I recently published a list of best and worst education news of 2013 by California veteran teacher Larry Ferlazzo, and here are his predictions for 2014 in education. He teaches English and Social Studies at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, has written five education books, writes a teacher advice blog for Education Week Teacher, and has a popular resource-sharing blog.
Ferlazzo notes that some of his predictions below are based in genuine reality while others might fall under the category of “wishful thinking.” You can figure out which is which. Here are his nine predictions for 2014:
1. The carefully watched court case in California against teacher tenure rules that is being bankrolled by corporate school reformers will result in an unequivocal victory for teachers unions, students and families — either by being dismissed or by a court-ruling against the plaintiffs. At about the same time, Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst group will abandon their efforts to get a measure on the state ballot that would enact similar rules.
2. New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio will fulfill one-half of his education-related promises during his first year in office as he begins to rollback Michael Bloomberg’s destructive policies. The question, however, will be which “one-half” he delivers on, and will he deliver on the rest in 2015 or hope people will forget them?
3. The newly-appointed CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Susan Desmond-Hellmann, chancellor of the University of California in San Francisco, will begin looking at the foundation’s education priorities through the lens of her experience as a physician and as the supervisor of the university’s hospital. This will result in Gates slowly moving their funding away from a market-oriented approach that is punitive towards teachers. She has seen from her recent hospital experience what happens when similar “reforms” are applied there.
4. Thanks to the continuing iPad fiasco in Los Angeles schools, more and more districts will not only move much more slowly to integrate tablets/laptops into the classroom (no more large-scale roll-outs; instead, very small pilots followed by gradual expansion), but Dell’s and Google’s low-cost Chromebooks will dramatically increase in popularity and begin to overtake iPad use in public schools.
5. Speaking of technical fiascos, pilot projects in the spring in different areas of the country using the computerized next generation of standardized testing will be a disaster. The two groups of states developing the new tests will be forced to recommend delaying widespread use “test-by-computer” for at least two more years while states revert to “bubble-in” tests that exclude the important “performance assessment” components that are supposed to be integrated via technology.
6. The education news bubble will burst. There won’t be a market for all the new journalistic education ventures that are starting and by the end of 2014, at least one will shut down and more will be close to the end.
8. Social Emotional Learning will continue to grow in popularity among schools as more and more educators explicitly incorporate lessons about perseverance, self-control, and personal responsibility. That’s the good news. The bad news is that some “school reformers” will increase their efforts to use it to minimize the role of poverty and other causes of academic challenges and push their agenda instead. And, of course, some large corporations will try to figure out a way to “monetize” Social Emotional Learning.
9. This last one is borrowed from educator Bill Ivey. He predicts that “Each and every school day will bring tens of thousands of reasons to celebrate in schools across the country.” That sure sounds good to me…
Here are Ferlazzo’s previous education predictions: