Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

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August 30, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Gov. Jerry Brown Appeals Awful Vergara Court Ruling

California Governor Jerry Brown, with the encouragement of state Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, has announced the State of California will appeal the awful Vergara court ruling, which blames teachers for all of education and society’s ills.

You can read about the decision to appeal in these two articles:

Gov. Brown appeals ruling that struck down teacher job protections is from the LA Times.

California appeals teacher tenure ruling is from The Associated Press.

Here’s an excerpt from Tom Torlakson’s statement on the suit:

We-do-not-fault-doctors

I’m adding this info to The Best Resources On California Court Case Attacking Teacher’s Rights.

You might also be interested in Calif. teacher tenure case spices up superintendent race from The Washington Post.

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August 30, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Imagining Successful Schools”

I’ve previously shared a number of posts that Marc Tucker has written about teacher evaluation.

Today, New York Times columnist Joe Nocera has written a column about Tucker’s ideas and a new report his organization has published. The column is headlined “Imagining Successful Schools.”

Here’s an excerpt:

Ever-since-the-passage

Here’s a link to Tucker’s report:

I’m adding this info to The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

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August 28, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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USDE Unveils “Teach To Lead”: Do We Really Need Another Online Community To Promote Teacher Leadership?

teachtolead

Education Secretary Arne Duncan today announced a new site that is supposed to promote teacher leadership and develop some kind of online community. It’s called Commit To Lead and is part of Teach To Lead, which in turn is connected to RESPECT program he announced earlier this year (you can read about that program in a post by Barnett Berry and another one by Stephen Lazar).

With all the online teacher communities already available (particularly the Center For Teaching Quality Collaboratory), it’s hard for me to believe that we really need another one.

The cynical side of me says that Secretary Duncan’s stepping back a bit from standardized testing last week and this renewed focus on teacher leadership has more to do with turn-out for the mid-term elections than anything else, but I hope I’m wrong.

Hope springs eternal, so I’m adding this info to The Best Posts, Articles & Videos On “Teacher Leadership.”

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August 28, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Education Is Not ‘Moneyball’: Why Teachers Can’t Trust Value-Added Evaluations Yet”

August 27, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Useful Posts & Articles On Education Policy

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

A Quick Look At The ASA Statement On Value-Added is from The Shanker Blog. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Value-Added” Approach Towards Teacher Evaluation.

Do Evaluations Penalize Teachers of Needy Students? is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to the same list.

Teachers Should Be Evaluated Like Athletes: Here’s Why appeared in The Huffington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

Can Supt. Deasy survive LAUSD’s iPad fiasco? is from The Los Angeles Times. LA schools cancel iPad contracts after KPCC publishes internal emails is from Southern California Public Radio. I’m adding both to A Very Beginning List Of The Best Articles On The iPad Debacle In Los Angeles Schools.

The Teach Like a Champion Paradigm is a very interesting post about Doug Lemov’s methods. It’s by Ben Spielberg.

Trust and Obey is a great post by Nancy Flanagan about teacher absences. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About The Importance Of Teacher (& Student) Working Conditions.

Would Ending Tenure Help Schools? is from The NY Times. I’m adding it to The Best Articles For Helping To Understand Both Why Teacher Tenure Is Important & The Reasons Behind Seniority-Based Layoffs.

I’m adding this series of tweets to The Best Resources For Learning About The Role Of Private Foundations In Education Policy:

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August 23, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Valuable Posts & Articles On Education Policy – Part Two

Usually, I just post one weekly “round-up” of recent posts on educational policy issues. However, this week there were quite a few, so here’s Part Two:

For Reformers: An Important Paper on Worker Compensation and Incentives is by Paul Bruno, and is a very important piece. Thought it touches on a number of issues, I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning Why Teacher Merit Pay Is A Bad Idea.

The Trouble With “The Trouble With Tenure” is by David B. Cohen. I’m adding it to The Best Articles For Helping To Understand Both Why Teacher Tenure Is Important & The Reasons Behind Seniority-Based Layoffs.

School Reformers’ Pledge of Good Conduct is by Larry Cuban.

LAUSD report faults iPad bidding is from The Los Angeles Times. I’m adding it to A Very Beginning List Of The Best Articles On The iPad Debacle In Los Angeles Schools.

Cooks, Chefs, and Teachers: A Long-Form Debate on Evaluation (Part 3a) is by Ben Spielberg. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

The New York Times has just published a review of a great book by Dana Goldstein titled “The Teacher Wars.” I love the entire book, and I think the introduction itself is one of the best overall piece on education policy that I’ve read. In a little more than a week, I’ll be publishing in Ed Week an interview I did with Dana recently.

The Times has also published a review of another excellent education book, “Building A Better Teacher,” by Elizabeth Green (I’ve previously posted about this book). Next week, I’ll also be publishing an interview I just did with Elizabeth — again, at Ed Week.

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August 21, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Arne Duncan’s Statement Today On Testing — Rhetoric Or Real?

