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Q & A Collections: Education Policy Issues

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I'll begin posting new questions and answers in late August, and during the summer will be sharing thematic posts bringing together responses on similar topics from the past two years. You can see those collections from the first year here.

Today's theme is on education policy issues. Previous themes have been:

Student Motivation

Implementing The Common Core

Teaching Reading & Writing

Teaching Math and Science

Brain-Based Learning

Instructional Strategies

I'll be spending the summer organizing questions and answers for the next school year, and there is always room for more!

You can send questions to me at lferlazzo@epe.org.When you send it in, let me know if I can use your real name if it's selected or if you'd prefer remaining anonymous and have a pseudonym in mind.

You can also contact me on Twitter at @Larryferlazzo.

Anyone whose question is selected for this weekly column can choose one free book from a variety of education publishers.

And, now, here's a list of all my posts related to related to education policy:

From 2012/13

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Several Ways to Balance Between District Mandates & Student Needs

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

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.


From 2011/12

1. Standardized Test Critiques & Potential Alternatives

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

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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!

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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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