Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

February 21, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Important NY Times Piece On Our “Social Contract”

Have We Lost Sight of the Promise of Public Schools? is an important New York Times column by Nikole Hannah-Jones.

It’s about our public schools, and also discusses the role and health of our public institutions. You’ll definitely want to read the entire piece, and it’s not very long.

Here’s an excerpt:

February 19, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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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 – Part Two):

DeVos criticized teachers at D.C. school she visited — and they are not having it is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Our New U.S. Secretary of Education.

Conservatives keep comparing protests against Trump’s education secretary to segregation is from Vox. I’m adding it to the same list.

Here’s who Trump invited to the White House to talk about schools. The list says a lot about his education priorities. is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Articles On What The Trump Presidency Might Mean For Schools.

Chicago school board sues state, alleges ‘separate and unequal’ funding is from The Chicago Tribune.

New Challenge to Teachers’ Union Fees Takes Up After Friedrichs Deadlock is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On The Awful Friedrichs Case.

What Works Can Hurt: Side Effects in Education is by Yong Zhao.

February 14, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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You’ll Want To Read This Interview With Education Researcher Kirabo Jackson

I’ve previously written about the work of education researcher Kirabo Jackson, particularly in More Evidence Showing The Dangers Of Using High-Stakes Testing For Teacher Evaluation and Statistic Of The Day: New Study Finds That Money Matters For Schools.

Today, Matt Barnum (whose work I have also shared several times) interviews him over at The 74, The 74 Interview: Kirabo Jackson on the Importance of School Spending, ‘Soft Skills’ and Teacher Quality.

You’ll definitely want to read the entire interview, but I was particularly struck by this part:

Can you describe the relationship between the teacher effects and students’ long-run outcomes?

The long-run outcomes that I look at in this current study, looking at students in ninth grade and their ninth-grade teachers. Then I look at their 12th grade outcomes, whether they graduate from high school and whether they report that they’re going to attend college. The finding there is that the teacher effects on these soft skills are much more predictive of their effects on these longer-run outcomes than the teacher effects on test scores. Teacher effects on test scores do predict — teachers who raise test scores are associated with higher levels of high school graduation and higher levels of students planning to go to four-year college, but the effects of teachers on the soft skills are much larger in magnitude.

I wasn’t quite sure if it said what I thought it said, so I corresponded with Matt, who gave me permission to include his responses – I think it’s pretty interesting and important and definitely food for thought:

LF: I really liked the interview you did with Kirabo Jackson, and plan to blog about it. I do have a question about one portion of it, however. In the response on soft skills and long-term outcomes, is he saying that ninth-grade teachers who are particularly good in helping student acquire soft skills are more successful “much larger in magnitude” in having students graduate and attend college? Or is he talking about other kinds of long-term outcomes?

Matt Barnum:

I think your initial interpretation is correct – that is teachers’ “value-added” to soft skills is more predictive than their value-added to test scores of students’ long run outcomes like graduating high school and attending college. However, teachers’ value-added to test scores *is* itself predictive of long run outcomes – just less so than their value-added to soft skills>

LF: One more question- in his past research, I know he has looked at suspension rates and other elements (I’ve listed them in a previous post about his studies tho can’t remember the others right now). That’s still the measurement he is using for ‘soft skills’?

Matt Barnum:

Yep – that’s right. The “soft skills” are “absences, suspensions, course grades, and on-time grade progression” and he’s connected teachers effects on those soft skills to teachers’ impacts on long run outcomes including high school graduation and college attendance. That is teachers who improve short-run soft skills (and test scores) also improve long-run outcomes.

February 12, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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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 – Part Two):

A comprehensive list of what Betsy DeVos can — and can’t — do next is from Vox. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Our New U.S. Secretary of Education.

U.S. Public Schools Are Not Failing. They’re Among The Best In The World is from The Huffington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Articles Pointing Out That Our Schools Are Not Failing — Please Suggest More.

A vote for DeVos is a vote for resegregation is from CNN. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning Why School Vouchers Are A Bad Idea (& Other Commentaries On “Choice”).

Equity and ESSA: Leveraging Educational Opportunity Through the Every Student Succeeds Act is from The Learning Policy Institute. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding The Every Student Succeeds Act.

The Renewal-School Gamble is from The Atlantic. I’m adding it to “The Best Resources For Learning About Community Schools”

Community Schools: What We Know and What We Need to Know is a new study that I’m adding to the same list.

February 7, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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DeVos Is Confirmed As Ed Secretary: Here’s a Wrap-Up

Though a good case can be made that – in the Trump Administration big picture – Betsy DeVos could be one of the least of our worries, it is nevertheless very bad news for schools, our students, their families and us teachers.

Here are a few new additions I’m making to The Best Resources For Learning About Our New U.S. Secretary of Education about what happened today:

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Has Already Affected Public Education is from The Atlantic.

Reaction To DeVos Vote Is Swift, And Divided is from NPR.

The Betsy DeVos Confirmation Debacle is from The New Yorker.

Betsy DeVos can change education in America without doing a thing is from Vox.

Betsy DeVos Confirmed as Education Secretary; Pence Breaks Tie is from The New York Times.

February 5, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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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 – Part Two):

Betsy DeVos, Pick for Secretary of Education, Is the Most Jeered is from The NY Times. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Our New U.S. Secretary of Education.

Why Betsy DeVos is Riling up Education Advocates is from NBC News. I’m adding it to the same list.

Senate Set to Decide Betsy DeVos’ Fate Next Week is from Ed Week.

A Case Study for Betsy DeVos’s Educational Utopia is from The Atlantic, and is about Nevada’s failed voucher program. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning Why School Vouchers Are A Bad Idea.

The School Improvement Grants that didn’t improve schools is from The L.A. Times. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Four School Improvement Grant Models.

January 29, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

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 – Part Two):

Top-down School Reforms without Community or Teacher Involvement (Part 1) is by Larry Cuban.

The real meaning of school choice is by Nancy Vera. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning Why School Vouchers Are A Bad Idea (& Other Commentaries On “Choice”).

Famed researcher Linda Darling-Hammond on the future of New York education — and what she makes of Betsy DeVos is from Chalkbeat.

Jason Botel, KIPP school founder and education advocate, said to become White House adviser is from The Baltimore Sun (h/t Alexander Russo. New Trump Adviser Has Advocated for Charters, Changes to Teacher-Labor Rules is from Ed Week.

The Trump War on Public Schools appeared in The New York Times. Here’s an excerpt:

I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Our New U.S. Secretary of Education.

Democrats to Vote En Bloc Against Education Secretary Nominee Devos is from U.S. News.

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