Arne Duncan came out with a big statement on testing today that you’re going to want to read.

Here’s an except, followed by AFT President Randi Weingarten’s response:

I-believe-testing-issues

Here’s the Huffington Post’s take on his statement.

And here’s Barnett Berry’s take on it.

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August 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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How NOT To Make Public Policy Change Happen

I’ve written a lot about my perspective around making social change — much of which is informed by my nineteen year former career as a community organizer. You can see a collection of these posts at The Best Posts & Articles On Building Influence & Creating Change.

Two recent articles bring me to this topic again today.

The first one appeared in The New York Times yesterday talking about the ongoing battle in Louisiana about Common Core Standards.

This is what one of the advocates for retaining Common Core in the state said:

“We have a saying,” Mr. Campbell added: “No permanent friends. No permanent enemies. Only permanent interests.”

No, no, no….

That is indeed the original quotation, though there is some dispute who actually said it at least one-hundred-fifty-years ago.

However, veteran organizers know that the legendary Saul Alinsky (see The Best Sites To Learn About Saul Alinsky) modified it to say:

There are no permanent allies, no permanent enemies — only changing self-interests

Notice the two significant changes:

* “friends” is changed to “allies” — friends are for private life where there is unconditional love present. “Allies” is for public life, where reciprocity is the currency.

* “no permanent interests” is changed to “only changing self-interests” — Living in a world of permanent self-interests make the possibilities of change and compromise more remote. We are all changing all the time, as is the world. If we live in a world of permanent interests then, for example, we live in one where, in the face of what’s happening in Ferguson right now, we progressive school reformers would only continue to  talk about Common Core and NCLB Waivers without modifying our present actions. We should have a small number of key principles we won’t compromise, but it becomes a huge problem when we turn so many of our beliefs into them.

The other related article that is making the rounds is from Commentary and is titled Why We Dehumanize Political Opponents.

We certainly need to be aware of different perspectives, but effective social change requires polarization.

Name-calling that’s done outside of the context of a well-organized political strategy is inappropriate, ineffective and counter-productive. But, within that context, it’s an important tactic. I wish the author of the piece in Commentary had recognized that reality at the same time he talked about how we should be nicer to each other.

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August 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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This Year’s Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup Education Poll Just Released – Not Good News For President Obama

The-American-public-has

Every year for the past 45 years, Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup have done a Poll On Education issues. This year’s poll results were just released.

You can read a summary and the entire poll results here.

I’m going to just reprint parts of their press release because it gives a good overview of the results.First, though, here are links to my posts about the poll in previous years:

This Year’s Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup Education Poll Just Released — Here Are Highlights (& “Reformers” Are Not Going To Be Happy)

The Best Posts/Articles On This Year’s Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup Education Poll — 2012

The Best Posts/Articles On This Year’s Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup Education Poll (2011).

Here’s are excerpts from their press release:

The American public has sharpened its belief that the federal government should not play a dominant role in public education, with a majority saying they simply do not support initiatives that they believe were created or promoted by federal policymakers, a new survey shows.

Moreover, only 27 percent of respondents give President Barack Obama a grade of “A” or “B” for his performance in support of public schools – down from 41 percent in 2011. A majority of those surveyed, 54 percent, do not think standardized tests are helpful to teachers; many do not understand how charter schools work, and the number of Americans saying they are familiar with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has skyrocketed in just one year, with a majority
saying they oppose the standards….

…The new survey suggests the American public has a lot more confidence in local school systems than in the federal government. Fifty percent gave their local schools a grade of “A” or “B” and 56 percent said their local school board should have the greatest influence in deciding what was taught. Only 15 percent thought the federal government should have the most influence.

Yet when the focus was shifted from the respondents’ own local schools to ask about the performance of the nation’s schools in general, only 17 percent extended a grade of “B” or better to America’s schools….

….When asked a series of questions about standardized testing, the public generally supported various specialized tests such as those used for college entrance and Advanced Placement courses. But 54 percent of those questioned said they simply do not believe standardized testing in the classroom really helps local school teachers decide what to teach. Public school parents are even more negative about the value of standardized testing with 68 percent believing they are not helpful to teachers.

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

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

What’s the real purpose of educational benchmarking? is by Andy Hargreaves and appeared in The Washington Post.

Why The Atlanta Testing Scandal Matters is from NPR. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About The Atlanta Testing Scandal.

Professionalizing Teaching is by Walt Gardner at Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About The Importance Of Teacher (& Student) Working Conditions.

How Common Core Could Double Dropout Rate is by John Thompson. I’m adding it to The Best Articles Sharing Concerns About Common Core Standards.

Best Teaching Is Based on Relationships is by Walt Gardner at Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On The Importance Of Building Positive Relationships With Students.

Seven things teachers are sick of hearing from school reformers appeared in the Washington Post.

Education isn’t enough for a just recovery is by Robert Kuttner. I’m adding it to The Best Articles Showing Why Education Reform Is NOT The Best Way To Fight Poverty.

