Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

January 22, 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):

Five key trends in U.S. student performance is from The Economic Policy Institute.

California union dues case dies, but another rises up is from The Sacramento Bee. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On The Awful Friedrichs Case.

Kansas Supreme Court Upholds Law Ending Teacher Tenure comes via Paul Bruno.

The Unit of Education is from Learning Spy. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding How To Interpret Education Research.

As just about everybody knows, Betsy Devos’ confirmation hearing was a disaster this week (see Betsy DeVos Confirmation Hearing Indicates It’s Going To Be A Very Long Four Years For Schools).  One of the many issues that arose was her not understanding the difference between “growth” and “proficiency.”  Here are some related articles posted this week (I’ll add them to The Best Resources For Learning About Our New U.S. Secretary of Education) :

Delving Into One of the Questions Betsy DeVos Couldn’t Answer

Proficiency or Growth? An Exploration of Two Approaches for Writing Student Learning Targets is from The American Institutes For Research.

When Proficient Isn’t Good is from Usable Knowledge.

To just about no teacher’s surprise, a new study has found the School Improvement Grant federal strategy was a failure. Here are some reports on the research I’m adding to The Best Resources For Learning About The Four School Improvement Grant Models:

Billions in School Improvement Spending But Not Much Student Improvement is from Ed Week.

Federal School Improvement Grant Program Had No Significant Impact on Student Achievement is from The American Institutes For Research.

Obama administration spent billions to fix failing schools, and it didn’t work is from The Washington Post.

January 20, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Our School Is Not “Flush With Cash” & Our Students Are Not “Deprived Of All Knowledge”

President Trump didn’t say much about schools today in his Inauguration Speech, but the little he did say was inaccurate, bombastic, and pretty insulting to a lot of us. That particular section is highlighted at the top of this post.

Libby Nelson at Vox has a useful, though not perfect, analysis of it (see Trump’s vision of education begins and ends with schools being bad), so I’m not going to say much more (You can also read this Ed Week piece).

But you might be interested in these related “Best” lists:

The Best Articles Pointing Out That Our Schools Are Not Failing — Please Suggest More

The Best Sites For Learning That Money Does Matter For Schools

The Best Data On How Much Money Teachers Pay Out Of Their Own Pocket – What Do You Spend?

The Best Sites For Getting Some Perspective On International Test Comparison Demagoguery 

ADDENDUM:

Trump defenders have begun sharing this chart, which education researchers have been dismissing for a long time as one of the worst and most inaccurate they have seen. You can read more about it at my previous post, Education Research & “The Graph That Will Never Die.”

January 18, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Common Good Forecaster” Is Intriguing Interactive To Measure Impact Of Ed In Every U.S. County

The Measure of America regularly creates very helpful data interactives and has been on The Best Reference Websites For English Language Learners list for a long time.

They’ve just unveiled what they call the “Common Good Forecaster” “that lets you explore the impact of increased educational attainment on 10 indicators by county, by state, or nationwide.”

They go on to say:

How do education levels affect your community? Education is linked to more than higher incomes and employment rates: better educational attainment is associated with reduced crime rates and less incarceration, higher life expectancies, less obesity, and increased civic engagement. By adjusting adult (25+) education levels, users can see the potential effects on a range of economic, political, and social variables and better understand how investing in education can improve outcomes not only for individuals but for society as a whole.

You can see a screenshot of the page on our county, Sacramento.   They have a big report citing their data and methodology.

I don’t feel I’m qualified to judge its accuracy, but their past reports have seemed pretty impressive.

January 18, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Betsy DeVos Confirmation Hearing Indicates It’s Going To Be A Very Long Four Years For Schools

If you weren’t depressed enough by what you had heard about Betsy DeVos before (see The Best Resources For Learning About Our New U.S. Secretary of Education), you are now (if you watched her confirmation hearing this afternoon) or you will be (after you read about it).

