Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

June 7, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Second Depressing Statistic Of The Day: “Thirteen States Now Require Grads to Pass Citizenship Test”

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Thirteen States Now Require Grads to Pass Citizenship Test is the headline of an article in today’s Education Week.

Here’s how it begins:

Thirteen-states-now-plan

Why is this statistic depressing, you might ask?

Well, I wrote a fairly extensive post about this last year headlined Yes, Schools Should Develop Active Citizens &, No, We Don’t Need Another Test To Do It, which may be worth a visit. Here’s an excerpt:

Considering my nineteen year career as a community organizer, it’s no surprise that I’m a big believer in schools helping to develop the citizenship skills of our students. However, I think making students having to study and pass yet another standardized test is a terrible, and ineffective, strategy to use in trying to achieve that goal. It’s like calling into Talk Radio – it makes some feel like they’re doing something to make a difference when, in fact, they’re doing nothing at all.

June 7, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Jerome Bruner Died This Week & Here’s A Good Article To Read About Him

I’ve admired Jerome Bruner over the years, and have written about his work in my books and in this blog.

He died on Monday at the age of 100, and The Atlantic has published a short, and good, article about him titled An Unfinished Quest in Education.

Here’s an excerpt:

Jerome-Bruner-found-that

June 7, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Slate’s “Tomorrow’s Test” Series Is An Impressive Project On Race & Schools

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Slate is publishing a series of twelve long articles on race and schools – all in one week.

It’s called Tomorrow’s Test.

Here’s how they describe the project:

Tomorrow’s Test is a weeklong series looking at the challenges, tensions, and opportunities as the United States shifts to a majority-minority student population in its public schools—a milestone the country as a whole will reach within the next generation. It is a collaboration with the Teacher Project at Columbia Journalism School, a nonprofit education reporting fellowship.

I’m adding it to A Collection Of Useful Posts, Articles & Videos On Race & Racism – Help Me Find More.

June 4, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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 – Part Two):

5 Doubts About Data-Driven Schools is from NPR. I’m adding it to The Best Resources Showing Why We Need To Be “Data-Informed” & Not “Data-Driven”

5 Dominant Theories in Education Philanthropy is from relinquishment (thanks to Alexander Russo for the tip). I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Role Of Private Foundations In Education Policy.

Digital Promise Puts Education Research All In One Place is from MindShift. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research.

Why the Education Department’s New Equity Rule Might Not Be So Equal is from The Atlantic.

Does Teaching Experience Increase Teacher Effectiveness? A Review of the Research is from The Learning Policy Institute. I’m adding it to The Best Articles For Helping To Understand Both Why Teacher Tenure Is Important & The Reasons Behind Seniority-Based Layoffs.

Title I Is Supposed to Fund Our Poorest Schools is from Slate.

U.S. News Investigation Reveals Shortcomings in Federal Education Funding for Low-Income Students is from U.S. News.

June 2, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

As More Schools Use VAM To Evaluate Teachers, Businesses Go In Opposite Direction

I, like many other educators, have been a vocal critic of using Value Added Measurement to evaluate teachers (see The Best Resources For Learning About The “Value-Added” Approach Towards Teacher Evaluation).

I’ve also felt that schools should not be run like businesses (see The Best Posts & Articles Explaining Why Schools Should Not Be Run Like Businesses).

But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn anything from the corporate sector.

I’ve previously posted about how companies have begun moving away from their own version of VAM ratings (see Microsoft Eliminates Its Own Destructive VAM Rankings; However, Gates Still Seems Focused On Using It For Us).

Now, today, The New York Times published an article covering that increasing trend, Morgan Stanley to Rate Employees With Adjectives, Not Numbers.

Here’s an excerpt:

Morgan-Stanley-told-its

Obviously, the numbers evaluations corporations are moving away from are not an exact “apples-to-apples” comparison to VAM, but it seems to me that there are enough similarities to make VAM proponents to take a look…

What do you think?

June 1, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

L.A. Times Editorial Tears Into Gates Foundation

The Los Angeles Times editorial pages, which are generally sympathetic to school reformers, certainly took a different tack today.

Their editorial discussed the recent Gates Foundation’s Mea Culpa, and ended this way:

Philanthropists-are-not

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

May 29, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

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 – Part Two):

Changing The Narrative: Leveraging Education Policy To Address Segregation is from The Shanker Institute. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About School Desegregation (& Segregation) – Help Me Find More.

Recycling Poverty, Segregated Schools, and Academic Achievement: Then and Now is by Larry Cuban. I’m adding it to the same list.

Now is the time to experiment with inspections for school accountability is from The Brookings Institution and, as its written, is a terrible idea. However, our former principal, Ted Appel, and I have spoken about the advantages of the kind of “inspections” done by the WASC (Accrediting Commission for Schools Western Association of Schools and Colleges), which has a group visiting over a period of days and which is combined with months of self-reflection by school faculty, administrators, students and staff as a potentially viable alternative for accountability.

“Transforming” Public Schools: Enough already with an Overhyped Word! is by Larry Cuban.

What Guides My Thinking on School Reform: Pulling the Curtain Aside is by Larry Cuban. I’m adding it to The Best Articles Providing An “Overall” Perspective On Education Policy.

Leaked Questions Rekindle Debate Over Common Core Tests is from The New York Times. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Next Generation” Of State Testing.

Lesson Study: When Teachers Team Up to Improve Teaching is from MindShift. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Professional Development For Teachers — Help Me Find More.
‘The idea that strong teacher unions impede education quality is ludicrous’ is from TES. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning Why Teachers Unions Are Important.

States that tie higher education funding to performance have it all wrong, report says is from The Washington Post.

I’m adding these next two resources to The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments:

Teacher Evaluation That Goes Beyond Check Boxes is by David Edelman

REASSESSING TEACHER ASSESSMENTS is a series of five articles (of mixed quality) at Ed Week.

I’m adding these next two articles to The Best Resources On The No Child Left Behind Reauthorization Process (yes, I’ve got to update the title of that post):

Education Department proposes rules for judging schools is from The Washington Post.

U.S. Dept. of Education releases draft regulations for new federal law is from Ed Source.

I’m adding this Ed Week series to The Best Resources For Learning About The Role Of Private Foundations In Education Policy:

Silver Bullets and Solutionism in Education Philanthropy

‘There’s an App for That’: Philanthropy’s Billion Dollar Bets

Getting In: The Challenges of Access to Elite Foundations

Into the Classroom: A Lesson on Philanthropy and Economic Inequality

May 26, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Another Study Highlights The Impact Of Moving On Student Academic Progress

Yet another study has identified the negative impacts moving often can have on student academic progress.

Children’s social and academic functioning is impeded when their families move more often is the headline of a Eureka Alert summary of the study. Here’s an excerpt:

A-new-study-has-found

I wrote about a similar studies a few years ago in a post titled Student Mobility. In that same post, I also wrote:

In an unofficial analysis of data at our school, teachers and administrators determined that the “achievement gap” was substantially reduced for students who had been with us for all four years of their high school career. In this analysis, African-American students not only were the most mobile group, they also moved more multiple times. Latino students had the next largest number of moves, followed by our Asian students.

Of course, it must be emphasized that it’s likely the overwhelming majority of many of these movies are not done by choice. Many of my students’ families have moved because of economic or crime conditions.

The Best Places To Learn What Impact A Teacher (& Outside Factors) Have On Student Achievement shares even more research on these outside-of-school factors, and highlights why we have to organize around socio-economic conditions and not just on explicitly ed policy issues.

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