Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

September 3, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Wow! Linda Darling-Hammond Starts New Education Think Tank

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As regular readers of this blog know, I’m a big fan of Linda Darling-Hammond’s work – you can see the 75 links to her work I’ve posted here. I also had the privilege of working with her on the state-wide California Educator Excellence Task Force.

She has just announced her retirement from Stanford to begin what sounds like an impressive new education “think tank” called The Learning Policy Institute. You can read her blog about it, as well as subscribe to its Twitter account, @LPI_Learning.

Both Ed Source (New institute in Palo Alto aims to help shape state, national K-12 policy) and Alexander Russo (Darling-Hammond Leaving Stanford To Launch New Policy Research Organization) share a number of details about the new organization.

Its list of Senior Research Fellows looks like a “who’s who” of talented, and progressive, education researchers in the country.

This is big news, and I can’t wait to see what what resources they develop…

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August 28, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Amazing! CA Assembly Committee Adds Amendment To Bill Retroactively Waiving Requirement To Pass High School Exit Exam

You may have been following this summer’s California High School Exit Exam fiasco, which occurred when the state terminated the contract for giving the exam while thousands of students (including many English Language Learners) were still waiting to take it in order to graduate. This year’s problem was resolved earlier this week with Governor Brown signing “urgent” legislation that granted these students official diplomas immediately.

The backdrop of this fiasco was well-intentioned — the state wants to officially eliminate the Exit Exam requirement and create a committee to explore if there should be an alternative (see The Best Posts & Articles About Why High School Exit Exams Might Not Be A Good Idea).

The bill winding its way through the legislature to do just that had been interpreted by state Education officials to mean that anyone who didn’t pass the exit exam since it began in 2006 would have been retroactively given a diploma if they had met all other graduation requirements (see Wow! CA State Exit Exam Bill Could Eliminate Test Requirement – Retroactive To 2006).

However, that was only an interpretation, and not spelled out clearly in the legislation.

Today, however, the State Assembly Appropriations Committee added an explicit amendment to that legislation saying that each district would have the power to decide if they wanted to waive the exam retroactively or not. You can read about that in Ed Source’s article, Lawmakers consider retroactive diplomas for students who failed exit exam.

This could be huge boon to the thousands of English Language Learners who never passed the exit, which was a ridiculous requirement to begin with….

It seems pretty ridiculous, though, to leave it up to each school district, and I’d bet dollars to donuts that this flexibility would get challenged in court.

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August 28, 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):

2015 Superintendent of the Year: High-stakes testing is the ‘fool’s gold’ of accountability appeared in The Washington Post.

Teaching Teachers is from American Radio Works. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Professional Development For Teachers — Help Me Find More.

Sorry, I’m Not Taking This Test appeared in Mother Jones.

Why Vouchers Won’t Fix Vegas Schools is from The New York Times. See my post, Nevada Legislature Goes To Crazytown With New Voucher Law, for more information. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning Why School Vouchers Are A Bad Idea.

TEACHERS OPEN UP ABOUT THE (MOSTLY LOUSY) ECONOMICS OF THEIR DREAM JOB has interesting reports from around the world. Thanks to David Deubelbeiss for sharing it.

The real reasons behind the U.S. teacher shortage is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Articles & Posts About The “Teacher Shortage.”

Want to Reduce the Teacher Shortage? Treat Teachers Like Professionals is from NEA Today. I’m adding it to the same list.

In Chicago, hunger strikers fight for a high school is from The Washington Post.

These students will have an easier time passing high school is from The Los Angeles Times.

The Myth of the New Orleans School Makeover appeared in The New York Times.

How The World’s Biggest Education Company Will Spend The Next $2 Billion is from NPR.

Benioff takes hands-off approach with donations to S.F. schools is from The San Francisco Chronicle. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Role Of Private Foundations In Education Policy.

Five Things Successful Turnaround Schools Have in Common is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Four School Improvement Grant Models.

Racial Wealth Gap Persists Despite Degree, Study Says appeared in The New York Times. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Why Improving Education Is Not THE Answer To Poverty & Inequality.

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August 26, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Very Interesting: Poll Finds That Students’ Feeling Engaged & Hopeful Are Top Indicators Of Successful School

There have been a lot of reports on the this year’s Phi Delta Kappa poll (see The Best Posts/Articles On This Year’s Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup Education Poll — 2015).

An Ed Week post, though, highlighted what I think is the most interesting result — those surveyed ranked student engagement and student’s feeling hopeful about their future as the top indicators of a school’s success. Those were ranked higher than graduation, college attendance, or job placement.

Of course, it’s tricky on how to exactly measure those two qualities, but the survey results are, nevertheless, important to keep in mind.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Posts & Videos On “Hope” — Help Me Find More

The Best Posts & Articles On Student Engagement

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August 25, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Two Quotes Of The Day: School Closures, Reform & Desegregation

Class Notes is a new New Yorker article about the closing of Jamaica High School in New York City, and the broader picture of school reform.

Here are two important quotes from it:

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I’m adding this post to:

The Best Resources For Learning About School Desegregation (& Segregation) – Help Me Find More

The Best Posts & Articles On The Impact Of School Closures — Suggest More!

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August 23, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Posts/Articles On This Year’s Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup Education Poll — 2015

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Every year for the past 47 years, Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup have done a Poll On Education issues (you can see my posts from previous years here). This year’s poll results were just released, though I haven’t had time to thoroughly review them yet.

You can read all the results at their site.

I’ll be adding commentaries from others, but here are a few for now:

Poll: Most Americans oppose key tenets of modern school reform is from The Washington Post.

U.S. schools are too focused on standardized tests, poll says is also from The Washington Post.

AFT Responds to PDK-Gallup Poll appears in Diane Ravitch’s blog.

What Does the 2015 PDK/Gallup Poll Tell About Teacher Leadership? is by Barnett Berry.

Gallup: Many Americans oppose linking teacher evaluations to kids’ test performance is from The Associated Press.

Here’s what happens when you ask parents multiple-choice questions is from The L.A. Times.

Two Polls Span Two Poles On Testing is from NPR.

Very Interesting: Poll Finds That Students’ Feeling Engaged & Hopeful Are Top Indicators Of Successful School

What Do Americans Really Think About Education Policy? is from The Atlantic.

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