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Classroom Q&A

With Larry Ferlazzo

In this EdWeek blog, an experiment in knowledge-gathering, Ferlazzo will address readers’ questions on classroom management, ELL instruction, lesson planning, and other issues facing teachers. Send your questions to lferlazzo@epe.org. Read more from this blog.

Education Opinion

Q & A Collections: Education Policy Issues

By Larry Ferlazzo — August 17, 2016 7 min read
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I’ll begin posting new questions and answers in early September, and during the summer will be sharing thematic posts bringing together responses on similar topics from the past five years. You can see all those collections from the first four years here.

Here are the ones I’ve posted so far:

This Year’s Most Popular Q & A Posts!

Classroom Management Advice

Student Motivation & Social Emotional Learning

Implementing The Common Core

Race & Gender Challenges

Best Ways To Begin & End The School Year

Brain-Based Learning

Teaching Social Studies

Project-Based Learning

Using Tech In The Classroom

Parent Engagement In Schools

Teaching English Language Learners

Student Assessment

Reading Instruction

Writing Instruction

Today’s theme is on education policy issues. You can see the list following this excerpt from one of them:

* ‘Writing A Letter Isn’t Enough’ To Affect Ed Policy

Karen Baptiste, Eric C. Heins, Mary Tedrow, and David Griffith share their suggestions on how teachers can affect education policy decisions.

* Policy Decisions Must Be ‘Done With’ Teachers, Not ‘Done To’ Them

This post includes contributions from Randi Weingarten, Jody Spiro, Susan Ochshorn and Meghan Everette discussing how teachers can effectively engage in educational policy decisions. I’ve also included comments left by readers.

* Response: Teacher Evaluations Need to ‘Support, Not Sort’

This post includes responses from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, California Teachers Association (past) President Dean Vogel, and 2012 National Teacher Of The Year Rebecca Mieliwocki.

* Using Teacher Evaluations ‘to Promote Growth’

This column features contributions from Julian Vasquez Heilig (with Lisa Hernandez), Ben Spielberg, David Berliner and Paul Bruno.

* ‘Getting What You Pay For’ In Teacher Evaluations

W. James Popham, Barnett Berry, Pia Lindquist Wong, Rick Stiggins and Derek Cabrera share there thoughts.

* The Teachers of Color ‘Disappearance Crisis’

Gloria Ladson-Billings, Travis J. Bristol, and Terrenda Corisa White contribute their responses here.

* ‘Education Suffers’ Without More Teachers Of Color

This post highlights contributions come from teachers Antoine Germany, James Pale, Dominique Williams and Evelyn Ramos; and from student Jacquelin Estrada.

* Teachers Of Color Can ‘Broaden Student Perspectives’

Teacher Ya Po Cha, teacher Elizabeth Villanueva, student teacher Billy William Ivy, biligual aide Alma Avalos, and student Amanda Martinez provide their thoughts on the topic.

* The Value of ‘Small Learning Communities’

Ted Appel, ReLeah Cossett, PJ Caposey and Tom Hoerr contribute their commentaries.

* ‘Teachers Don’t Leave High-Poverty Urban Districts; They Are Exiled’

Educators Pia Lindquist Wong, Rufus Thompson, Gail L. Thompson, Yvette Jackson, Veronica McDermott, Karen Baptiste, Joseph F. Johnson, Jr., Cynthia L. Uline, and Lynne G. Perez contribute to this jam-packed post.

* ‘Treating Teachers as Professionals’ Is a Step Toward Reducing Attrition

This post features contributions from Mark Y. Lineberg, Doris A. Santoro, Dave F. Brown, and Patricia Jennings. I’ve also highlighted comments from readers.

* Teachers Stay Because ‘They Made A Choice To Serve’

Educators Renee Moore, Katy Farber, Sharon Jacobs, and Opal Davis Dawson share their responses.

* Educators Stay Because They ‘Tap Into Moral Dimension Of Teaching’

Kathleen Budge, William Parrett, Cathie E. West , Kevin L. O’Gorman, Jacqueline E. Jacobs and Pia Lindquist Wong contribute their commentaries.

* Ways To Reduce Teacher Attrition In High Poverty Schools

Educators Angel Cintron and Paul Bruno contribute guest responses here.

* Building ‘Political Will’ to Retain Teachers in High-Need Schools

Barnett Berry and Ilana Garon share their thoughts in this post.

* Reducing Attrition in Urban Schools ‘By Listening to Our Teachers’

Liam Goldrick and David Orphal contribute responses, and I feature many comments from readers, too.

