jack Schneider.

Last Dance of the Lemons
is by EduShyster.

“Strict scrutiny” of Vergara ruling a setback for California teachers is by David B. Cohen.

Job Protections Do Not Hurt Students is by Brian Jones.

Will California’s Ruling Against Teacher Tenure Change Schools?
is by Dana Goldstein.

AFT’s Weingarten smacks Arne Duncan about his praise for Vergara decision is from The Washington Post.

Taking On Teacher Tenure Backfires is by Jesse Rothstein and appeared in The New York Times.

Fuzzy Math: The guesstimate that struck down California’s teacher tenure laws. is from Slate.

“Strict scrutiny” of Vergara ruling a setback for California teachers is by David B. Cohen.

A silver lining in the Vergara decision? is from The Washington Post.

Why that ruling against teacher tenure won’t help your schoolchildren appeared in The LA Times.

Tenure Is Not the Problem is by Richard Kahlenberg.

Here’s a great video response from National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel:

The Vergara Decision is from K-12 Schools: Beyond the Rhetoric at Ed Week.

Aren’t California tenure policies in fact unreasonable? Plus 4 more Vergara questions asked and answered is from The Washington Post.

Vergara: The silver bullet that wasn’t is by Barnett Berry.

Even in Winning, Vergara Is Still a Loser is from Ed Week.

Is This The End of Teachers Unions is from Ebony.

Opinion: Blaming Tenure May Be Free But it’s a Cheap Shot is a very good piece in SchoolBook.

Gay Marriage and Vergara is by Rick Hess at Ed Week.

Grounding Vergara In The Realities of Teaching in California is from Ed Week.

For Vergara Ruling on Teachers, Big Questions Loom is also from Ed Week.

Guest Post: In Defense of “Last-In, First-Out” is from on labor.

May 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Commentaries On The 60th Anniversary Of Brown vs. Board Of Education

'Supreme Court decision' photo (c) 2006, Beatrice Murch - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Boy oh boy, have there been a lot of commentaries published about the recent 60th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education.

I’ve been less than impressed by most.

Here are the ones I thought were particularly useful (note that I linked to some of them in a recent “round-up” of ed policy posts):

Five myths about Brown v. Board of Education is from The Washington Post.

Sixty Years After Brown V. Board, Black Teachers Are Disappearing—Again is by Melinda Anderson.

60 Years After Brown v. BOE, Mostly White Reformers Try To Fix ‘The Civil Rights Issue Of Our Generation’ is from The Huffington Post.

Sixty Years After Brown, Latino Students Are Most Segregated, Report Says is from Ed Week.

Sylvia Mendez and California’s School Desegregation Story is from Ed Week.

60 years later, desegregation of schools not done is from the Associated Press, as is Segregation gains ground 60 years after Brown.

How to help students of color, 60 years after historic Brown v. Board ruling appeared in The Washington Post.

Brown v. Board at 60: Why Have We Been So Disappointed? What Have We Learned? is by Richard Rothstein.

Six Decades After Brown v. Board is from Ed Week.

60 Years After Brown, Educators Demand More Focus on Public School Support is from U.S. News.

Brown at 60 (part 2) is by Renee Moore.

You might also be interested in two other previous posts:

A Collection Of Useful Posts, Articles & Videos On Race & Racism

I Am Tired Of “School Reformers” Using The Civil Rights Movement Legacy To Support Their Agenda

Let me know if I’m missing any articles on Brown that you liked…

May 18, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

This Week’s Best Posts & Articles On Education Policy Issues

March 2, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

'may 2011 10107' photo (c) 2011, Paul  Bailey - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Here are some recent useful posts and articles on education policy issues:

Class size matters a lot, research shows is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About How Class Size Does Matter.

Why most professional development for teachers is useless is an excellent piece by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post. It’s a follow-up to my previous post, Video: Though It Seems Like A Parody, It’s A Real Professional Development Event. Her follow-up piece is so good that I suspect it might end up on my year-end “Best” lists of education policy posts.

Marketing Technologies in U.S. Public Schools is by Larry Cuban.

So You Want to Be a Teacherpreneur? is from Education Week Teacher. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Being A Teacherpreneur.

The False Markets of Market Based Reforms is by Bruce Baker. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Analyzing Charter Schools.

Chicago charter schools expel many more kids than district schools — new data is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to the same list.

