Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

February 1, 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 & Videos On Education Policy In 2014 – Part Two):

Teachers ask high court to hear union dues case is from Ed Source. This has been simmering out here in California and was overshadowed by the Vergara case. Unfortunately, it has the potential of doing far more harm to students, their families and us teachers than Vergara — it could impact twenty-five other states.

Why Cuomo’s school reform plans would make teaching a very high-risk career choice is from The Washington Post.

What happens when the Common Core becomes less … common? is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to A Collection Of My “Best” Lists On The Common Core.

Senate appears unlikely to push for test-based teacher evaluations in revised law is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On The No Child Left Behind Reauthorization Process.

Testing and Civil Rights is by Renee Moore. I’m adding it to the same list.

Teachers union, think tank propose compromise on testing of U.S. students is from The Washington Post, and that’s going on the same list, too.

Following the Money in Education Philanthropy is from American RadioWorks. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Role Of Private Foundations In Education Policy.

Education Secretary Duncan is threatening to withhold $1.2 billion in school aid because the Chicago Public Schools have refused to give PARCC tests to all their students this year. His letter is unlikely to win him friends or influence people in Illinois. And now that Karen Lewis is back on the job, things should get very interesting there.

This creatively-done video from The Shanker Institute is very intriguing. You can read more about it here.

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January 30, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Quote Of The Day: What Does Bill Gates Think Is The Biggest Challenging Facing His Foundation?

I’ve done enough Bill Gates-bashing for this week (see the Washington Post piece headlined Why a new Bill Gates interview depressed Larry Ferlazzo).

He just did a Reddit AMA, and had this to say:

gates

Asking teachers how to do it — with no agenda going into the question — might be a good way to start figuring it out….

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January 29, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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In Case You Missed It: Washington Post Republishes My Recent Complaint About Bill Gates

In case you missed my post from a couple of days ago, Boy, Bill Gates’ Latest Interview Was Very Depressing…, you can read it in The Washington Post.

It was just reprinted there under the headline, Why a new Bill Gates interview depressed Larry Ferlazzo.

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January 27, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Boy, Bill Gates’ Latest Interview Was Very Depressing…

I have been no big fan of Bill Gates over the years (The Best Posts Responding To Bill Gates’ Appallingly Clueless Op-Ed Piece) nor of the work in schools done by his foundation (The Best Resources For Learning About The Role Of Private Foundations In Education Policy).

But there have been recent signs of hope from him (That surprising thing Bill Gates said).

His latest interview with Ezra Klein at Vox disabused me of those thoughts….

Here is what he said about education:

When we think of the potential for online education, there are two different ways to look at it. One is to say, “What about the motivated students that really know they want to learn?” You know, this is the equivalent of when a Carnegie library would go up in a town, who were the strivers that actually went in there and started checking out books and got a real uplift because of that availability. Is that 10 percent of the kids, 20 percent of the kids? Now add online support, bulletin boards, interactivity, feedback, personalized progress. We will get those things in different languages for different subjects in extremely high quality for free, delivered even to fairly small screen sizes, connected up over mobile networks.

The much harder question is the goal of motivating and educating virtually every child in the society. Without a very strong teaching core that can create the strong social structure and the sense of why you need to do those things, you’re not going to get every kid in the inner city in the US or the global equivalent. There, you’ve got to improve the teaching itself. But that, too, is subject to online tools where teachers can see what others do well, or they can get feedback.

I think it’s great that he first recognizes that online education primarily serves the most motivated. In that regard, he’s ahead of many other vocal proponents of that idea.

But it’s all downhill from there.

He then puts the responsibility of student motivation all on teachers, and that the key to teachers learning to be better is through online education.

There is no recognition of how issues of student motivation also related to many challenges outside of the teacher’s control (see The Best Articles About The Study Showing Social Emotional Learning Isn’t Enough and The Best Places To Learn What Impact A Teacher & Outside Factors Have On Student Achievement).

And it sounds like he’s doubling-down on the generally awful conclusions of the Gates Foundation report touting videotaping teachers as the cure-all for teacher professional development (see A Beginning List Of The Best Posts On Gates’ Final MET “Effective Teaching” Report and The Best Posts & Articles About Videotaping Teachers In The Classroom).

I just hope he finds something else soon that catches his interest so he stop experimenting with the lives of our students, their families, and us teachers…

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January 24, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Vox Publishes A Very Good Guide To No Child Left Behind

A guide to No Child Left Behind as Congress tries to rewrite the law provides very good background on the issue and appears in Vox.

Interestingly, the photo illustrating this post comes from another Vox writer, Matthew Yglesias.

I’m adding the guide to The Best Resources On The No Child Left Behind Reauthorization Process.

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January 24, 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 & Videos On Education Policy In 2014 – Part Two):

Condi Rice taking reins of Jeb Bush’s education foundation is from The Washington Post. That movie is particularly interesting for those of us in California since Republican leaders have been trying to recruit Rice to run for the U.S. Senate. I would assume that this new move of hers means that she’s not interested in that race.

Update On Teacher Turnover In The U.S. is an interesting post from The Shanker Blog. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About The Importance Of Teacher (& Student) Working Conditions.

What the new Common Core tests are — and aren’t is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Next Generation” Of State Testing.

Testing Scuffles Persist, Cast Doubt on Common-Core Assessments is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to the same list.

Will Teaching and Learning Become Automated? (Part 3) is by Larry Cuban.

When public schools get more money, students do better
is a Washington Post article about a new study I’ve previously discussed. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning That Money Does Matter For Schools.

You may, or may not, have heard that one of the world’s richest men announced at Davos that U.S. schools don’t need any more money. Instead, we just need to get more retired people to volunteer.

Broader Picture of International Education Progress Unveiled in Study is from Education Week. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Getting Some Perspective On International Test Comparison Demagoguery.

Governor Cuomo in New York announced plans to try and do some crazy stuff to teachers. You can read about it in Daniel Katz’s blog and in The New York Times.

Bill Gates Claims Foundation Does R & D Only, Stays Out of “Political Process” is by Anthony Cody. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Role Of Private Foundations In Education Policy.

Everybody Hates Pearson is from Fortune.

House Education Panel Head Endorses Annual Student Testing is from The Associated Press. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On The No Child Left Behind Reauthorization Process.

Here are three more articles I’m adding to that same list:

Senate begins debate on education law, focuses on testing is from The Washington Post.

Senators grapple with how much students should be tested is from The Associated Press.

Democrats Should Listen To What Senator Whitehouse Said About Education Policy

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January 22, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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PBS News Hour Video: “Is The ‘Test’ Failing American Schools”

Anya Kamenetz, NPR reporter and author of The Test: Why Our Schools are Obsessed with Standardized Testing, But You Don’t Have to Be was interviewed on the PBS News Hour tonight.

Here’s the video and and a text excerpt. I’m adding this post to The Best Posts On How To Prepare For Standardized Tests (And Why They’re Bad).

And-as-for-the-argument

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January 21, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Quote Of The Day: Teacher Gives Testimony To Senate Committee

Stephen Lazar, a New York City public school teacher, gave powerful testimony today at The U.S. Senate Education Committee that is considering re-writing the No Child Left Behind Act.

You’ll want to read his entire testimony, but here’s a short excerpt:

I-support-the-position

I’m adding this post to The Best Resources On The No Child Left Behind Reauthorization Process and to The Best Articles Describing Alternatives To High-Stakes Testing.

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