Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

July 31, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Amazing Video In Support Of Suspended Teacher Rafe Esquith

I’ve previously published a couple of posts about the on-going saga of L.A. teacher Rafe Esquith and his suspension by the school district ( (you can see an interview I did with him last year here).

Last week, Jay Mathews of The Washington Post wrote an update headlined The deplorable way the L.A. school district is treating the world’s most famous teacher.

Now Diane Ravitch shares
this amazing video created by some of Rafe’s famous and not-so-famous supporters, along with some additional info on the case:

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July 29, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Irony Alert! College Board Caves On Same Day Petitions Delivered To Recall School Board That Wanted Changes In AP History Class

You might remember the big protests protests in Colorado in the Jefferson County School District last year becaused The School Board wanted to change the Advanced Placement history curriculum to make it more “patriotic” (see The Best Posts & Articles On The Teacher & Student Protests In Colorado).

Today, leaders of those protests were successful in submitting petitions to force a recall vote on the three board members behind that effort (see the Washington Post story, In a county that tried to amend U.S. history course, a lesson in politics and the AP article, Colorado board’s history class review leads to recall effort).

In an unbelievable ironic coincidence, at about the same time the petitions were being delivered to recall those who, against the best interests of teachers, students and their families, wanted to change the curriculum, the College Board announced changes to that very same AP History curriculum, including ones that appear to mirror some of the changes those very same Board members wanted to make:

mentions of the word slavery have been reduced, and a new section on the concept of “American exceptionalism” has been added. Some names that were omitted from last year’s framework, such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and John Adams, have been added—a key sticking point for critics of the prior document, who objected to Founding Fathers being omitted and negative aspects in American history being more emphasized, they claimed, than positive periods.

That is an excerpt from the Newsweek article, Revised AP U.S. History Standards Will Emphasize American Exceptionalism.

And here’s an updated Washington Post story on the change.

What do you think is the lesson to our students here?

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July 28, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Video: “Key & Peele – TeachingCenter”

The amazing Key & Peele team has produced this education segment that seems a little “off,” in my humble opinion, but its language is appropriate enough for me to share here (they’ve done some better ed-related ones that contained off-color language). Be sure to watch the last commercial:

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July 25, 2015
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 & Posts On Education Policy In 2015 – So Far):

College ratings system proposed by Obama is scrapped is from The Los Angeles Times.

Why Schools Over-Discipline Children With Disabilities is from The Atlantic.

Evaluating teachers: Precise but irrelevant metrics? is from The Hechinger Report.

Teachers May Be Staying In The Classroom Longer Than Expected, Says Study is from Ed Source.

Issue of collective bargaining threatens evaluation reform is from Ed Source.

As PARCC Sheds States, Is the Common-Core Test Toast or Tougher Than it Looks? is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Next Generation” Of State Testing.

We Always Want To Get Better is a report on teacher professional development. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Professional Development For Teachers — Help Me Find More.

A Blueprint for Great Schools Version 2.0 is a report commissioned by the California State Department of Education as a follow-up to a previous state commission (of which I was a member), which wrote a Part One report. It was co-chaired by Martha Infante, a great teacher in Los Angeles. You can read an article about this new report here.

I’m adding this tweet to The Best Education Articles From “The Onion”:

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July 23, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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This Has Got To Be THE Most Humiliating Way To “Train” A Teacher You’ll Hear About…

In the always must-read EduShyster blog, guest Amy Berard writes about her humiliating teaching experience last year wearing an earpiece and being told what to do by three trainers in the back of her classroom with a walkie-talkie.

Here’s an excerpt:

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It’s absolutely insane and a must-read.

Thanks to Alexander Russo for sharing it on Twitter.

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July 23, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Businesses Dumping Employee Ranking Systems – Just As Schools Are Adopting Them For Teachers

I’m no advocate of treating schools like businesses (see The Best Posts & Articles Explaining Why Schools Should Not Be Run Like Businesses), but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe we can’t learn anything from one another.

Businesses are dumping the kind of evaluation systems that many schools are now adopting for teachers.

Microsoft made that change a couple of years ago (see Microsoft Eliminates Its Own Destructive VAM Rankings; However, Gates Still Seems Focused On Using It For Us).

Today, The Washington Post published a story about another big company doing the same – In big move, Accenture will get rid of annual performance reviews and rankings.

Here’s an excerpt:

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So, what might this say about education’s institutional leadership?

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