Why Los Angeles sends failing students on to the next grade is from The Hechinger Report. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Grade Retention, Social Promotion & Alternatives To Both.

Reading by Third Grade – Or Else is by Robert Slavin. I’m adding it to the same list.

Sara Mosle writes a great review of Elizabeth Green’s new book, Building A Better Teacher. Look for my interview with the author in Ed Week — soon.

Michelle Rhee Will Leave CEO Job At StudentsFirst, Group She Founded is from The Huffington Post.

Steve Barr Tries to Bridge Union-Reformer Divide in Reboot of California’s ‘Democrats for Education Reform is from Ed Week.

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August 12, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Useful Posts & Articles On Education Policy

Here are some useful and relatively recent posts/articles on ed policy issues:

Lunch lady rises to teachers union leader and takes on all comers, bluntly is from The Washington Post.

“D.C. halting key Michelle Rhee reform: One of the first U.S. cities to judge teachers off of student test scores is now putting the practice on hold” is from Salon.

Run schools like a business? Flip that theory to see flaws is a great op-ed appearing in a North Carolina newspaper. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Explaining Why Schools Should Not Be Run Like Businesses.

Should it be Harder to Become a Teacher? Harder How? is by Dana Goldstein. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Attracting The “Best Candidates” To Teaching.

Here’s a good video featuring a discussion of teacher tenure. I’m adding it to The Best Articles For Helping To Understand Both Why Teacher Tenure Is Important & The Reasons Behind Seniority-Based Layoffs:

The Holes in the Chetty et al VAM Study as Seen by the American Statistical Association is from Diane Ravtich’s blog. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On The NY Times-Featured Teacher Effectiveness Study.

What Explains KIPP’s Success? Peers May Be A Big Part of the Story is by Richard Kahlenberg. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Analyzing Charter Schools.

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August 7, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Useful Posts & Articles On Education Policy

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

Social Capital Matters As Much As Human Capital – A Message To Skeptics is from The Shanker Blog.

Gary Ravani has written a great post that appeared in The Washington Post titled School reforms that actually work.

StudentsFirst Vice President Eric Lerum and I Debate Accountability Measures (Part 1) is another very important post by Ben Spielberg.

Unintended consequences: More high school math, science linked to more dropouts is the title of a report on a new study.

The Expanding Role of Philanthropy in Education Politics is a new study that, unfortunately, is mostly behind a paywall. I’m still adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Role Of Private Foundations In Education Policy.

Michael Petrilli has posted what he thinks are The Top Twitter Feeds in Education Policy 2014. People might, or might not, find it useful.

Campbell Brown and now Whoopi Goldberg are making news with their attacks on tenure and due process:

In Teacher-Tenure Battles, a War for Public Opinion Can Obscure the Nuances is from Ed Week.

‘The View’ Hosts Apparently Love Teachers, Hate Tenure is from The Huffington Post.

California millionaire joins fight against teacher tenure in New York is from The New York Daily News.

Esquire had quite a commentary on Brown’s attempt to end tenure.

The Myth of Teacher Tenure is from The Teachers College Record.

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August 2, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Do We Really Want Our Schools To Be Like Those In South Korea?

An Assault Upon Our Children: South Korea’s Education System Hurts Students is an op-ed in today’s New York Times.

Here’s an excerpt, and contrast it with the following excerpt from a speech U.S. Education Secretary Duncan gave earlier this year:

The-world-may-look-to

Does-a-child-in-South

I’m adding this info to The Best Sites For Getting Some Perspective On International Test Comparison Demagoguery.

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August 2, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Rhee Becomes Chair Of Local Charter Schools — Will Have Less Time To Damage Rest Of Us

Michelle Rhee has just been named board chairwoman of St. Hope Schools, the small group of Sacramento charter schools begun by Mayor Kevin Johnson, her husband.

With luck, this means she’ll have less time to damage public education elsewhere.

Her national organization, StudentsFirst, has also just pulled out of five states.

Perhaps the headline on Salon’s recent article was accurate: Education “reform’s” new Ann Coulter: A reeling Michelle Rhee passes the lead to Campbell Brown

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August 1, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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McKinsey & Company Projects That Common Core Implementation Will Result In Doubling of Dropout Rate

Thanks to Lori Jablonski and Tom Hoffman (I’ve embedded Lori’s tweets below), I learned about a report from the Carnegie Corporation that includes charts created by big-time consultants McKinsey & Company.

First, the chart:

common core

So, based on my quick reading of the Carnegie report, titled Opportunity by Design: New High School Models for Student Success, unless we create small schools and do blended learning, the drop-out rate will double over the next few years.

I’m no fan of the Common Core, though I have also recognized its inevitability in most states, including here in California (see A Collection Of My “Best” Lists On The Common Core).

But I am surprised that this chart has not received wider circulation to inform the debate.

Here are Lori’s tweets:

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