Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

November 9, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Useful Posts & Articles on Ed Policy

November 7, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“‘Getting What You Pay For’ In Teacher Evaluations”

‘Getting What You Pay For’ In Teacher Evaluations is my latest post at Education Week Teacher.

This last post in series on teacher evaluation shares commentaries from W. James Popham, Barnett Berry, Pia Lindquist Wong, Rick Stiggins and Derek Cabrera, along with thoughts from readers.

Here are some excerpts:

Although-classroom

The-purpose-of

the-testing-scores-route

Standardized-tests-have

We-dont-evaluate-doctors

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

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November 7, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

The Best & Worst Of “Personalized Learning”

Personalized learning is a big education buzzword these days, and most of the time it means using technology is some sort of magical way so that students can have their own individual learning path.

I, and others, have many concerns about that definition, and you can read more about them at The Best Resources For Understanding “Personalized Learning.”

Pernille Ripp has written an excellent description of what personalized learning can mean in a non-technology way in her post, 6 Changes Toward Personalized Learning.

I’d suggest it really looks like just plain good differentiated instruction in the classroom (see The Best Resources On Differentiating Instruction).

If you want to learn what personalized learning means in the context of all the high-tech, big money, applications, you probably want to check out Education Week’s new big feature, Taking Stock of Personalized Learning.

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November 5, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Election Night: Not Good (To Say The Least), But With A Few Bright Spots

It wasn’t a good election night, but it did have a few bright spots. First, some overall perspectives and then some “takes” on education related ones:

Here’s my overall perspective:

Ezra Klein has a good summary of what happened last night — 9 takeaways from the 2014 election.

Now, for education:

Education Week has the most thorough analysis — on what a Republican Senate means for education and just about every other imaginable ed-related election that took place last night. They also had a good pre-election guide.

Here in California, a big bright spot is that it looks like Tom Torlakson has defeated “school reformer” Marshall Tuck, despite the huge quantities of money spent on Tuck by just about every rich “reformer” in the U.S. That’s a big victory for teachers, students and their families. You can read more about it at The Sacramento Bee and L.A. Times.

In another piece of good news, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson lost an effort to make his office much more powerful. He’s a school reformer in his own right, not to mention that he’s married to Michelle Rhee. This vote is a big loss for him, which means it makes it more unlikely he’s going to try to use his influence in our local schools.

In particularly depressing news, most school board candidates backed by our local teachers union lost. That’s going to make for a couple of tough years.

What are your highlights/lowlights?

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November 4, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Using Teacher Evaluations ‘To Promote Growth’”

Using Teacher Evaluations ‘To Promote Growth’ is part Two in my Education Week Teacher series on…teacher evaluation.

It features contributions on the teacher evaluation process from Julian Vasquez Heilig (with Lisa Hernandez), Ben Spielberg, David Berliner and Paul Bruno.

Here are some excerpts:

When-creating-teacher

Inputbased-teacher

One-way-to-supplement

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November 3, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Is Philanthropy Bad for Democracy?”

Is Philanthropy Bad for Democracy? is the title of an article in The Atlantic written by a former foundation executive.

Though I’m always wary of after-the-fact public “confessionals” by people once they’re out of power and don’t have the ability to make institutional changes, it’s nevertheless an interesting piece that includes a number of comments about foundation-funded education reform efforts.

Here’s an excerpt:

It-can-certainly-be

At about the same time that piece appeared, a completely uncritical post appeared in Medium titled Philanthropy’s Most Innovative Players Talk Metrics and Impact (thanks to Alexander Russo for the tip). This shorter article describes how many foundations worship data-driven metrics (not the data-informed kind). It’s depressing.

I’m adding this info to The Best Resources For Learning About The Role Of Private Foundations In Education Policy.

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November 1, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Teacher Evaluations Need to ‘Support, Not Sort’”

Teacher Evaluations Need to ‘Support, Not Sort’ is my latest post at Education Week Teacher.

In Part One of a three-part series, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, California Teachers Association President Dean Vogel, and 2012 National Teacher Of The Year Rebecca Mieliwocki share their thoughts on teacher evaluations.

Here are some excerpts:

A-week-after-Houstons

The-California-Teachers

we-should-be-allowing

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October 31, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Useful Posts & Articles On Ed Policy

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

Fired school leaders get big payouts is from The San Francisco Chronicle.

Eleven civil rights groups urge Obama to drop test-based K-12 ‘accountability’ system is from The Washington Post.

High-achieving teacher sues state over evaluation labeling her ‘ineffective’ is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Value-Added” Approach Towards Teacher Evaluation.

No, It’s Not “Nearly Impossible” to Fire Bad Teachers is a very good commentary by Nancy Flanagan about the offensive TIME Magazine cover this past week that insulted teachers.

Don’t abolish teacher tenure is by Donna Brazile. It appeared at CNN, and talks about the TIME piece, also.

I’m adding both of those columns to The Best Articles For Helping To Understand Both Why Teacher Tenure Is Important & The Reasons Behind Seniority-Based Layoffs.


Reinventing Teach For America
is by Jack Schneider at Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Raising Concerns About Teach For America.

This Is What Happens When You Criticize Teach for America is from The Nation. I’m adding it to the same list.

The Equity Projection is from The Shanker Blog. It gives a nuanced analysis to this week’s report on a charter school that pays its teachers up to $125,000 annually.

An incredibly revealing poll on teachers’ views of Common Core is from Vox. I’m adding it to A Collection Of My “Best” Lists On The Common Core.

California Race Brings Democrats’ Differences on Education Into Focus is from The New York Times.

