Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Carnival Of Education: Week 11

Welcome to the eleventh 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. Please consider helping to spread the word. The more folks that know about this collection of exhibits, the more that will "drop-in" and visit the midway. Trackbacks, links, and general advertising are all appreciated by the editors as well as the participants.

The host of the Carnival's next road trip will be announced very soon.

An Invitation: All writers and readers of education-related posts are invited to contribute to the twelfth 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 26, 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...

We've known some pretty unprincipled principals in our time, but Interested Participant is telling us of one that has been suspended from her job based upon allegations that she gave test answers to students. (Ed's Note to cheaters: When 18% of any given school's students score high marks one year and then the percentage increases to 71% the next year, it's apt to raise some red flags.)

Ms. Smlph has "one of those students" that we all have from time-to-time. In fact, the kid thought that it was funny to recite a rap about male function. See how Ms. Smlph
dealt with this kid and helped turn him around.

What does a teacher do when he or she asks for student input and gets a "wall of silence?" Over at A Difference, Darren is using
a method that helps get students involved. The method involves tearing a piece of paper into 4 parts and then passing them round.

Katie, over at A Constrained Vision, has noted that the business community funnels their donations into school systems that produce mediocre results despite generous public and private financial support. Katie posits that perhaps corporate donations
would make a greater difference if the funds were used to support charter schools, vouchers, and homeschoolers.

A return to civility and a focus on academic rigor is
the subject of a thoughtful post by Stephen K. over at Cold Spring Shops. (Be sure to take a look at a link that Cold Spring has in his post to a site called Academic Game. A blog that has shut down, Academic Game's last post has, among other things, a Code of Conduct that many in academia would do well to examine.)

When does a school have the right curtail the rights of students to express political or religious opinions? And what happens when the school appears to take sides by allowing one side to express themselves but not the other side? Over at Precinct 333, they explore the issues surrounding the recent controversy over "The Day of Silence" and "The Day of Truth."

Have you ever given any thought about how the teachers that we had when we were children may have influenced our own classroom demeanor? At The Daily Grind, Mr. McNamar
learned a variety of positive lessons in what some would term a negative classroom environment.

An effective substitute teacher can often be very difficult to find indeed. Some folks simply aren't equipped to teach students that they don't know anything about. Worse, at What It's Like on the Inside, they are telling us that
there is little that can be done when the sub is ineffective.

At Right on the Left Coast, Darren is giving us an educational chuckle with "
The Amazing Chicken Story." Just remember his advice: ""

Should parenting choices be up to parents? Or should the State have the final say? Scholar's Notebook
is concerned about a number of proposed laws that the State of Minnesota is considering that would, in effect, require that parents fulfill several additional state-mandated obligations.

Andrea R. homeschools four children, and, along with her husband, Ron, writes over at Atypical Life. He addresses
a concern that is expressed by many who are reluctant to homeschool: "What about socialization?" Ron correctly points out that in today's atmosphere of raised expectations, many public school students no longer have time to socialize.

The author of Reformed Lawyer is a former attorney who is in the process of earning her teaching credential, and, like many, works as a substitute teacher. All teachers should
consider reading this post about some of the things that teachers should indicate to their substitute before he or she meets the students.

It's a rare movie indeed that can be used as an instructional device in a high school math class, but they do exist. The high school math teacher who writes over at Bored of Education
shows us some possibilities. (A fun post, we couldn't resist leaving a comment ourselves.)

Did you ever think about what it must be like to be in a position to help pass a law that will give you an obvious financial benefit? Joe, who writes over at Shutupandteach, is
bringing to our attention the story of an Arizona lawmaker that is supportive of the voucher movement, in spite of an obvious conflict of interest.

Tim W. is a graduate student that attends the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota. His site, Quintilian in the Public Square,
has taken a look at some of the tactics that have been used by the university's administration to discourage graduate students (and TAs/RAs) from supporting a proposed union. Students are now is the process of voting, and we will know the results soon...

What five things would you do to save public education? Tim's place, Assorted Stuff, offers his five recommendations, and
urges readers to share theirs. (We think that number five would work wonders if the words "Volunteer in" was changed to "Send Their Own Children to")

After viewing a children's television program called
Higglytown Heroes, Dr. Stat is curious to know why children's television rarely, if ever, awards the title of "hero" to those who put their lives on the line to safeguard our freedom.

Mrs. Ris, over at Mentor Matters, is thinking about school-place violence. As a teacher of the emotionally disturbed, Mrs. Ris deals with this threat on a daily basis. She offers
some common-sense advice for making it through the Teaching Day.

The fact that many teachers don't write about their classroom teaching methodologies
has not escaped the notice of Clarence over at Remote Access. He makes an insightful statement:"Teaching has the tendency to not be a very reflective profession; although it should be."

It's an accepted fact that we humans learn from our mistakes. Do children learn better when their mistakes are pointed out to them? Or is "red ink" a new societal taboo? At News, the Universe, and Everything,
Quincy examines both sides.

Sometimes the CBS television program 60 minutes is enough to make anyone's blood-temperature rise by several degrees. Mr. Brown was watching last Sunday evening when the 60 Minutes gang took a look at the underage drinking. His site, A Passion For Teaching And Opinions,
definitely had both with this post.

When middle school students sign-up to play sports, there are times when some need to be "cut." In an example of school politics run-amok, Hube
tells us what happened when he and his assistant coach needed to cut a school administrator's daughter from the girls' softball team. Hube goes on to update us on this year's "softball politics."

A site written by a Chicago radio talk-show host named Bruno B., Extreme Wisdom points out that we are spending plenty of money on public education, but the problem is that
those funds are not being allocated effectively. Bruno offers some suggestions for improving the system.

Would you have guessed that standardized testing affects homeschoolers? Well, it does, and Spunkyhomeschool
has an informative post that lets us know how the federal government's thrust for even more testing may negatively impact students that have been homeschooled.

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

Jenny D.
has a post that looks at the "split personality" of The New York Times. Of the three articles that Jenny takes a look at, our attention was captivated by the one where The Times reporter critiques the New York City School system. The writer covers all aspects of the bureaucracy, speaks with a teacher or two, and even covers parent advisory boards, but never goes into a single classroom for a look.
continues his excellent coverage of the conflicts surrounding implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act. Earlier coverage here, here, here, and here.

Lectrice teaches in The United Kingdom and writes Blackboard Jungle.
In this post, one can see that she had a very eclectic day that featured just about every emotion that can be felt by a classroom teacher either here, or over there.

The always interesting (and readable) Critical Mass is telling us that
a brand new type of novel has appeared. This new literary subgenre is called the 9/11 Novel. You just have to read it for yourself. (Havin been inside the World Trade Center myself, I have very mixed feelings about this.)

Finally, here at The Education Wonks,
we offer our narrative about the Fresno, California substitute teacher that smoked marijuana in his classroom with several students. The substitute was then arrested, and has now apologized. We are still scratching our heads over this one.
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, here and the tenth, over there. To get to EdWonk's main page, (with a variety of education-related posts) please click here.