Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

October 25, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Quote Of The Day: “The American Dream Is Leaving America”

The American Dream Is Leaving America is the title of Nicholas Kristof’s new column in The New York Times.

Though I don’t agree with him 100% on the role of education in upward mobility (see The Best Resources On Why Improving Education Is Not THE Answer To Poverty & Inequality), he does make some good points.

Here’s an excerpt:

kristof

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October 23, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Useful Posts & Articles On Ed Policy

October 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Here’s A Headline I Like: “School standardized testing is under growing attack”

It appears that some officials are beginning to take some baby steps to reduce the impact of standardized testing on students and their teachers.

Here are a couple of recent articles about these actions:

School standardized testing is under growing attack, leaders pledge changes is from The Washington Post.

Push to Limit Federal Test Mandates Gains Steam is from Education Week.

And here’s a statement
from our National Education Association President on these changes:

School-is-where

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts On How To Prepare For Standardized Tests (And Why They’re Bad).

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October 18, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

“Poor kids who do everything right don’t do better than rich kids who do everything wrong”

October 18, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Useful Posts & Articles On Ed Policy

October 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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LA Superintendent Expected To Resign On Thursday — And Does!

superintendent_inside1

BREAKING NEWS: Deasy expected to step down tomorrow is the headline at The LA School Report.

It shouldn’t surprise anybody. If you want to learn more about the reasons behind his resignation, see my post from earlier today, Blaming Nurses For Ebola In Dallas & L.A. Teachers For District Ineptitude.

NOTE: He did indeed resign. Here are some follow-up articles:

Deasy Resigns as Los Angeles Schools Chief After Mounting Criticism is from The New York Times.

John Deasy resigns; Ramon Cortines named interim head of L.A. schools is from The Los Angeles Times.

Deasy slams teachers unions, speaks of regrets is from The L.A. Times.

Deasy resigns as school superintendent in Los Angeles is from The Washington Post.

Too many maverick moments finally led to Deasy’s undoing at LAUSD
is from The LA Times.

Why Did the Los Angeles Superintendent Resign? is from The Atlantic Monthly.

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October 14, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Blaming Nurses For Ebola In Dallas & L.A. Teachers For District Ineptitude

The past few days have seen two examples of two glaring examples of institutional leaders blaming people working hard on the “front lines” for problems instead of taking responsibility for their own failings.

You saw the head of the Centers For Disease Control immediately — prior to any investigation — blame a nurse for a “breach in protocol” that resulted in her being infected with Ebola. He walked that back today and said he hadn’t meant to blame her or the hospital. He did that after receiving criticism that the CDC has woefully underprepared U.S. health facilities for Ebola.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the latest example of the District’s technology meltdown was a scheduling disaster at Jefferson High School that is only being fixed after a court-order. There, and I kid you not, Superintendent John Deasy blamed the teachers and their union for the problems and immediately left for a trip to Korea without any further comment.

The L.A. School Board has already authorized talks with Deasy on a departure agreement, and it look like he sees the writing on the wall and is preparing a story of leaving as a martyr — at least, in his own eyes. He’s leaving so many debacles in his wake, though, that few are going to believe whatever kind of glorious departure story he comes up with…

Whatever happened to the idea of institutional leaders accepting responsibility for their mistakes?

(Just after I published this post, the CDC came out with a statement accepting their own responsibility for mistakes in handling the Dallas situation. Still no word from Deasy, however).

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October 13, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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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!

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October 12, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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


Here are some recent important posts and articles on education policy:

Why Finland’s schools are top-notch is from CNN. I’m adding it to The Best Resources To Learn About Finland’s Education System.

See the AP U.S. History course changes and take a sample exam is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On The Teacher & Student Protests In Colorado.

As Apprentices in Classroom, Teachers Learn What Works is from The New York Times.

How to start cleaning up the Common Core is by Carol Burris. I’m adding it to The Best Articles Sharing Concerns About Common Core Standards.

How to spot a fake ‘grassroots’ education reform group is from The Washington Post.

What Education “Reformers” Do Not Understand About Teaching and Learning is by Daniel Katz.

Philadelphia Students Walk Out Of Class To Protest Canceled Teachers Contract is from The Huffington Post.

Wealthy Kids Have A Huge Advantage On The SAT is from Business Insider. And this Wall Street Journal article, SAT Scores and Income Inequality: How Wealthier Kids Rank Higher, is a particularly interesting piece on the same topic. I’m adding both to The Best Places To Learn What Impact A Teacher (& Outside Factors) Have On Student Achievement.