The Tragedy behind Noble Street Charters – a Skimmed Lottery is from the Classroom Sooth. I’m adding it to the same list.

Why preschool critics are wrong appeared in The Washington Post. I’ve got to create a pre-K “Best” list.

‘No Child’ waiver creates rift among Fresno education leaders is from The Fresno Bee. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On The NCLB Waiver Given To Eight California School Districts (Including Ours).

California: A K-12 Education Outlier is from Education Week.

Teachers at second school to refuse to give ISATs, CTU says
is about an effort that appears to be gaining steam in Chicago. You might also be interested in A Beginning List Of The Best Resources On The Seattle Standardized Test Boycott.

David Welch: The Man Behind Vergara v. California is from Capital and Main. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On California Court Case Attacking Teacher’s Rights.

Analysis: Legal positions in Vergara trial a universe apart is from LA School Report. I’m adding it to the same list.

Here are two important posts about what’s happening in Newark, and Teach For America’s role in it:

What’s TFA’s Role In Mass Dismissals of Teachers? is by John Thompson.

TFA in Newark: “Act as if the facts matter” is from The Commonal.

I’m adding them both to The Best Posts & Articles Raising Concerns About Teach For America.

What Richard Rothstein Told NAGB About the History of NAEP is from Diane Ravitch. I’m adding it to The Best Posts Interpreting This Year’s NAEP Scores.

The 12 Things You Should Never, Ever Say To Teachers is from Upworthy.

11 Annoying Things People Say About Teaching is from BuzzFeed.

December 14, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

'Fund our Schools - March4 Day of Action' photo (c) 2010, Dave - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Here are some recent useful posts and articles on educational policy issues:

The Teacher Gap: More Students and Fewer Teachers is from the Economic Policy Institute.

The Meaning of PISA is by Marc Tucker at Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On 2012 PISA Test Results.

Attention OECD-PISA: Your Silence on China is Wrong is by Tom Loveless. I’m adding it to the same list.

“PISA Day”—An Ideological and Hyperventilated Exercise is by Richard Rothstein. I’m adding it to the same list.

After Setbacks, Online Courses Are Rethought is from The New York Times. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On MOOC’s.

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.

November 30, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

November 13, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Posts Interpreting This Year’s NAEP Scores

'11072013 - NAEP School Visit and Press Conference' photo (c) 2013, US Department of Education - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

There has been a lot of reporting on this year’s NAEP test score results, and it’s been all over the map. As John Merrow tweeted:

 

And what is the NAEP, you might ask?

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the largest continuing and nationally representative assessment of what American students know and can do in core subjects. NAEP is a congressionally mandated project administered by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. The National Assessment Governing Board, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Education but independent of the Department, sets policy for NAEP and is responsible for developing the framework and test specifications. The Governing Board is a bipartisan group whose members include governors, state legislators, local and state school officials, educators, business representatives, and members of the general public. Congress created the 26-member Governing Board in 1988.

Here’s a beginning list of what I think are the posts analyzing this year’s scores:

When policymakers don’t understand basic statistics is by Aaron Pallas at The Hechinger Report.

NAEP and “Getting Tough on Teachers” is by John Merrow.

Achievement Gaps Have Closed More Than You Think is by Paul Bruno at This Week In Education.

All that bad information about the new NAEP scores is by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.

Interpreting Achievement Gaps In New Jersey And Beyond is from The Shanker Blog (written about last year’s scores, but still relevant).

And, even though Jeff Bryant incorrectly refers to me as a “retired schoolteachers” (perhaps in fifteen years, but certainly not now :) ), I’m still adding his article, Sorry Nicholas Kristof, Still No Proof School Reform Helps, to this list.

How Should We Read NAEP Test Score Results in Washington D.C.? is by John Thompson.

Be Wary of Ranking NAEP Gains is by Tom Loveless.

What Richard Rothstein Told NAGB About the History of NAEP is from Diane Ravitch.

Feel free to suggests articles I’ve missed.

You might also be interested in my 1,200 other “The Best” lists.

September 21, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

'Occupy the Schools Feb 1, 2012' photo (c) 2012, Michael Fleshman - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

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

Forever young: the new teaching career is by Mike Rose. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Raising Concerns About Teach For America.

There Joel Klein goes again… is by Richard Rothstein, and is an excerpt from his commentary on a recent NY Times article on computer tablets (see Two Important Quotes From Massive NY Times Articles On Tablets In Classroom).