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October 25, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Quote Of The Day: “The American Dream Is Leaving America”

The American Dream Is Leaving America is the title of Nicholas Kristof’s new column in The New York Times.

Though I don’t agree with him 100% on the role of education in upward mobility (see The Best Resources On Why Improving Education Is Not THE Answer To Poverty & Inequality), he does make some good points.

Here’s an excerpt:

kristof

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October 23, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Useful Posts & Articles On Ed Policy

October 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Here’s A Headline I Like: “School standardized testing is under growing attack”

It appears that some officials are beginning to take some baby steps to reduce the impact of standardized testing on students and their teachers.

Here are a couple of recent articles about these actions:

School standardized testing is under growing attack, leaders pledge changes is from The Washington Post.

Push to Limit Federal Test Mandates Gains Steam is from Education Week.

And here’s a statement
from our National Education Association President on these changes:

School-is-where

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts On How To Prepare For Standardized Tests (And Why They’re Bad).

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October 18, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

“Poor kids who do everything right don’t do better than rich kids who do everything wrong”

October 18, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Useful Posts & Articles On Ed Policy

October 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

LA Superintendent Expected To Resign On Thursday — And Does!

superintendent_inside1

BREAKING NEWS: Deasy expected to step down tomorrow is the headline at The LA School Report.

It shouldn’t surprise anybody. If you want to learn more about the reasons behind his resignation, see my post from earlier today, Blaming Nurses For Ebola In Dallas & L.A. Teachers For District Ineptitude.

NOTE: He did indeed resign. Here are some follow-up articles:

Deasy Resigns as Los Angeles Schools Chief After Mounting Criticism is from The New York Times.

John Deasy resigns; Ramon Cortines named interim head of L.A. schools is from The Los Angeles Times.

Deasy slams teachers unions, speaks of regrets is from The L.A. Times.

Deasy resigns as school superintendent in Los Angeles is from The Washington Post.

Too many maverick moments finally led to Deasy’s undoing at LAUSD
is from The LA Times.

Why Did the Los Angeles Superintendent Resign? is from The Atlantic Monthly.

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October 14, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Blaming Nurses For Ebola In Dallas & L.A. Teachers For District Ineptitude

The past few days have seen two examples of two glaring examples of institutional leaders blaming people working hard on the “front lines” for problems instead of taking responsibility for their own failings.

You saw the head of the Centers For Disease Control immediately — prior to any investigation — blame a nurse for a “breach in protocol” that resulted in her being infected with Ebola. He walked that back today and said he hadn’t meant to blame her or the hospital. He did that after receiving criticism that the CDC has woefully underprepared U.S. health facilities for Ebola.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the latest example of the District’s technology meltdown was a scheduling disaster at Jefferson High School that is only being fixed after a court-order. There, and I kid you not, Superintendent John Deasy blamed the teachers and their union for the problems and immediately left for a trip to Korea without any further comment.

The L.A. School Board has already authorized talks with Deasy on a departure agreement, and it look like he sees the writing on the wall and is preparing a story of leaving as a martyr — at least, in his own eyes. He’s leaving so many debacles in his wake, though, that few are going to believe whatever kind of glorious departure story he comes up with…

Whatever happened to the idea of institutional leaders accepting responsibility for their mistakes?

(Just after I published this post, the CDC came out with a statement accepting their own responsibility for mistakes in handling the Dallas situation. Still no word from Deasy, however).

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October 13, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Wash. Post Article Wonders If Test Scores Might Not Accurately Evaluate Teachers — Ya’ Think?

one-teacher-might-be

Jesse Rothstein’s new paper questioning the infamous Chetty study (see a best list on that research here) received some thoughtful coverage today in The Washington Post.

As Rothstein’s analysis suggests, perhaps using test scores to evaluate teachers might not be a good idea….

You might also be interested in:

The Best Resources For Learning About The “Value-Added” Approach Towards Teacher Evaluation

The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments

And look for a series in my Education Week Teacher column later this month on this very topic!

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October 12, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Useful Posts & Articles On Ed Policy


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

Why Finland’s schools are top-notch is from CNN. I’m adding it to The Best Resources To Learn About Finland’s Education System.

See the AP U.S. History course changes and take a sample exam is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On The Teacher & Student Protests In Colorado.

As Apprentices in Classroom, Teachers Learn What Works is from The New York Times.

How to start cleaning up the Common Core is by Carol Burris. I’m adding it to The Best Articles Sharing Concerns About Common Core Standards.

How to spot a fake ‘grassroots’ education reform group is from The Washington Post.

What Education “Reformers” Do Not Understand About Teaching and Learning is by Daniel Katz.

Philadelphia Students Walk Out Of Class To Protest Canceled Teachers Contract is from The Huffington Post.

Wealthy Kids Have A Huge Advantage On The SAT is from Business Insider. And this Wall Street Journal article, SAT Scores and Income Inequality: How Wealthier Kids Rank Higher, is a particularly interesting piece on the same topic. I’m adding both to The Best Places To Learn What Impact A Teacher (& Outside Factors) Have On Student Achievement.

Money Flowing for Common-Core Assessments is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Next Generation” Of State Testing.

The Plot Against Public Education: How millionaires and billionaires are ruining our schools is by Bob Herbert and appeared in Politico.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/10/the-plot-against-public-education-111630.html#ixzz3FxRd4JPU

Ed Week reports:

The vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union will temporarily assume charge of the union while its president, Karen Lewis, recovers from a serious illness, the union announced in a short press conference this afternoon.

Here’s another article on the same topic. You might be aware that Karen Lewis has also been considering running for Mayor of Chicago:

Would-be challenger to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is seriously ill is from The Washington Post.

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