Money Flowing for Common-Core Assessments is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Next Generation” Of State Testing.

The Plot Against Public Education: How millionaires and billionaires are ruining our schools is by Bob Herbert and appeared in Politico.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/10/the-plot-against-public-education-111630.html#ixzz3FxRd4JPU

Ed Week reports:

The vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union will temporarily assume charge of the union while its president, Karen Lewis, recovers from a serious illness, the union announced in a short press conference this afternoon.

Here’s another article on the same topic. You might be aware that Karen Lewis has also been considering running for Mayor of Chicago:

Would-be challenger to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is seriously ill is from The Washington Post.

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October 5, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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More On The Student Protests In Colorado

October 4, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Useful Posts & Articles On Ed Policy — Part Two

I usually just post one weekly “round-up” of ed policy posts and articles, but there were a lot this week. Here’s Part Two:

California could drop its high school exit test is from The Sacramento Bee. The big question, of course, is if they drop it what will take its place? I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About Why High School Exit Exams Might Not Be A Good Idea.

Trial Opens in Atlanta School Cheating Scandal is from The New York Times. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About The Atlanta Testing Scandal.

Verdict on Charter Schools Is Elusive is by Walt Gardner at Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Analyzing Charter Schools.

L.A. school board authorizes talks on departure agreement with Deasy is from The L.A. Times. I’m adding it to A Very Beginning List Of The Best Articles On The iPad Debacle In Los Angeles Schools.

Teachers grade Common Core: C+ and room for improvement is from The Christian Science Monitor. I’m adding it to The Best Articles Sharing Concerns About Common Core Standards.

Here are several new additions to The Best Posts & Articles On The Teacher & Student Protests In Colorado:

Jeffco school board OKs compromise plan in curriculum review showdown is from The Denver Post.

Controversial Colorado history plan still alive is from The Associated Press.

College Board says it ‘revised’ controversial AP U.S. history framework (update) is from The Washington Post.

Colorado school board vote doesn’t appease critics is from The Associated Press.

After Protests Over History Curriculum, School Board Tries To Compromise is from NPR.

Colorado student protest leader: ‘I’m learning how people need to act to make a democracy function’ is from The Washington Post.

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October 1, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Posts & Articles On The Teacher & Student Protests In Colorado

You may have heard about the protests in Colorado in the Jefferson County School District. The School Board wants to change the Advanced Placement history curriculum to make it more “patriotic.” And that’s just one of a number of ridiculous policy changes the Board is trying to make.

Here are a few recent articles:

In Colorado, a Student Counterprotest to an Anti-Protest Curriculum is from The New York Times.

Colorado: Sickouts Close Schools Again is from The New York Times.

Ben Carson: New AP U.S. history course will make kids want to ‘sign up for ISIS’ is from The Washington Post.

Colorado School Board Votes to Ban Students is from The Borowitz Report.

Colorado teachers stage mass sick-out to protest US history curriculum changes is from The Guardian.

Jeffco school board OKs compromise plan in curriculum review showdown is from The Denver Post.

Controversial Colorado history plan still alive is from The Associated Press.

College Board says it ‘revised’ controversial AP U.S. history framework (update) is from The Washington Post.

Colorado school board vote doesn’t appease critics is from The Associated Press.

After Protests Over History Curriculum, School Board Tries To Compromise is from NPR.

Colorado student protest leader: ‘I’m learning how people need to act to make a democracy function’ is from The Washington Post.

Here’s a great video from MSNBC:

Is the new AP U.S. History really anti-American? is from The Hechinger Report.

After Uproar, School Board in Colorado Scraps Anti-Protest Curriculum
is from The New York Times.

Quote Of The Day: “Changes in AP history trigger a culture clash in Colorado”

Local PTA Support Student Protests In Colorado

See the AP U.S. History course changes and take a sample exam is from The Washington Post.

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September 29, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

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

Why Don’t We Have Real Data on Charter Schools? is by Pedro Noguera in The Nation. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Analyzing Charter Schools.

Don’t Let Distractions Erase Genuine Critiques Of Rhee And Campbell is by Sabrina Joy Stevens.

Fixing the Best Schools in the World is a very interesting story about China’s schools that appeared in Business Week.

Informal + Formative = Informative Assessments is from Wag The Dog and has a good “take” on personalized learning. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding “Personalized Learning.”

Arne Duncan’s “staggering statement”: Why ed reformers are having second thoughts is an interesting interview with Dana Goldstein that appeared in Salon.