Inside News Corp’s $540 Million Bet on American Classrooms is a somewhat interesting article/commentary on the same NY Times piece. It doesn’t really go over any new ground, however. But I did find one small snippet on “gamification” very intriguing:

Douglas Clark is an associate professor at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College, arguably the country’s top college of education, and the principle investigator on the SURGE and EGAME grants, two National Science Foundation grants aimed at studying and creating educational games. And nothing irks him more than when other people take educational concepts and run them through “gamification,” a practice whereby one “just adds points” to basic tasks.

Points are extrinsic motivations, and “when [kids] get bored with extrinsic, they stop.” Games should provide intrinsic motivation, meaning the game itself is the motivator.

He compares points to frequent-flyer miles: something auxiliary (i.e., you get FF miles from flying, but you don’t probably don’t go flying around the country just to rack up FF miles). Most “educational” games take a task, like math, and add a point system.

Haimson calls games that actually cause learning the “holy grail,” but Clark doesn’t think it’s easily accomplished. He says, “News Corp. can’t just decide we’re going to build good games for everything. That’d be too expensive.”

I’m adding that info to The Best Posts On “Gamification” In Education — Help Me Find More.

Charter School Gravy Train Runs Express To Fat City is from Forbes. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Analyzing Charter Schools.

When Media Companies Try to Become Education Companies is from The Atlantic.

‘Strategic Philanthropy’ Shifts Too Much Power to Donors is by Pablo Eisenberg. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Role Of Private Foundations In Education Policy.

Can We Test Better? is by Renee Moore.

November 10, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Posts/Articles On Education Policy Issues

Here are some relatively recent useful articles on education policy issues:

Confronting the Free Marketeers: Will They Plow Through Us? is by Anthony Cody. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Explaining Why Schools Should Not Be Run Like Businesses.

Profits, Lies, and Education Innovation is by Audrey Watters. I’m adding it to the same list.

Joel Klein’s Misleading Autobiography is by Richard Rothstein. You should also look at This is Why Our Current Education Debate is Toxic by Sara Mead, who attacks the Rothstein article. Her attack is without merit, but it’s worth reviewing the comments readers left.

Why Teacher Evaluation Shouldn’t Rest on Student Test Scores is from Fair Test. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

Take Student Complaints With Caution is by Walt Gardner at Education Week. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Students Evaluating Classes (And Teachers).

October 22, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

September 14, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The Latest On The Chicago Strike

September 10, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

The Best Resources On The Chicago Teachers’ Strike

I’ve got to head off to school pretty soon here in Sacramento, but I wanted to pull together a few resources on the Chicago Teachers’ strike, in addition to wishing my colleagues there good luck as they begin walking picket lines.

I hope readers will contribute additional resources:

Why are Chicago teachers on strike? is by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.

With No Contract Deal by Deadline in Chicago, Teachers Will Strike is from The New York Times.

Chicago’s Teachers Just Went On Strike – Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Why is from The Daily Change.

Chicago Teachers Strike as Education Reform Tensions Boil Over is from Education Week.

Press Release: CPS Fails To Negotiate Fair Contract To Prevent First Strike In 25 Years is from the Chicago Teacher’s Union and appeared in Mike Klonsky’s blog.

Chicago teachers strike for first time in 25 years; contingency sites ready, charters remain open is from The Chicago Sun Times.

Questions Linger After Day 1 of Chicago Teachers’ Strike is from Education Week.

Analysis: Teachers strike leaves Emanuel between a rock and a hard place is from The Chicago Sun Times.

Chicago Strike Unfolds Amid Frustration, Confusion is from Education Week.

NEA President Van Roekel Statement on Chicago Strike

Why I’m striking, JCB is from Teacher X.

Their fight is our fight!

AFT Statement in Support of Chicago Teachers Union

Why Chicago teachers are on strike and what could come next is from Gotham Schools.

Analysis: Striking Chicago teachers take on national education reform is from Reuters.

Standing up to Rahm is from Salon.

Chicago teachers strike: The issues is by Valerie Strauss.

Teachers’ Strike in Chicago Tests Mayor and Union is from The New York Times.

Why We’re Striking in Chicago is by union president Karen Lewis.

The real problem with Rahm’s school reforms in Chicago is by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.

National Schools Debate Is on Display in Chicago is from The New York Times.

Unions Are Striking Back, at Last is from The New York Times.

