Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

August 27, 2016
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 2016 – So Far):

How 37 States Are Handling Teacher Shortages is by Dan Meyer. I’m adding it to The Best Articles & Posts About The “Teacher Shortage.”

Stuck at Square One: College students increasingly caught in remedial education trap is from American Public Media.

Condemnation of Charter Schools Exposes a Rift Over Black Students is from The New York Times. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Analyzing Charter Schools.

Do charter schools really help children improve? is from The Boston Globe. I’m adding it to the same list.

Is Homework Stupid is from Quartz. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Homework Issues.

When suspensions weren’t working, this high school opted for a new approach is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Restorative Practices – Help Me Find More.

Why Black Men Quit Teaching is by Christopher Emdin. I’m adding it to A Collection Of Useful Posts, Articles & Videos On Race & Racism – Help Me Find More.

Summer is Over, School Begins in August is by Larry Cuban.

Good School, Rich School; Bad School, Poor School is from The Atlantic.

Should We Close Schools on the Basis of Performance? is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On The Impact Of School Closures — Suggest More!

Single score is a misleading way to judge California’s schools appeared in the Sacramento Bee.

California state standardized test scores have just been released. Read about it at:

Good news on school test scores can’t disguise achievement gap is from The San Francisco Chronicle.

Higher test scores, yes, but no narrowing of achievement gaps in California is from Ed Source.

August 24, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Data On How Much Money Teachers Pay Out Of Their Own Pocket – What Do You Spend?


The beginning of the year is often the time when teachers cough up the most cash for supplies – I know it’s when I do! During the rest of the year, most of the rest of the money I spend is on having students pick books off of Amazon that I buy for them.

Here is the data out there on what teachers spend. I tend to think most of the data lowballs our outlays. I know I’m certainly in the $1,000 range.

How about you? Tell me in the comments or on Twitter and I’ll write up the results in a future post:

Vox published a number of very good charts on the same topic (I’d encourage you to check out Most teachers spend hundreds to pay for supplies, special projects, even field trips).

They presented, in a much less “busy” form, information from a Horace Mann survey (they also included info from other surveys). You can see the entire Mann survey here, but here’s a particularly interesting chart:


Ellen heaps prizes on teacher who pays for class supplies out of her own pocket is an article in The Washington Post about a Ellen DeGeneres’ effort to give teachers gift cards.

Here’s an interesting statistic from the article:


Teachers Spend Way Too Much Of Their Own Money On School Supplies, And Here’s Proof is from The Huffington Post.

August 23, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Statistic Of The Day: People Like Their Schools, But Not Everybody Else’s

Education Next came out with results today of a poll on education.

You can read all about it at NPR’s article, Americans Like Their Schools Just Fine — But Not Yours.

Here’s an intriguing excerpt:


The NPR piece includes a useful explanation for the discrepancy.

You might also be interested in The Best Posts/Articles On This Year’s Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup Education Poll — 2015.

August 22, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

California Supreme Court Puts Stake In Heart Of Challenge To Teacher Tenure


I’ve previously written a lot about the billionaire-backed attack on teachers known as the Vergara case (see The Best Resources On California Court Case Attacking Teacher’s Rights).

The California Supreme Court put a stake into the case’s heart today, and you can read about it at these articles:

California Supreme Court decision leaves state’s teacher tenure law in place is from The Washington Post.

State Supreme Court declines to hear Vergara, inadequate funding cases is from Ed Source.

Calif. Supreme Court Puts an End to Vergara Saga is from Ed Week.

In a major win for teachers unions, state Supreme Court lets teacher tenure ruling stand is from the L.A. Times.

August 22, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Video: John Oliver Takes On Charter Schools

John Oliver just eviscerated charter schools last night on his HBO Show in an eighteen-minute commentary.

I believe even most charter school advocates would agree that he had his facts right. They’d probably also say he focused on only the worst charter school examples and neglected to talk about more positive ones. That may be true but, as far as I’m concerned, charter schools in general have done considerable damage to our public school system and they get considerable positive media attention – they can afford some negative P.R. for a change.

As anyone who has watched John Oliver knows, he uses a classroom inappropriate word now and then in the segment, though they are all “beeped” out, except for one use of “sh__tty” near the end.

I’m adding this to The Best Posts & Articles Analyzing Charter Schools.

August 17, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Important Analysis Of Schools With Fewer Suspensions Makes Important Points, As Well As Highlighting Gaps


John Fensterwald tweeted out this important article today headlined What do schools with low student suspension rates have in common?

It’s a good summary of a pretty in-depth analysis of 33 Denver schools.

Some of the common elements this schools with lower-suspension rates are ones you’d expect – emphases on relationship-building, culturally responsive teaching, and explicit discussions about race.

This was the point that was disappointing (for an urban high school teacher like me) to read:

Younger students, more integrated. Of the 33 schools, 58 percent were elementary schools and 58 percent were traditional district-run schools (meaning they aren’t charter or innovation schools).

The schools also had fewer children of color and fewer low-income children than other DPS schools, making them more racially and economically integrated.

An average of 61 percent of students at those 33 schools were children of color, as compared to the district average of 78 percent. An average of 56 percent were eligible for federally subsidized lunches, an indicator of poverty, as opposed to the district average of 74 percent.

The schools also had fewer English language learners and students with disabilities.

It would be nice to read some data about success stories from schools like the one where I teach and where we are working very hard to reduce suspensions.

Are you aware of research  similar to the Denver study, but focusing on high schools that are very high-poverty and a  population of almost entirely  students of color and large numbers of ELLs?

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