A short, sweet and accurate summary of what happened can be found in Dana Goldstein’s Slate report, The Real Betsy DeVos. Its subtitle is “Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of education tried to sound like a moderate—and revealed that she’s either underprepared or a zealot.”

If you want to read even more depressing details, check out The Washington Post piece, Betsy DeVos, Trump’s education pick, lauded as bold reformer, called unfit for job.

The PBS News Hour also has this report on DeVos today:

January 14, 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):

More Students Are Graduating Because High School Is Getting Less Boring is from Vice. I’m adding it to The Best Articles Pointing Out That Our Schools Are Not Failing — Please Suggest More.

Forget charter schools and vouchers — here are five business ideas school reformers should adopt appeared in The L.A. Times. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Explaining Why Schools Should Not Be Run Like Businesses.

What Is the Future of Public Education? is from The Atlantic. I’m adding it to The Best Articles On What The Trump Presidency Might Mean For Schools.

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Builds Political Muscle for Philanthropic Work is from The New York Times. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Role Of Private Foundations In Education Policy.

Supreme Court wrestles with defining rights for students with disabilities, including autism is from The Washington Post.

Milwaukee’s Voucher Verdict is from The American Prospect. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning Why School Vouchers Are A Bad Idea.

Why the racist history of school vouchers matters today is from Think Progress. I’m adding it to the same list.

Everybody in California will want to read this one: Governor proposes minimal funding increase for K-12 schools next year

Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Education Pick, Plays Hardball With Her Wealth is from The New York Times. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Our New U.S. Secretary of Education.

January 6, 2017
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, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2016 – Part Two):

Donald Trump and K-12 Education: Five Things to Watch in 2017 is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Articles On What The Trump Presidency Might Mean For Schools.

Only half in jest, in response to this next tweet I say, “First they came for the K-12 teachers…”  See The Best Resources For Learning About The “Value-Added” Approach Towards Teacher Evaluation for more info.

This next tweet is a very interesting article, plus they use a video I did for the Bee on advice for new teachers:

Here’s another tweet I commented on because I think it says something important about school governance:

January 5, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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New & Important Report On Deliberate Practice & Teacher Prep

I’ve been a big advocate of applying deliberate practice in the classroom – both in how I can improve my skills and how students can become more familiar with the concept (see The Best Resources For Learning About The 10,000 Hour Rule & Deliberate Practice).

Anders Ericsson, the key researcher behind the concept, talked a bit in an interview I did with him (see ‘Peak’: An Interview With Anders Ericsson & Robert Pool) about how deliberate practice could be used to help train teacher credential candidates.

Now, the organization Deans For Impact has worked with Professor Ericsson and others to create a short and accessible report offering specific ways deliberate practice can be used by teacher prep programs.

You can read the document, Practice With Purpose: The Emerging Science of Teacher Expertise, at the Deans For Impact site, and I’ve embedded a simple explainer video below.

I think it has a lot of good ideas, though I think at times it doesn’t portray a realistic picture of the time a cooperating teacher has to spend with his/her student teacher (I’m certainly never going to be able to videotape my student teacher several times and then sit down to review each one with her). I also wish it included more explicit discussion of the role of reflection in the deliberate practice.

However, nothing is perfect, and it’s great to see a clear illustration of how to apply deliberate practice in an academic context.

December 31, 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, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2016 – Part Two):

There haven’t been a whole lot of articles written about ed policy this holiday week. However, there have been several related year-ed reviews, and you can find those at The Best Education “Year-In-Review” Round-Ups For 2016.

There has, of course, been this wild story out of Buffalo: Buffalo School Board Passes Resolution Telling Carl Paladino To Resign Within 24 Hours.

I’m adding these next two articles to The Best Resources For Learning Why School Vouchers Are A Bad Idea (& Other Commentaries On “Choice”):

‘School choice’ or ‘privatization’? A guide to loaded education lingo in the Trump era is from The Washington Post.

How Indiana’s school voucher program soared, and what it says about education in the Trump era is from The Washington Post.

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