Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Carnival Of Education: Week 10

Welcome to the tenth edition of The Carnival Of Education. Here we have assembled a variety of interesting and informative posts from around the EduSphere (and a few from the Larger 'Sphere) that have been submitted by various authors and readers. Those entries that were selected by us appear at the bottom of the page.

We believe that this collection represents a wide spectrum of topics, political/educational viewpoints, and writing styles.

As always, the secret for having a well-attended Carnival is publicity. We are requesting your help in getting the word out. The more folks that know about this collection of exhibits, the more that will "drop-in" and visit the midway.

An Invitation: All writers and readers of education-related posts are invited to contribute to the eleventh edition of The Carnival of Education. Please send your submissions to: owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net. We should receive your contributions no later than 10:00 PM (Pacific) Tuesday, April 19, 2005. The Carnival midway will open here at the 'Wonks next Wednesday morning. Get our easy-to-follow entry guidelines here.

And now...let's take a stroll down the carnival midway...

Mark Lerner is the Chairman of the Board of William E. Doar Jr. Public Charter School for the performing arts. Mark brings us the great news that his school, which has only been open since last September, has received a visit by not just one, but two Pulitzer Prize winning authors.

Are you one of those folks that is forced to pay into a union even if you don't wish to belong? Darren, over at Right on the Left Coast argues forcefully that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger should work towards giving teachers and others that work in "closed shops"
freedom of choice when it comes to paying (or not paying) moneys to a union.

The Progressive Policy Institute has its own blog, which is called If you are looking for the most comprehensive coverage of issues relating to The No Child Left Behind Act, they are the ones to visit. Here,
they have the skinny on the latest changes to the Act.

Pharyngula is a site that addresses a variety of current topics. The writing is engaging, informed, and definitely thought-provoking. Have you ever considered the lives lived by those countless generations that have come and gone before we arrived on the scene? Pharyngula takes a well-constructed look at some key moments in the very long period of human pre-history. Then, using the amount of time covered by the Bible as a reference point, Pharyngula shows us how much we've yet to learn in order to bridge the gaps in the continuum of that history.

The Super over on The Super's Blog, leaves the satire and turns serious with a commentary on the
emerging alliance between India and China. His point? India and China are up-and-comers politically and economically and have rapidly developing education systems with mostly central government oversight. America is looking at improvement through decentralizing and generally showing a desire to abandon public schools. Is it time to invest in the emerging markets?

At No Left Turns
they are having a lively discussion about a recent column by Jay Mathews which discussed the idea of incorporating Intelligent Design within the science curriculum of public schools. Don't miss taking a look at the numerous comments that this post has attracted.

Going to the Mat also takes a look at the Jay Mathews column about Intelligent Design. The author of the site, Mat J.,
suggests that schools challenge students by teaching Evolution,Creation, and Intelligent Design.

With summer recess rapidly approaching, many classroom teachers experience a sudden upsurge in the number of parents who are suddenly very interested in their child's education. The First Year Teacher
has a letter for those parents who have ignored her repeated attempts to help their children.

Could you imagine what it would be like to homeschool not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, but six children? (The first 5 came in 7 years!) Spunkyhomeschooler
tells us how this came to be.

Victoria Carrington, MD, who writes over at HomeshoolMomTips, has two children, ages 4 and 1. She also homeschools,
and is bringing to our attention that a number of other black parents are now choosing to educate their children in the home.

For years, many have taken it as an article of faith that students who study math in private schools do better on standardized tests. Kimberly, over at Number 2 Pencil,
has some surprising information that may shake that assumption.

Where is the delicate balance between a student's right to express his or her political beliefs versus a school's need to preserve a safe and orderly learning environment? Over at A Passion For Teaching and Opinions, Coach Brown
is telling us about one such case at a California high school involving a Conservative Club and a chapter of the Gay-Straight Alliance.

The always-sensitive topic of Affirmative Action in university admissions is addressed over at Discriminations.
In this post, Discriminations author John Rosenberg gives us the scoop about a presentation by Bob Laird about Laird's book, The Case For Affirmative Action In University Admissions.

Scholar's Notebook, which is written in Minnesota,
is bringing to our attention a proposed Minnesota statute that guarantees schools the right to use documents written by the founding fathers regardless of their references to religion. (Consider taking a look at that great quote by Abraham Lincoln that Scholar has included within his post!)

Classroom teacher Clarence serves the students of Snow Lake, Manitoba, which is located several hundred miles north of Winnipeg. His site, Remote Access,
is requesting information from teachers (and others) about the teaching of medieval history.

At The Art of Getting By, we are reminded that we all have an academic "past" of our own. Would you believe that Janet B., who is now teaching third-grade in New Jersey, kept her report cards? She
shares with us some of the humorous (and not so humorous) comments that her teachers made when she was a kid. (The more things change.....)

