Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

April 30, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Great News For California Students – Undocumented Children Become Eligible For Free Medical Insurance In May


The research showing that teachers can only affect thirty percent of factors impacting student academic achievement is well-known (see The Best Places To Learn What Impact A Teacher & Outside Factors Have On Student Achievement). Health issues – both physical and mental – are included in those outside factors (see “Kids who get health insurance are more likely to finish high school and college”).

Though, as far as I know, there hasn’t yet been research connecting Obamacare to higher academic achievement, I suspect that those results will be found (let me know if you are aware of any related research). I assume it’s still too soon.

One group left out of Obamacare were the undocumented.

That omission is beginning to change here in California.

Beginning on May 16th, undocumented children under the age of 18th will be eligible for Medi-Cal, the state-run health insurance program for low-income residents. It covers both physical and mental health issues, which will be a huge help for many of our students who have experience trauma, particularly unaccompanied minors from Central America.

Of course, it will still be a challenge to find an adequate number of providers who accept Medi-Cal, but it’s a great start.

You can find more information about the expansion at:

Medi-Cal will soon cover children in the U.S. illegally. The real battle? Getting adults insured is from The L.A. Times.

New Law Will Expand Medi-Cal to 170K Undocumented Children

California’s Health for All Kids Medi-Cal Expansion (English and Spanish resources)

You might also be interested in The Best Interactives Showing How Obamacare Works.

April 29, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

NY Times Publishes Impressive Interactive On School Funding


Hot on the heels of NPR publishing an impressive interactive on school funding across the United States, The New York Times has unveiled one that looks even more impressive.

Go to their Money, Race and Success: How Your School District Compares page, pop in the name of your school district, and it will vividly demonstrate how students in that district compare with others in academic achievement, school funding, and ethnic make-up of the student population.

The data used in the interactive is based on a study released today by Stanford professor Sean Reardon. You can read more details about his study at:

Achievement Gaps and Racial Segregation: Research Finds an Insidious Cycle from Education Week.

America needs political will to fix unjust educational system, Stanford experts say is from Stanford.

How Can Researchers Compare District Achievement Gaps Across States? is from Ed Week.

And here’s an Ed Week video of Professor Reardon discussing the study:

I’m adding this post to The Best Sites For Learning That Money Does Matter For Schools.

April 28, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Thoughtful Analysis On Teacher “Cheating”

It’s been a year since educators were sentenced in the Atlanta cheating scandal (see The Best Posts & Articles About The Atlanta Testing Scandal) and articles about it, and its impact on students, are beginning to appear.

Education Week has a pretty alarming piece on it, headlined Study: When Educators Cheat, Students Suffer.

I, though, was particularly impressed with a nuanced piece in The Atlantic titled Why Would a Teacher Cheat? Without excusing the Atlanta teachers, writer Alia Wong examines the broader question of teacher “leniency” in grading. Here’s an excerpt:


I’ve don’t believe I’ve ever done anything that would be labeled “cheating” by anybody. However, all of us have a great deal of discretion in student assessment.

The guiding principle for me is always, “What do I think will move this student forward?” That doesn’t mean moving him/her into situations where I don’t think they will be adequately prepared. However, might I have on occasion passed students who some others might have felt had  not”earned” a passing grade because I didn’t feel failing them would be in their best interest? Perhaps (see The Best Resources For Learning About Grade Retention, Social Promotion & Alternatives To Both).

We teachers can hold enormous power to affect the trajectory of our students’ lives.  That amount of power requires some discretion in how we use it.


April 23, 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 & Posts On Education Policy In 2015 – Part Two):

Value-Added Models (VAMs): Caveat Emptor is a new report from The American Statistical Association. Thanks to Paul Bruno for sharing it on Twitter. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Value-Added” Approach Towards Teacher Evaluation.

‘Don’t Wait For An Act Of Congress’: Union Chief On Politics And Testing is from NPR.

Advancing Deeper Learning Under ESSA: Seven Priorities is from Stanford. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About “Deeper Learning.”

When School Districts Get Deliberate About Desegregation is from The Atlantic. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About School Desegregation (& Segregation) – Help Me Find More.

Outspoken CPS principal known as Emanuel critic ousted from Lakeview school is from The Chicago Tribune.

Chalkbeat, the online education publication with branches in multiple states, has revised their design. You can now access all their editions in one place.

Teach for America applications fall again, diving 35 percent in three years is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Raising Concerns About Teach For America.

April 20, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Resources For Learning About The Multilingual Education Act Ballot Initiative In California


Out here in California, we’ll be voting this year on an important ballot initiative this fall, the Multilingual Education Act.

It’s pretty big stuff and there seems to have been surprisingly little written about it – so far.

Here’s the best of the lot – and I’ll be adding more as I see them:

Conor Williams wrote an excellent piece for LA School Report, and it’s headlined Commentary: Why CA’s ‘Multilingual Education Act’ matters: Politics, language and Los Angeles’ future.

Why voters should end California’s limits on bilingual education is an Op-Ed in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Battle of bilingual education once again brewing in California appeared on the PBS News Hour site.

April 18, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

NPR Begins Impressive-Looking Series On Money & Schools


NPR has just began a three-week series on money and schools:

Over the next three weeks, the NPR Ed Team will unveil a vast collection of “School Money” stories told in collaboration with station reporters across the country. Our goal: To give voice to this school-funding imbalance and to explain what happens when many of America’s poorest students also attend its poorest schools.

Here’s one cause for alarm: The achievement gap between this nation’s wealthiest and poorest students is growing dramatically, not shrinking.

Their first story also includes a nation-wide interactive map.

I’m adding this info to The Best Sites For Learning That Money Does Matter For Schools.

April 17, 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 & Posts On Education Policy In 2015 – Part Two):

What the Vergara ruling means for the future of teacher tenure in the U.S. is from The LA Times. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On California Court Case Attacking Teacher’s Rights.

Using Japanese ‘Lesson Study’ to Increase Collaboration among Teachers is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Professional Development For Teachers — Help Me Find More.

Districts, unions innovate to evaluate teachers is from Ed Source. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

A Simple Cure For Education’s Jargonitis is from NPR.

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