Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

November 20, 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):

Vouchers Could Be the Big Winner in Trump’s School Choice Plan, but Is That a Victory for Students? is from The 74. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning Why School Vouchers Are A Bad Idea.

‘Asking students to observe lessons? You may as well ask the class hamster about the best way to teach phonics’ is by Tom Bennett. I think it’s a bit over-the-top, but it does echo my opinion that student evaluations of teachers should have no high-stakes attached to them. I’m adding it to Best Posts On Students Evaluating Classes (And Teachers).

Texas Rejects Mexican-American Studies Textbook Seen As Racist is from NBC News (I’ve shared past stories about this saga previously).

The real secret to Asian-American success was not education is an important piece from The Washington Post. Here’s a key excerpt:

The picture became much clearer when he compared people with similar levels of education. Hilger’s finds that in the 1940s, Asian men were paid less than white men with the same amount of schooling. But by the 1980s, that gap had mostly disappeared.

“Asians used to be paid like blacks,” Hilger says. “But between 1940 and 1970, they started to get paid like whites.” 

In 1980, for instance, even Asian high school dropouts were earning about as much as whites, and vastly more than blacks. This dramatic shift had nothing to do with Asians accruing more education. Instead, Hilger points to the slow dismantling of discriminatory institutions after World War II, and the softening of racist prejudices. That’s the same the explanation advanced by economists Harriet Orcutt Duleep and Seth Sanders, who find that in second half of the 20th century, Asian-Americans not only started to work in more lucrative industries, but also started to get paid more for the same kind of work.

In other words, the remarkable upward mobility of California-born Asians wasn’t about superior schooling (not yet, anyway). It was the result of Asians finally receiving better opportunities — finally earning equal pay for equal skills and equal work.

Why couldn’t African-Americans close the wage gap? It’s hard to say. Hilger finds some evidence that there were underlying differences in skill. Between Asians and African-Americans with the same amount of schooling, African-Americans tended to achieve lower scores on military enlistment tests during the 1940s.

But it’s also likely that postwar racial attitudes shifted differently for Asians than for African-Americans.

I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Why Improving Education Is Not THE Answer To Poverty & Inequality.

November 20, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Articles On What The Trump Presidency Might Mean For Schools


You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Learning About Our New U.S. Secretary of Education.

The upcoming presidency of Donald Trump is going to bring huge ramifications to all of our lives and the lives of our students and their families.

This is a “Best” list of articles discussing just a very narrow sliver of those consequences – the ones that might related to education policy issues (of course, the majority of factors that affect student achievement come from outside of the schoolhouse’s walls – see The Best Places To Learn What Impact A Teacher & Outside Factors Have On Student Achievement):

What a Trump presidency means for America’s public schools is from The Washington Post.

Donald Trump and the Future of Education is from The Atlantic.

Predictions on How the Trump Administration Could Handle ESSA Rules is from Ed Week.

6 big ways Trump presidency could change schools is from The Miami Herald.

With Trump’s Victory, Friedrichs Likely Short-Lived is from Ed Week (see The Best Resources On The Awful Friedrichs Case for more info).

What a Michelle Rhee appointment would tell us about Donald Trump’s education plans is from Chalkbeat.

Educators and Advocates Brace for Harsher Stance on Immigration Under Trump is from Ed Week.

Could Donald Trump’s education policy change schools in California and nationwide? is from The L.A. Times.

In short term, Trump presidency unlikely to disrupt California’s education reforms is from Ed Source.

No, Most Educators Are Not “Fueling Student Anxieties” – Trump Is Handling That On His Own

Here’s a related piece: How the GOP’s Sweep in the States Will Shape America’s Schools is from The Atlantic.

Where Donald Trump Stands on School Choice, Student Debt and Common Core is from The New York Times.

What American Greatness Means: The Presidential Election and Dual Language Learners is by Conor Williams.

November 17, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Survey: We Teachers Spend A Lot Of Our Own Money On Students


New Survey Details How Teachers Use Their Own Money to Fill in Equity Gaps is the headline of an Education Week article today reviewing recent results of a survey from Scholastic.

It’s findings are in line with others at The Best Data On How Much Money Teachers Pay Out Of Their Own Pocket – What Do You Spend?