What You Need To Know About Misleading Education Graphs, In Two Graphs is from The Shanker Blog. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research.

Student Course Evaluations Get An ‘F’ is from NPR. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Students Evaluating Classes (And Teachers).

Venture Capitalists Are Poised to ‘Disrupt’ Everything About the Education Market is from The Nation. I’m adding it to A Beginning “The Best…” List On The Dangers Of Privatizing Public Education.

Rotten to the Core: How an Apple mega-deal cost Los Angeles classrooms $1 billion
is from Salon. I’m adding it to A Very Beginning List Of The Best Articles On The iPad Debacle In Los Angeles Schools.

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September 24, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

Here are some recent useful posts, articles and videos related to education policy:

Laura H. Chapman: When Economic Language Corrupts Educational Practice is from Diane Ravitch’s blog. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About The Role Of Economists In Education.

State needs a ‘grand bargain’ on teachers’ effectiveness, obstacles appeared in the Los Angeles Times. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On California Court Case Attacking Teacher’s Rights.

In Colorado, a Student Counterprotest to an Anti-Protest Curriculum is from The New York Times.

Common Core calls for kids to read books that ‘frustrate’ them. Is that a good idea? appeared in The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Articles Sharing Concerns About Common Core Standards.

Has “Education Post” Already Changed Its “Kinder, Gentler” Tune? is by John Thompson and I’m adding it to the same list.

Bill Clinton: Charter Schools Must Be Held To ‘The Original Bargain’ is from The Huffington Post.

The True Story of Public Education in America is by Randi Weingarten. I’m adding it to The Best Articles Pointing Out That Our Schools Are Not Failing.

Why Do Teachers Quit? is from The Atlantic. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About The Importance Of Teacher (& Student) Working Conditions.

Education researchers don’t check for errors — dearth of replication studies is from The Hechinger Report. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research.

How to Tell If You Should Trust Your Statistical Models is from The Harvard Business Review. I’m adding it to the same list.

What Happens When You Stop Testing and Start Teaching
is from TIME.

The PBS News Hour had an interesting segment on Is There Too Much Testing In The Public Schools? Here’s the video, followed by a quote from it:

we-all-recognize-as

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September 21, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

“Can a Computer Replace Your Doctor?” Or Your Teacher?

Can a Computer Replace Your Doctor? is an article in today’s New York Times.

It’s another health-care related article that can easily be applied to education.

I’m adding it to The Best Articles Highlighting Parallel Critiques Of Increasing School & Health Care “Efficiency.”

Here’s an excerpt:

So-hurrah-for-technology

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September 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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

September 18, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

VERY Interesting Info On The Results Of KIPP’s “Character Education” Program

The Fordham Institute has just published a post by Laurence Steinberg titled “Is character education the answer?”

It shares some fascinating research results on the KIPP charter schools’ well-publicized character education program.

The results came from a Mathematica study that compared KIPP students with those who did not win lotteries to attend the KIPP schools. Of course, the obvious flaw in such a study is that both groups of students have highly-motivated parents/families. It’s always surprising, if not shocking, to me that many charter school supporters and researchers don’t recognize this obvious characteristic of charter school students (and lottery participants).

Even with this flaw, the results are intriguing. Here is what Mathematica found in comparing the qualities that typically are described as Social Emotional Learning skills:

The KIPP children showed no advantage on any of the measures of character strengths. They weren’t more effortful or persistent. They didn’t have more favorable academic self-conceptions or stronger school engagement. They didn’t score higher than the comparison group in self-control. In fact, they were more likely to engage in “undesirable behavior,” including losing their temper, lying to and arguing with their parents, and giving teachers a hard time. They were more likely to get into trouble at school. Despite the program’s emphasis on character development, the KIPP students were no less likely to smoke, drink, get high, or break the law.

As Sternberg suggests:

developing teenagers’ self-regulation may require something other than parables, slogans, inspirational banners, and encouragement from compassionate teachers.

I would also suggest that KIPP’s system of grading these kinds of character traits have a lot to do with this lack of success, also, as I wrote in a Washington Post column about KIPP’s program awhile back. The piece is titled Why schools should not grade character traits.

Sternberg makes his own suggestions about what he thinks would make for an effective character education program. I don’t think it has to be that complicated, particularly since there is substantial research showing that short-and-simple classroom lessons and a relationship-oriented school culture can help students want to develop these kinds of skills. You can find links to that research and to many of those kinds of lessons at The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources.

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