Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

March 20, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

We Need To Talk More About Schools As Mediating Institutions

During my nineteen year career as a community organizer, we spent a lot of time talking about religious congregations, labor unions, neighborhood organizations and schools as “mediating institutions” (page 699).

These are groups that “mediate” between individuals with little power and government and other larger entities. They perform this function by bringing together these individuals to organize for their needs and beliefs. Edmund Burke called them “little platoons”; Alexis de Tocqueville described them as “associations”; and Richard John Neuhaus coined the term “mediating structures” (read more here).

In our organizing, we would help build “organizations of organizations” composed of these mediating institutions to advocate for their goals and to help develop leadership.

It’s disappointing to me that there doesn’t seem to be much talk about this important role of schools these days and, as one result, you get people talking about a  need to punish students who walk out to protest gun violence. We’re missing public discussion of the historical role of schools as engines for social change.

However, Alexander Russo recently shared a good article in The New Republic that begins to touch on these ideas: How Public Schools Became a Battleground in the Trump Era.

Here’s how it ends:


It doesn’t really fit, but I’m adding this to The Best Articles Providing An “Overall” Perspective On Education Policy.

I’m also adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On Building Influence & Creating Change.

March 16, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

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 – Part Two):

Your state’s teachers are underpaid. Find out by how much. is from Vox. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About The Importance Of Teacher (& Student) Working Conditions.

Will Betsy DeVos Expand the School-to-Prison Pipeline? appeared in The New York Times.

Trump Finds Unlikely Culprit in School Shootings: Obama Discipline Policies also appeared in The NY Times.

Trying Again, de Blasio Names a New Schools Chancellor is from The NY Times.

Why big bets on educational reform haven’t fixed the US school system appeared in The Conversation.

Oklahoma Teachers Consider Strike is from NPR.

Why America’s Teachers Haven’t Been Getting Raises is from The Atlantic.

60 Difficult Minutes Talking about Education Policy is from USC.

Why it was so easy for ‘60 Minutes’ to rebut Betsy DeVos’s charter-school arguments is from The Washington Post.

March 11, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

Video: Betsy DeVos Interviewed On 60 Minutes

Betsy DeVos was interviewed on 60 Minutes tonight, and it went pretty much as one would expect.

Here’s the interview (for some reason, CBS’ embedding function might not be working. If it isn’t, just go to the link to watch it):

You might also be interested in yesterday’s NY Times article, After Demanding Local Control, DeVos Finds That It Limits Her Influence.

March 10, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Teachers Unions ‘Must Claim the Mantle of Educational Leadership'”

Teachers Unions ‘Must Claim the Mantle of Educational Leadership’ is the headline of my latest Education Week Teacher column.

In it, Brian Guerrero, Nikki Milevsky, David Fisher, John Borsos, Jennifer Thomas, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, and Shannan Brown discuss the future of teachers unions.

Here are some excerpts:

March 9, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

Quote Of The Day: West Virginia Teachers’ Strike Was “More like an uprising”


West Virginia Walkouts a Lesson in the Power of a Crowd-Sourced Strike is a must-read analysis of the West Virginia teachers’ strike. It included the above memorable quote.

It appeared in today’s New York Times.

I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About – & Supporting – The West Virginia Teachers

March 5, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

Quote Of The Day: “Rebellion Is Contagious”

The Teachers Revolt in West Virginia is the headline of a new column in The New York Times.

Here’s an excerpt:


I’m adding this info to The Best Resources For Learning About – & Supporting – The West Virginia Teachers

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