47% of Chicago voters back teachers is from The Chicago Sun Times.

Teachers’ Leader in Chicago Strike Shows Her Edge is from The New York Times.

Strike Issues Stuck in Gray Areas, Political Nuance is from Education Week.

Chicago teachers strike places Obama at odds with key part of political base is from The Washington Post.

Striking Chicago teachers get support from parents is from The Detroit News (thanks CoopMike).

Questions Linger After Day 1 of Chicago Teachers’ Strike is from Education Week.

U.S. Teachers Pay Close Attention To Chicago is from NPR.

Here’s a picture of students marching with striking teachers’:

CHICAGO’S TEACHER PROBLEM, AND OURS is from The New Yorker. Here’s a quote from it:

Source: shareasimage.com via Larry

See all Education Week articles about the strike at this link, which is continually updated.

At the Core of the Chicago Strike, Mistrust is by Barnett Berry.

Teachers in Chicago School Strike Deserve Respect is from US News.

Their Fight Is Our Fight is from Rethinking Schools.

In Chicago, a Democratic civil war is by Harold Myerson in The Washington Post.

Chicago mayor: Get kids in class during contract talks with teachers is from NBC.

Chicago strike: A wiser teacher evaluation policy benefits the kids is by Kevin Weiner.

The Chicago Strike and the History of American Teachers’ Unions is by Dana Goldstein.

Two Visions for Chicago’s Schools is by Diane Ravitch at The New York Review of Books.

As Chicago Teachers Strike, Unions At A Crossroad is at NPR.

Push to Add Charter Schools Hangs Over Strike is from The New York Times.

Chicago Teachers Strike and Standardized Tests is by Marvin Marshall.

Chicago Teachers’ Strike Enters Third Day is from The New York Times.

Why shouldn’t Chicago teachers ask for air- conditioned schools? is from The Washington Post.

Why Rahm Emanuel and The New York Times are wrong about teacher evaluation is from The Washington Post.

Head Of Chicago Teachers Union Rose The Ranks is from NPR.

Fresh Hopes for End to Chicago Teacher Strike by Weekend is from The New York Times.

What’s At Stake For U.S. Teachers is from NPR.

Teacher Evaluation Dispute Echoes Beyond Chicago is from NPR.

Teacher Evaluations At Center Of Chicago Strike is from The Huffington Post.

Chicago Teachers Strike: Union, City Fail To Reach Contract Deal is from The Huffington Post.

Chicago Teachers’ Strike, Performance Evaluation, and School Reform is from Larry Cuban.

Chicago teachers, school district seem closer to ending strike is from The Los Angeles Times.

Strike Talks In Chicago Move Toward End Game is from NPR.

Deal in Sight, Chicago Strike May End Soon is from The New York Times.

Tentative deal reached with striking Chicago teachers is from The Chicago Tribune.

Chicago Chooses Sides is from The American Prospect.

Teacher accountability and the Chicago teachers strike is by Richard Rothstein.

Why teachers have test anxiety, too is from the Chicago Tribune.

Why Evaluating Teachers is Complicated, No Matter What You Think of the Chicago Strike is by Dana Goldstein.

Are We Asking Too Much From Our Teachers? is from The New York Times.

Source: shareasimage.com via Larry

Can the Chicago Teachers’ Strike Fix Democratic Education Reform? by Richard Kahlenberg is short and sweet and is the best thing I’ve read so far on the strike.

This video came via Mike Klonsky:

Here are the lyrics:

We miss the sound of the bell.
Our schools aren’t something to sell.
We got a story to tell.
The Board is in our way.

Our complaints we could list.
Teachers have just one wish:
To get back to our kids.
The Board is in our way.

Our line was holdin’.
Red shirts, all a glowin’
Union pride, we were showin’
Where’s our contract going, baby?

CHORUS:
Hey, We’ve been striking,
And this is crazy.
When there’s a contract,
call us maybe.
x2

We’ve been striking for so long
We want to stop that.
We want to stop that.
We want to stop, stop that.

We’ve missed teaching for long.
We want to go back.
We want to go back.
We want to go, go back.

(Repeat from chorus)

Teachers appear to be the winner is from The Chicago Sun Times.

Mayor’s reputation tarnished in teachers union dust-up is from The Chicago Tribune.

