Opinion Blog

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.

Teaching Opinion

Larry Ferlazzo’s 9 Education Predictions for 2024

By Larry Ferlazzo — December 26, 2023 3 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

I’ve been publishing annual education-related predictions for over a decade now, usually in The Washington Post.

Let’s just say that no one would have become rich by betting on my past predictions.

Nevertheless, since being wrong has never stopped education pundits from continuing their pontifications, I figured it shouldn’t stop me, a practicing teacher, from continuing mine!

Here’s what my crystal ball tells me for 2024—let me know what you think, and make your own predictions, too, by responding to me on Twitter (now X) @Larryferlazzo or via email at lferlazzo@epe.org.

1. Despite what Bill Gates and Sal Kahn say, artificial intelligence will not revolutionize education—and certainly not next year. However, it will help teachers craft more accessible student materials, make writing letters of recommendation easier, and create some excellent language-learning opportunities. It will also force us teachers to review our assignments to make them more AI-proof. By the end of 2024, AI will just be another tech tool that we teachers have figured out how to incorporate into our practice.

2. The frenzied panic about cellphones in schools will die down as more and more schools figure out, like ours have, that the simplest way of dealing with them is by requiring phones to be in backpacks during class. At the same time, however, the public will become more aware that teen cellphone use in schools is not the primary cause of student challenges. Instead, like most factors affecting academic achievement, the real issue is cellphone use outside the schoolhouse walls.

3. Layoffs of teachers and classified staff will begin as districts face the “fiscal cliff” (the end of pandemic funding from the federal government). And it won’t be pretty—for those who are laid off, for those who are kept, and for our students. It will mean bigger class sizes, dirtier classrooms, and it sure won’t make the teaching profession look any more attractive to prospective teachers.

4. However, President Joe Biden will be reelected, Democrats will keep control of the Senate, and retake the House. That means that come 2025, a renewed effort at providing additional funding for education, particularly Title I schools, will be successful and reduce the negative impact of the fiscal cliff.

5. This Democratic victory, which will also be reflected in races throughout the country, will take the wind out of the sails of Donald Trump and many of his enablers and followers. Though some book bans and teaching restrictions on systemic racism and LGBTQ+ issues will endure, at least for a while, I believe that 2023 will be viewed as their “high” mark.

6. A reaction to some of the overreach of the “science of reading” has begun and will accelerate in 2024. More and more researchers and educators will recognize that its tenets have an important place in the classroom, but that it’s also possible to have “too much of a good thing.” Its endorsement by Moms for Liberty will also begin to take its toll.

7. Many of us teachers will continue to search—unsuccessfully—for ways to replace Twitter/X as the invaluable place it was for professional and personal learning communities for so many years. Some of us are still hanging in there on the site, and Threads and Blue Sky are not quite cutting it as replacements. I suspect I’ll be saying the same thing a year from now.

8. Chronic absenteeism will go down substantially, and state test scores will improve as our resilient students bounce back from trauma of the pandemic. Nevertheless, there will continue to be pundits who will say we teachers are still not doing enough.

9. I borrow this last one from educator Bill Ivey every year. He predicts that “each and every school day will bring tens of thousands of reasons to celebrate in schools across the country.”

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.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attend to the Whole Child: Non-Academic Factors within MTSS
Learn strategies for proactively identifying and addressing non-academic barriers to student success within an MTSS framework.
Content provided by Renaissance
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum How to Teach Digital & Media Literacy in the Age of AI
Join this free event to dig into crucial questions about how to help students build a foundation of digital literacy.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching How to Help Students Judge Fact From Fiction Around the Assassination Attempt on Trump
Conspiracy theories are almost certain to emerge on social media after a major news event, experts say.
5 min read
Image of someone reading news on their phone.
oatawa/iStock/Getty
Teaching Opinion 'Magical': How One Teacher Describes a Pandemic-Recovery Moment
Not all student losses from the pandemic are headline-grabbing. Students have forgotten some basic skills.
7 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Teaching Opinion How to Kill Student Curiosity in 5 Steps (and What to Do Instead)
In countless classrooms across the nation, I’ve observed well-intentioned teachers and administrators slowly stifle student creativity.
Olivia Odileke
5 min read
A field of lightbulbs, only a couple are lit. Concept idea of light bulb, creative, thinking, motivation, success, and thinking, surreal conceptual art, 3d illustration, painting artwork.
Jorm Sangsorn/iStock + Education Week
Teaching Cute Visuals Can Distract Students From a Lesson: 3 Tips for Teachers
Playful visuals may make a lesson more fun, but they can also get in the way of learning.
4 min read