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"Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day..." - 6 new articles

  1. The Christmas Sites Keep Comin’….
  2. Bitly News
  3. Make A Cool-Looking Message With “Message Hop”
  4. More Info On “Transforming School Conditions” Report
  5. The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy — 2010
  6. Lots of Christmas, Hanukkah & Kwanzaa Resources
  7. Search Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...
  8. Prior Mailing Archive

The Christmas Sites Keep Comin’….

Here are the newest additions to The Best Places To Learn About Christmas, Hanukkah, & Kwanzaa:

Christmas Comes To The White House is a TIME Magazine slideshow.

Toon Boom lets you make your own shareable animated Holiday card. Thanks to Susan Stephenson at the great blog, The Book Chook, for the tip.


Bitly News

I periodically post “most popular” lists of websites (and books) that I think educators might find useful. Of course, there are a number of ways to gauge “popularity.” I just view these lists as opportunities to check-out some new sites, and find it interesting to see which ones might be particularly “popular.”

You might be interested in The Best Places To Find The Most Popular (& Useful) Resources For Educators –2010.

Today, I learned about another interesting place to find “popular” items — Bitly News. It lists the most popular links that have used the Bit.ly url address-shortening service, primarily through Twitter.

It looks pretty useful.

Thanks to TechCrunch for the tip.



Make A Cool-Looking Message With “Message Hop”

Message Hop lets you create wild-looking messages with photos and text, or just text. No registration is needed, and you are given a unique url address for your creation.

It’s certainly be in the next edition of my series on “The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly.”


More Info On “Transforming School Conditions” Report

Yesterday, I posted about the Transforming School Conditions Report that thirteen other teachers from around the United States and I, along with assistance from the Center For Teaching Quality, wrote.

I’ll be writing more about it in a few days but, in the meantime, other teachers for whom I have great respect have written their own reviews of the report.

Check out what they think:

New CTQ Report on Teacher Working Conditions by Bill Ferriter

Transforming School Conditions to Boost Achievement in Urban Schools at Teacher Leadership Today

TeacherSolutions Teacher Working Conditions TSTWC Report by Jim Holland


The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy — 2010

I’m continuing to “roll-out” my “Best of 2010″ series. Today, it’s “The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy — 2010.”

You might also be interested in these previous editions:

The “Best” Articles (And Blog Posts) About Education Policy — 2009

The “Best” Articles About Education — 2008

The “Best” Articles About Education — 2007

In addition, you might be interested in these other related “The Best…” lists:

My Best Posts On “School Reform”

The Best Posts About The Appalling Teacher-Bashing Column Superintendents Wrote In The Washington Post

The Best Posts & Articles About The Teacher-Bashing “Waiting For Superman” Movie & Associated Events

The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments

The Best Resources For Learning About The “Value-Added” Approach Towards Teacher Evaluation

The Best (& Most Thoughtful) Blogs On “Big Picture” Education Issues

Feel free to suggestion articles and blog posts I might have missed.

Here are my choices for The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy — 2010 (not listed in any order of preference):

Threats to school reform … are within school reform is an excellent guest post in the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet blog. It’s by Mike Rose.

“Rothstein: Why teacher quality can’t be only centerpiece of reform” is a must-read piece by Richard Rothstein in the Washington Post.

Money and the Market for High Quality Schools is a post from School Finance 101.

Randi Weingarten: Don’t scapegoat America’s teachers is the headline of a guest op-ed piece in The Washington Post by the head of the American Federation of Teachers.

“‘Superman’ Offers Mirage, Not A Miracle” is a great op-ed piece in the Sacramento Bee by Walt Gardner.

What’s wrong with the ‘manifesto’ — point by point is the title of an excellent post in The Washington Post’s “Answer Sheet” blog. It’s an excellent critique of the appalling op-ed written by a group of school superintendents in The Post.

The tragic loss of reduced class size is the title of an Op-Ed piece in the San Francisco Chronicle by Delaine Eastin, former California superintendent of public instruction.

On False Dichotomies and Warped Reformy Logic is a great post from the School Finance 101 blog.

Schools would be great if it weren’t for the kids is a great piece by Alfie Kohn, who responds to Robert Samuelson’s weird column in Newsweek blaming the problems of schools on….students.

Ironically, a columnist from the LA Times has written what I think is the best response to her newspaper’s insulting series on ranking teacher’s “effectiveness.” Check-out A retired L.A. teacher ponders her rating by Sandy Banks.

“Reconsidering Education ‘Miracles’” by P.L. Thomas is one of the most insightful pieces on school reform that I’ve read this year.

“The best kind of teacher evaluation” is the title of my guest piece at the Washington Post’s “The Answer Sheet.”

Too Many Carrots, Too Many Sticks: Four Fallacies in Federal Policies for Low-Achieving Schools is a nice guest commentary in Ed Week.

The Difference between “Complicated” and “Complex” Matters is by Larry Cuban.

Newsweek ran a column by Raina Kelley titled In Defense of Teachers: What charter schools really tell us about education reform.

The National Research Council and the National Academy of Education jointly issued a report on value-added approaches, and their report was summarized in The Washington Post. Don’t rush to link teacher evaluation to student achievement is a must-read.

Deborah Meier’s education advice to Obama is an excellent column in the Washington Post about “performance assessment” in evaluating both students and teachers. This is an excellent, and useful, alternative to the evaluative processes that are used right now in schools.

Is Education on the Wrong Track? is a must-read article from my favorite education researcher/writer, Richard Rothstein. It appeared in The New Republic.

What Really Happens When We Pay People for Test Scores? is the title of a post by Claus von Zastrow at the Public Insights blog. It’s Claus’ take on the study covered by TIME Magazine last week on paying students for increased grades, test scores, etc.

Why I Oppose Teach For America Coming To Sacramento is a post I wrote when it looked like they might be coming to town (they didn’t).

There’s a new book out that’s getting a fair amount of attention. It’s called Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons From Chicago, and was published this month by the University of Chicago Press. One of the authors has written a blog post, though, that provides a good summary of the book. You can also access an excerpt at Google Books.

The Myth of Charter Schools by Diane Ravitch appeared in The New York Review of Books.

Teacher Added-Value Scores: Publish and Perish is a very thoughtful analysis of the problems inherent in publishing the “value-added” assessments of teachers. It’s from the Albert Shanker Institute, and raises some issues I haven’t seen raised elsewhere.

You may have heard about recent speeches by both Bill Gates and Arne Duncan questioning the importance of teaching experience and advanced degrees in developing good teachers. Why teaching experience really matters at the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet is a good response to both. Links to the comments of Gates and Duncan are included there.

Blogging for Reform: First, let’s fire all the teachers… is an excellent post by Alice Mercer. She connects her recent observation of one of my classes to overall school reform issues and trust.

The corporate takeover of American schools is an article appearing in the British Guardian newspaper, and it’s one of the best pieces on school policy that I’ve read all year. Its subtitle is “The trend for appointing CEOs to the top jobs is symptomatic of a declining commitment to public education and social justice.”

Merit Pay Misfires by Al Ramirez in Educational Leadership.

Feedback is always welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

You might also want to explore the 500 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.


Lots of Christmas, Hanukkah & Kwanzaa Resources

I’ve recently updated The Best Places To Learn About Christmas, Hanukkah, & Kwanzaa, and there’s a ton of stuff there.

Feel free to offer additional suggestions.



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