* Race To The Top Has Been A ‘Fiasco’

Several educators -- Barnett Berry, Ariel Sacks, John Thompson, Alice Mercer and David B. Cohen -- weigh in with their thoughts on the fifth anniversary of The Race To The Top program and I include comments from readers, too.

* Race To The Top Was A ‘Wasted Opportunity’

Educators John Kuhn and Gary Rubinstein share their thoughts on RTTT.

* ‘Teacherpreneurs Can Lead Reforms': An Interview With Barnett Berry

I interview Barnett Berry about the book Teacherpreneurs: Innovative Teachers Who Lead but Don’t Leave (Jossey-Bass 2013) authored by Barnett and Center For Teaching Quality colleagues Ann Byrd and Alan Wieder. In it, they document the leadership journeys of eight classroom educators (several who are regular contributors to this blog) who are spreading their expertise beyond their schools, districts, and states -- and even nationally and internationally.

* Ways To Observe Teachers Without Demoralizing Them

This post contains some great guest responses from four educator/authors: Trent Kaufman and Emily Dolci Grimm; PJ Caposey, and Brian Nichols.

* We Need “Fewer John Waynes & More John Deweys”

This is Part One in a series responding to the question: “How can teachers best relate to Superintendents -- and vice versa?”

This post provides responses from a teacher’s perspective, with contributions from Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers; Dean Vogel, President of the California Teachers Association ; and Barnett Berry of the Center For Teaching Quality.

* Teachers & Superintendents Must “Work To Understand Each Other”

This is Part Two, and provides responses from a Superintendent’s perspective, with contributions from three Superintendents (along with comments from readers): Joshua Starr, Pamela Moran, and John Kuhn.

* Several Ways to Balance Between District Mandates & Student Needs

This post contains an exceptional guest response from well-known educator/author Rick Wormeli.

* Finding a Balance Between District Mandates & Student Needs - Part Two

Educator/authors Kimberly Kappler Hewitt, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Heather Wolpert-Gawron contribute their thoughts in this post.

* Creating a Culture of Improvement With Peer Assistance & Review (PAR)

This post starts with a brief introduction to PAR from Dean Vogel, President of the California Teachers Association. Then Shannan Brown and Cheryl Dultz from the San Juan Unified School District in California and Doug Prouty from the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland explain the PAR programs in their districts.

* How Peer Assistance Can Improve Teacher Practice

This Part Two post includes American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten providing her perspective and Julie Sellers telling about the program in Cincinnati. In addition, reader Marie Costanza shares about the PAR program in Rochester, New York and Brenda Sherry offers her experience in Ontario, Canada.

* Standardized Test Critiques & Potential Alternatives

Professors David C. Berliner and Yong Zhao offer their thoughts on the topic.

* Helping Long-Term ELL’s & Evaluating ELL Teachers Fairly

Katie Hull Sypnieski, the best teacher I’ve ever seen in the classroom, and staff from the American Federation of Teachers researching teacher evaluation contribute their responses.

* Several Ways To Tell The Difference Between Good & Bad Education Research

Experienced researchers Matthew Di Carlo. from the Albert Shanker Institute and P. L. Thomas from Furman University discuss the issue.

* Factors Behind The Success Of Ontario’s Schools -- Part One

Paul Taillefer, President of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation; Vice-Principal (& parent) Shannon Smith; and parent leaders Annie Kidder and Sheila Stewart share their varied comments.

* Hopes For The NEA’s “New Action Agenda”

Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association; my friend and colleague Renee Moore, who was a member of the Commission that helped develop the “Agenda"; and Steve Owens, an NEA leader from Vermont are guest contributors in this post.

* Reasons For The ‘Downgrade’ In Respect For Teachers

Dennis Van Roekel, President of The National Education Association and Barnett Berry, President of The Center For Teaching Quality respond, and I contribute an intriguing chart.

* Factors Behind The Success Of Ontario’s Schools -- Part Two

Michael Fullan, professor emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto and special advisor to the premier and minister of education in Ontario, writes about what’s happening in....Ontario.

* Thoughts On Grade Level Retention & Social Promotion

Donald Moore, the Executive Director of Chicago-based Designs For Change, and a nationally-recognized expert on the issue, shares his perspective.

* Ways the “Next Generation” of Standardized Tests Should Treat ELL’s

Representatives from the two groups of states preparing the new assessments, the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium, or SBAC, and The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers Consortium, or PARCC, contribute responses.

I hope you’ve found this summary useful and, again, keep those questions coming!

The opinions expressed in Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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