However, it is the first one that I’m aware of that identifies the logical differences in what teachers would spend in high-poverty schools.


November 16, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

No, Most Educators Are Not “Fueling Student Anxieties” – Trump Is Handling That On His Own


I have often shared Frederick Hess’ insights on schools here.

Unfortunately, for the first time, I feel moved to critique one of his pieces that just appeared in U.S. News, Stop Teaching Anti-Trump Bias (thanks to Alexander Russo for sharing it on Twitter). The piece says, among other things, that educator “histrionics” are causing student anxieties about the impact of a Trump Presidency.

I have to wonder if Rick or his co-author have been in a public school over the past week, or if they’ve seen these news reports over the past few days:

Donald Trump’s proposed “Muslim registry,” explained is from Vox.

How Painful Can Trump Make the Lives of Immigrants? is from Slate.

“What happens January 21?” How California’s Latino immigrants felt the week after the election. is from Vox.

Donald Trump promises to deport 3 million “illegal immigrant criminals.” That’s literally impossible. is from Vox.

Donald Trump is doing a great job on his own fueling those anxieties – no help is needed from teachers.

I’m sure some teachers — on both sides — have not handled this past week as well as they should have done. However, I’m equally sure that thousands have done a good job, using lessons like the ones found at The Best Posts & Articles On How To Teach “Controversial” Topics and at the bottom of The Best Sites To Learn About The 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections, including the ones I did in my own classroom.

Educators get blamed for enough problems that we don’t cause – let’s not add another one to the list.

ADDENDUM: This post was picked up by The Washington Post, which reprinted a portion in an expanded critique of the article.  It’s headlined Educators get blamed for everything. Now, it’s for fanning fear of Trump.

November 15, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The “Genius” Of English Language Learners

I write a lot about the assets, and not the deficits, of English Language Learners (see The Best Posts On Looking At Our Students Through The Lens Of Assets & Not Deficits).

And I’ve written a lot about the California ballot initiative that brought back bilingual education, which passed last week (see The Best Resources For Learning About The Multilingual Education Act Ballot Initiative In California).

Héctor Tobar wrote about both today in The New York Times essay, The Spanish Lesson I Never Got at School.

Here’s an excerpt:



You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Learning The Advantages To Being Bilingual.

November 14, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Mathematica Releases “Must-Have” Guide For Any Educator Trying To Interpret Research


Mathematica Policy Research has released a simple twelve-page guide titled Understanding Types of Evidence: A Guide for Educators.

It’s specifically designed to help educators analyse claims made by ed tech companies but, as the report says itself, the guidance can be applied to any type of education research.

I’m adding it to:

The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research

The Best Research Available On The Use Of Technology In Schools

November 14, 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):

Of course, the results of the Presidential election will have a tremendous impact on education policy and its impact on our students, their families and us educators. I’ve been posting about it all week (Four Important Articles Educators Should Read About Donald Trump’s Election is just one of them). What a Trump presidency means for America’s public schools from the Washington Post is another one.

Massachusetts Voters Say No to Raising State Cap on Charter Schools is from Education Week (here’s a little more background on it from The Washington Post). I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Analyzing Charter Schools.

In California, we hit a home run on the state ballot: Voters back all three education initiatives on California ballot is from Ed Source.

Schoolchildren Left Behind is an editorial in this week’s New York Times.

Evidence for the Disconnect Between Changing Test Scores and Changing Later Life Outcomes is from Education Next.

November 10, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Wash. Post Publishes Letters From My Students To Trump (ELL Sentence Frames Included)


Yesterday was a rough day at school, and The Washington Post published a column I wrote about it, ‘Dear President-elect Trump’: Immigrant students write letters asking for ‘the opportunity to demonstrate we are good people.’

The writing exercise yesterday was incredibly helpful (you can download the sentence frames we used here). Then, seeing their letters in The Washington Post less than twenty-four hours later really helped them feel a lot better.

The Sacramento Bee will be sharing excerpts tomorrow, too.

Even though it useful, it hasn’t solved anything – here’s how I ended the piece:



I’m adding this post to:

The Best Posts & Articles On How To Teach “Controversial” Topics

The Best Sites To Learn About The 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections

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