Here’s yet another end-of-the-year “Best” list – this time on ed policy articles and blog posts.
You can see all my previous ed policy “Best” lists here.
Here are my choices for the best of 2022:
I’m not a big fan of Value-Added ratings, but researchers have just published a big study finding that both low-and-higher income schools have a similar mix of good-and-bad teachers (measured by VAM), and that the real issue behind differing student achievement are the outside supports they receive. In other words, though they don’t come right out and say it in their article about the study that I linked to, it’s based on socio-economic issues. Of course, their conclusions aren’t new, and they even make that clear. I’m adding this info to The Best Places To Learn What Impact A Teacher (& Outside Factors) Have On Student Achievement.
Beyond ‘good’ and ‘bad’: Disrupting narratives about school quality appeared in Kappan. I’m adding it to Best Posts On How To Prepare For Standardized Tests (And Why They’re Bad).
A big new study just came out and, to no surprise from most teachers and in a rebuke to science deniers and right-wing “Open School” fanatics, it found that school mask mandates reduced the spread of COVID. You can read all about it in this morning’s New York Times article, Masks Cut Covid Spread in Schools, Study Finds.
You’ll find lots of interesting statistics at The NY Times article, ‘Channeling the Mama Bear’: How Covid Closures Became Today’s Curriculum Wars. The text highlighted above reinforces lots of previous surveys. I’m adding this info to The Best Articles Pointing Out That Our Schools Are Not Failing — Please Suggest More.
To no surprise of anyone who is a teacher or who talks to teachers, lots of teachers are not very happy right now. A brand-new study (that’s not behind a paywall!) puts numbers behind the statement. Check out The Rise and Fall of the Teaching Profession: Prestige, Interest, Preparation, and Satisfaction over the Last Half Century by Matthew A. Kraft, Melissa Arnold Lyon. Education Week has a very good summary of it: The Status of the Teaching Profession Is at a 50-Year Low. What Can We Do About It? Some ideas: higher pay, more autonomy, right-wing fanatics halting their book bans and attacks on what we’re teaching, reducing violence in schools (gun control, anyone?). You might also be interested in The Best Posts & Articles About The Importance Of Teacher (& Student) Working Conditions and THE BEST RESOURCES FOR LEARNING ABOUT THE “TEACHER SHORTAGE”
How Big Were Pandemic Learning Losses, Really? is a NY Times column worth reading. It provides a clear-eyed analysis of recent schools data that can bring everyone back to reality. A good piece to complement it is one of my Ed Week columns, No, Temporarily Closing Schools Is Not Like Invading Iraq. I’m adding it to Trying To Bring Research, Sanity, Teacher Expertise & Student Voice To The “Learning Loss” Discussion.
The Power of Doing Less in Schools is a new article in ASCD Educational Leadership that is written by Justin Reich.I think it might be one of the most important articles on education written this year. It’s filled with great advice on how to “subtract” in “Communications, Rules, Bureaucracy and Curriculum.” I was recently on Justin’s podcast, TeachLab with Justin Reich, and you can listen to our conversation here, and read the transcript here.
You’ll want to read Who’s Left Out of the Learning-Loss Debate by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor at The New Yorker. I’m adding it to Trying To Bring Research, Sanity, Teacher Expertise & Student Voice To The “Learning Loss” Discussion.
Lethal mutations in education and how to prevent them is by Kate Jones and Dylan Wiliam. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research.
The 54th annual version of the respected PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools just came out (you can see my posts about many of the previous years’ results here). You can also read Education Week’s summary, Most Parents Don’t Want Their Kids to Become Teachers, Poll Finds. It’s clearly a “mixed-bag” – people like their local schools, trust their teachers, but definitely don’t want their children to grow up and be one…..
The Most Powerful Moms in America Are the New Face of the Republican Party is from Mother Jones.
Researcher Kirabo Jackson has been a pioneer in identifying valid non-test score measures of a teacher and of a school’s effectiveness (you can read my previous posts about his work here). He and his co-authors just came out with new research that further refines and reinforces the perspective that those who focus on test scores can’t see the forest for the trees. They found that students, particularly those facing the most life and academic challenges – gain some of the greatest long-term benefits from aspects of a school that are not measured by test scores. Through student surveys, and data like suspensions, absences, arrests, graduation, college enrollment and persistence, the study’s authors suggest that Social Emotional Learning (they call it Social Emotional Development) practices are what makes the difference. The paper is not behind a paywall, and it’s worth checking out.
In Schools, Honest Talk about Racism Can Reduce Discrimination is an extremely important article in Scientific American discussing the research behind why we need to be explicitly anti-racist in the classroom. I’m adding it to: RESOURCES FOR LEARNING ABOUT ATTACKS ON “CRITICAL RACE THEORY,” THE 1619 PROJECT & ATTEMPTS TO STOP EDUCATORS FROM TEACHING ABOUT SYSTEMIC RACISM and to New & Revised: Resources To Help Us Predominantly White Teachers To Reflect On How Race Influences Our Work.
Cream Skimming and Pushout of Students Participating in a Statewide Private School Voucher Program is a new study that has some interesting conclusions. It surprisingly finds that schools accepting vouchers don’t “cream-skim students by enrolling high-achieving, less challenging, or less costly students.” Not surprisingly, they push out the students who face the most challenges. I’m adding this info to The Best Resources For Learning Why School Vouchers Are A Bad Idea.
Does class size really matter? A Chalkbeat look at the research. is from Chalkbeat. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About How Class Size Does Matter.
‘I’m terrified’: As new laws take effect, LGBTQ students and allies fear the consequences is from Chalkbeat. I’m adding it to THE BEST WAYS TO SUPPORT LGBTQ STUDENTS.
Why the narrative that critical race theory ‘makes white kids feel guilty’ is a lie is from The Hechinger Report. I’m adding it to RESOURCES FOR LEARNING ABOUT ATTACKS ON “CRITICAL RACE THEORY,” THE 1619 PROJECT & ATTEMPTS TO STOP EDUCATORS FROM TEACHING ABOUT SYSTEMIC RACISM.
What the Teacher and Classified-Staff Strike in Sacramento Means for the Country is the headline of one of my Education Week columns.
With Plunging Enrollment, a ‘Seismic Hit’ to Public Schools is from The NY Times.
If you’re interested in assessments, check out Seven questions for Jennifer Randall from The Hechinger Report.
Texas official wants to arm more teachers. Bad idea. is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Articles & Videos Explaining Why Arming Teachers Is A Bad Idea.
DESIGN PRINCIPLES FOR EFFECTIVE ONLINE CREDIT RECOVERY is from EdResearch For Recovery, and I think it has pretty useful advice that most schools will, unfortunately, not follow.
John Oliver’s video segment on police in schools was the best analysis of the problems they create that I’ve seen, heard, or read anywhere. It’s twenty-five minutes long but, unfortunately, after the 12 minute mark he uses in appropriate classroom language five times. Here’s the link to the video – I didn’t feel comfortable embedding the whole thing here because of the profanity and, yes, I know it sounds weird because I’m still linking to it. I’m adding this info to TEACHING RESOURCES ABOUT IF POLICE SHOULD BE IN SCHOOLS.
Why The School Wars Still Rage by Jill Lepore is a must-read article in The New Yorker. I’m adding it to WE SHOULD ENCOURAGE PARENT ENGAGEMENT, BUT NOT PARENT BULLYING.
Sooooooooooooo many people need to read this important piece https://t.co/m8mMUQ2K2h
— Larry Ferlazzo (@Larryferlazzo) December 3, 2022