Thousands of teachers rallied in Chicago on Saturday. One of the speeches was from Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union, and it is not-to-be-missed. Fortunately, Mike Klonsky has a video of it posted on his blog, and I would strongly urge you to watch and listen to it now…

You can also listen to it here:

Thousands of striking Chicago teachers rally in labor show of force, despite tentative deal is a Washington Post article about the rally.

Teachers Union in Chicago to Extend Strike Into 2nd Week is the headline of a New York Times article.

No school until at least Wednesday, CTU President Karen Lewis says is the headline of an article at The Chicago Sun-Times. Here are some quotes from it:

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said the decision not to return to class was about trust — union delegates didn’t trust the Chicago Public Schools’ latest proposal and wanted more time to review it….

Delegates were not receiving formal written contract language about the deal so some wanted to keep the strike in place until they could see written language and bounce it off their constituents in schools.

Lewis said the delegates don’t trust the school board at this point.

“Why would you make a decision on something you haven’t had a chance to look at?” she said. “They have language. They see the language. But it’s not finished. We’ve been almost guaranteed that it might be finished by Tuesday.”

Mayor Emanuel, and most leaders of school districts, might find it useful to read The Best Posts About Trust & Education.

Hearing Set in Chicago’s Bid to End Teachers Strike is from The New York Times.

Rahm is suing to end the Chicago teachers’ strike. Does he have a case? is from The Washington Post.

Standing up for teachers is from The Washington Post.

The Chicago Teachers’ Balancing Act is from The American Prospect.

Chicago Teachers’ Union Votes to End Strike is from The New York Times.

Chicago Public Schools teachers’ strike over is from The Chicago Sun Times.

A LIST OF WHAT CHICAGO’S TEACHERS WON IN THEIR STRIKE

Chicago Teachers’ Strike: What Do We Want? Better Management Gurus Might Help appeared in the Pacific Standard

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July 7, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
3 Comments

A “Round-Up” Of Recent Good Posts On Education Policy

Here are several recent good posts and articles on education policy issues:

American Students Are Not Failing is a post by Diane Ravitch that talks about the video I’ve embedded below. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Getting Some Perspective On International Test Comparison Demagoguery.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics, or What’s Really Up With Automated Essay Scoring is by Todd Farley. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Computer-Graded Essays.

Computers Grade Essays Fast … But Not Always Well is from NPR. I’m adding it to the same list.

Top 10 List of Public Education Success is from the National School Boards Association.

Here’s a fascinating study that might provide some evidence that “teaching to the test” could provide short-term gains but not be effective over the long-term. I’m just going to reprint the summary from ‘Cengage” (Thanks to Professor Jesse Rothstein for the tip):

At the Air Force Academy, instructors get advance copies of the standardized tests that will be administered to all those taking a given introductory course, and students are randomly assigned to those classes. Instructors must decide how to allocate class time between material that will directly boost test scores and material of perhaps deeper and more lasting value. Scott E. Carrell of UC-Davis and James E. West of the Air Force Academy find that students with less experienced professors perform significantly better in that introductory course, whereas students with more experienced professors perform better in the follow-on related curriculum. One possible explanation is that less experienced professors teach to the test, while more experienced professors offer more comprehensive and more probing analysis. Another possibility is that students who have been spoon-fed test material develop poorer study habits and this shows up in the later courses. A third, more cynical, explanation is that students with the experienced professors work harder in the later courses to make up for the disappointing grade in the introductory course. Regardless, teachers who emphasize the test get better course evaluations than those who provide deeper learning. See “Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from the Random Assignment of Students to Professors,” Journal of Political Economy, 118 (June 2010): 409-432.

Are Charter Schools Public Schools? is by Diane Ravitch. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Analyzing Charter Schools.

‘Flipping’ classrooms: Does it make sense? is by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.

Evil geniuses or good simpletons? is by Gary Rubenstein.

The Case of Melinda Gates’ Statement, Solved
is by Diane Ravitch.

Taking Teacher Quality Seriously: A collaborative approach to teacher evaluation
is by Stan Karp at Rethinking Schools. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

Backtracking on Florida Exams Flunked by Many, Even an Educator is from The New York Times.