Bud The Teacher is one of those instructors that is lucky enough to work in a district that permits its students to have online weblogs. Blogging calls for a definite set of skills that are not always easy to teach students. Bud
raises some interesting issues about what skills are needed by students.

How does a Georgia High school discover which students are packing illegal drugs or weapons? Well....they pay informants, that's how. Illuminaria's Voice
gives the details and offers a common-sense alternative. (We can only imagine all the wild geese that those informants are going to hatch...)

Would the threat of state wide school vouchers provide any motivation for the troubled Florida school system to improve itself? Interested Participant
takes a look at that delicate matter.

What does a special education teacher do when she sees the two years of work that she has put into a student finally begin to pay off? As Mentor Matters puts it, "
Celebrate...then back to work!" (The pride that the kid showed when he finally started writing real words is what teaching is all about...)

Mr. Babylon is an authentic voice from an inner-city classroom in New York's Bronx. Mr. Babylon shares with us his fondest professional desire:
He wants his own classroom. Here is a taste:
I'm sick of being harassed over the state of my non-existent, out of date, or not appropriately perky, bulletin-boards in rooms I share with five or six other teachers. Rooms that are never empty (or clean) during the day, leaving no time during the day to perform this perfunctory decoration without disturbing someone's class.
In a recent Op-Ed piece, George Will discussed the 65 Percent Plan. (The plan would require that at least 65 cents of every education dollar would be spent in the classroom, and not on "administrative costs.") Even though this sounds good, Joe at Shutupandteach reminds us that it takes more than teachers and administrators to make a school system run well. (What is a school nurse? We've never seen a school nurse in the Wonks' mid-sized California district....maybe it would be nice if our kids had one.)

A classroom teacher in California, Polski3 writes over at Polski3's View From Here. He
also takes a look at Arizona's 65% proposal, and wonders if California could learn something from the Arizona proposal.

A Red Mind in a Blue State is written by a resident of Long Island, New York named Tony I. Tony served on his local school board, and so has first-hand knowledge of a variety of education-related matters.
In a recent post, Tony takes a look at the touchy subject of organized school prayer and how it would impact his daughter's classroom.

The Quietist is written by a Ph.D. candidate named Pedro who lives in Los Angeles. Pedro
has observed that on many college campuses there is now a culture of "Victimhood, where victimhood is invented, distributed, and re-distributed according to who controls the official story."

One of the greatest challenges that a classroom teacher can undertake is the teaching of English to students that are speakers of other languages. At Urban Educ8r,
they are telling us about a conference in San Antonio Texas that was actually worthwhile. The conference focused on T.E.S.O.L. (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) teaching strategies and materials.

The high school math teacher that writes Bored of education
also went to a conference, but had and altogether different experience. Cheerleaders, $10.00 sodas & hot dogs, boats, Australians, principals, a teacher from Compton, (who may quit) and more, were all to be found at this math conference. And as for the math.... more about that later.

For those of us that teach in the classroom, the teaching of children affected with Attention Deficit Disorder is never easy. Teach42
introduces us to a new term that is similar to A.D.D. called Attention Deficit Trait. (ADT) The article that Teach42 links to posits that (unlike ADD) ADT is an acquired disorder. (Folks using MS Explorer may need to scroll down.)

At The Daily Grind, author Mr. McNamar relates to us
some of the worst news that can come to the ears of any teacher: the death of a student. Mr. McNamar reminds us that there are times when lesson plans, report cards, and grading papers become insignificant at times...

Cathy Sorbo is a guest columnist at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. She has written a column about sex-ed and antiquated technology that all of us who are of a certain age will likely remember: "
Today's kids miss out on joys of The Filmstrip."

And now for a few that have been selected by The Editors:

We've read some exciting news: EduWriter Joanne Jacobs
has completed her book, Our School : The Inspiring Story of a Principal, His Students, and the School That Changed Their Lives. Instapundit let us know Joanne's work is listed on Amazon, and should ship in time for Christmas. (Though we will be buying our copy this week.)

It has to be seen to be believed. Jenny D. is telling us all about
The Mother of All Conferences, that of The American Educational Research Association, which is being held in Montreal. Take a look at the names of some of those workshops. In a bonus post, Jenny has some thoughts about the challenges that are facing public education.

Writing over at his new site, EducatioNation, Professor Plum presents his case for reforming schools of education. Read "Ed Schools Must Go: Part I. What A More Effective Curriculum Might Look Like,"
right here. Read "Ed Schools Must Go: Part II. The State. The Velvet Glove Is Removed," right there.

Finally, here at The Education Wonks, we offer for your consideration a post about those olive-green "Support Our Troops" wristbands that so many students are wearing nowadays. Both the U.S.O. and 7-Eleven are sponsoring them....but there's one BIG problem...
Carnival Archives

The first edition can be seen here, the second here, the third, here, the fourth, here, and the fifth, here, the sixth, here, and the seventh, here and the eighth, here and the ninth, over there. To get to EdWonk's main page, (with a variety of education-related posts) please click here.