June 25, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

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

Guest Post by John Thompson

When I first followed Larry’s link to Tom Kane’s Op Ed in the Wall Street Journal (see Disappointing Op Ed On Using Tests To Evaluate Teachers By Head Of Gates’ Project), I also was disappointed.  Perhaps I’m naive but, upon reflection, I was struck by Kane’s conclusion.  The Gates Foundation’s scholar concluded that, “as imperfect as the current measures of effective teaching are—and they must be improved—using multiple measures provides better information about a teacher’s effectiveness than seniority or graduate credentials.”  In other words, after investing tens of millions of dollars in research, the best thing he can say about the use of test score growth for evaluations is that it is better than two of the weakest indicators available?

In fact, I wonder why Kane compared his attempts to quantify instructional effectiveness to two issues that have little or nothing to do with that issue.  Seniority is the teacher’s First Amendment in that it protects educators from the whims of their bosses, not to mention politicized fads.  There are many simpler and safer ways to reform seniority without encouraging test-driven evaluations. And, whether you agree or disagree with the policy of providing incentives for graduate courses, that issue has nothing to do with the question of whether an algorithm can be made accurate enough for firing teachers.

Too many economists trying to improve the validity of these value-added models (VAMs) seem to believe that the purpose of these experimental algorithms is making their calculations more reliable, as they seem oblivious to the actual circumstances in schools.  For instance, the study cited by Kane, “Long-term Impact of Teachers” by Raj Chetty, John Friedman, and Jonah Rockoff, made a big deal out of the consistency of the teacher effects they found when teachers in the 95th percentile change schools – as if that neat experiment said anything about real-world policy issues.  (If it could be shown that elite teachers in elite schools were transferring in significant numbers to the inner city and producing test score gains, THAT would be relevant.)

In contrast, if the issue is whether value-added is good for students, Catherine Durso’s “An Analysis of the Use and Validity of Test-Based Accountability “ asks the right questions.  The National Education Policy Center study looked at about 800 Los Angeles teachers who changed schools to see whether the different environments had an effect on their value-added.  Only 30% of those teachers stay in the same value-added evaluation category after changing  schools.

The Los Angeles VAMs were most reliable in predicting future performance when they used six years of data (dating from 2004 to 2009.)  But more than a quarter of teachers subject to data-driven evaluations only had one year or data, and the majority had three years or less.  So, Durso devised an ingenious thought experiment.  She took the six years of data from the same teachers and divided it into two three-year periods.  Same teachers, same numbers, but the value-added model using the first of their data was only 40% accurate in predicting performance in the other half of the same teachers’ data.

Durso then took the six year results and predicted ELA teachers’ value-added in the seventh year (2010.)  It compared the VAM results to what actually happened in the seventh year.   The VAM prediction was only 27% accurate in predicting the teachers’ effectiveness category.

The Los Angeles study placed teachers into quintiles while other evaluation rubrics place teachers in categories under different names.  But we must remember what that categorization means in the real world.  What does it mean, real world, when 85% of ELA teachers have scores with a margin of error so great that they could be evaluated as either “less effective,” “average,” or “ more effective?”  

Worse, the NEPC study shows that it is harder for a teacher to raise his or her value-added after being moved to a school with lower value-added. Once value-added is incorporated into evaluations, what type of teacher would commit to the toughest schools? In addition to creating incentives for teaching narrowly to the bubble-in test, value-added evaluations are bound to produce an exodus of the best teachers from the toughest schools and/or the profession. Before long, only incompetents who couldn’t find work elsewhere, saints, adrenalin junkies, and mathematical illiterates would remain in the schools where it is harder to raise test scores.

I would have hoped that economists manipulating education statistics would at least consider the concept of “rational expectations,” and the laws of supply and demand.  Who would commit to a career where there is a 10% or 15% or whatever other percent chance, PER YEAR, of the career being damaged or destroyed by circumstances beyond your control? Also missing from the work of value-added advocates are footnotes showing that they have considered qualitative research such as that of Aaron Pallas and Jennifer Jennings, or Linda Darling Hammond, Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, Edward Haertel, and Jesse Rothstein.  But, they will be reading Catherine Durso’s analysis.  Had they had the benefit of her findings before they committed to test-based accountability, I still find it hard to believe that believe that they would have even started down the high-stakes value-added road.

John Thompson taught for 18 years in the inner city.  He blogs regularly at This Week in Education, Anthony Cody’s Living in Dialogue, the Huffington Post and Schools Matter.  He is completing a book, Getting Schooled, on his experiences in the Oklahoma City Public School System. 

Editor’s Note: I’m adding this post to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Value-Added” Approach Towards Teacher Evaluation.