Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Carnival Of Education: Week 12

Welcome to the twelfth edition of The Carnival Of Education. Here we have assembled a variety of interesting and informative posts from around the '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 who 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.

Jenny D. will be guest hosting the Carnival next week. Submissions for The Carnival should be sent to: jdemonte [at] comcast [dot] net and should be received no later then 10:00 PM (Eastern) 7:00 PM (Pacific) next Tuesday, May 3, 2005. The Carnival will open over at Jenny's place Wednesday morning.

The Carnival comes home to the Education Wonks May 11th.

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

Is the handcuffing of an out of control 5-year-old student ever appropriate? Several jurisdictions currently use corporal punishment as a part of their disciplinary procedures. Going to the Mat asserts that there are times when both are justified.

As an occupation, public school teaching has a very high rate of turnover due to the large number of young teachers that leave the field each year. Many of those that choose to leave do so out of a sense of frustration. Over at Multiple Mentalities, a teacher with five years of classroom service
gives us his reasons why he may be switching careers soon.

The DC Education Blog shows us what a
couple of education bloggers saw when they visited William E. Doar, Jr. Public Charter School for the Performing Arts. (We certainly were impressed when we saw the photos.)

Joanne Jacobs has an informative post that
features three controversial stories: A play about intolerance that isn't being tolerated, a school t-shirt that the school doesn't like but is now tolerating, and a couple of female high school students that insist that others tolerate the wearing of buttons to school that proclaim the girls' affection for a Certain Body Part.

The end of a semester of teaching is often a time for reflection. Jenny D is letting us know about a study that indicates that
there may be some discrepancies between the scores that students earn on the Graduate Record Examination (G.R.E.) and the grades that graduate students are given at the end of the semester. (Inflation -- it isn't just for prices any more.)

In this era of increased accountability, educators and parents expect that when elementary and high school students take standardized tests, the questions on the exams will have been fully reviewed for accuracy and field-tested for validity. Number 2 Pencil is reporting the disturbing news that
this is not always the case.

In Sterling Heights, Michigan, teachers are required to give tests each semester on which 75% of the questions must be the same district-wide. The teacher has discretion over 25% of the questions. Interested Participant is telling us that
the teacher's union is protesting the whole procedure based on this notion:"Uniform tests do not take students with special learning styles or other individual needs into consideration."

It has been said that life consists of a series of lists. Over at This Week in Education, Alexander Russo is compiling one that
will be of definite interest to those that write education-related blogs. In a bonus post, there is a roundup of articles about the latest dust-up involving the National Education Association's lawsuit against the Administration over funding NCLB.

What happens when a couple of girls insist on wearing a button to school that proclaims their affection for a Certain Female Body Part? Darren, over at Right on the Left Coast, gives us
the perspective of a classroom teacher that would have to deal the classroom disruptions that the would result from these buttons being worn.

A charter school where
the focus is on individual responsibility is the subject of a post at News, The Universe, and Everything. At Amistad Academy in New Haven, Connecticut, good behavior is recognized, while students who engage in undesirable behaviors must engage in self-criticism in the presence of their classmates.

In this week's entry, The Super's Blog has linked to a 30 second video clip you can download. In the video, Indiana's governor is explaining
what he REALLY thinks about Indiana schools. The Super also has some fun with the governor's recent newspaper quotes in which he is actually quoted as saying, "the best business textbook I ever read was The Godfather." No kidding.

Over at Tall, Dark, & Mysterious, Moebious Stripper is wrapping up a semester of teaching college math. In her always-engaging style, Moebious
has some thoughts about some-less-than-stellar test scores earned by students that may not know how to study but have a thorough grasp of the Art of Making A Play for Sympathy. And then there is the ethical dilemma of gambling with students... who have refused to study the basics of probability. Don't miss the lively discussion that has been going on in the commenting thread!

Have you ever had a kid try to wheedle you into allowing him or her into watching an inappropriate television program? The kid may say, "Yes I know its got some bad parts, but it has so many more good ones...." Spunkyhomeschool gives parents some hilarious (but powerful)
ammunition for dealing with that line of reasoning. Also, don't miss the first Online Homeschool Convention that was just hosted over at Spunky's place.

At Se Hace Camino Al Andar, Girlontheescape
has figured out a way to productively use cooperative learning in the teaching of poetry. (We enjoyed the pics of the posters-- the magic of flicr.)

Janet, who teaches first graders in New Jersey, writes over at The Art of Getting By. She finds that she has been tasked by her principal with
teaching her students all about cursive writing. What is a teacher to do when his or her own cursive writing isn't that neat?

A clash of personalities often results in unintended consequences. When the conflict is between a college professor and a student, the friction often overheats to the point of meltdown. Rhymes With Right is telling us
what happened when a student wrote a poem that the professor perceived as a threat and was banned from attending the class.

At Mentor Matters, Mrs. Ris implemented
a form of student self-assessment that showed positive results for her severely emotionally-disturbed students.

What do the authors of a popular high school physics textbooks really think of the students who are destined use the text? Joe, At No Left Turns, links to an article
that explores the possibility that the text's authors believe that the book's intended users (high school students) are incapable of being educated in physics.

Who says that all teachers tow the N.E.A.'s Party Line? Written by a high school math teacher, Bored of Education
takes a look at the hot-topic of school choice and diversity.

In a trip back to the future, (or a blast from the past) John R., over at EdWatch has a surprising bit of news for many New Generation Educators. He is telling us of a classroom study that shows that
students who sit in rows do better than those seated in groups.

Phil Shapiro, a resident of Washington, D.C.,
is reporting that the nearby Fairfax County, Virginia, library system is using taxpayer dollars to buy audio books. That's good. The bad part is that the books won't work on any Macintosh, iPods, or Linux systems. Guess what type of operating system is used by most computer labs that are accessible to many working-class families who live in public-housing projects?

Polski3 is a junior high school history teacher. He writes over at a site called Polski3's View From Here. In this week's Carnival entry, Polski shares with us some of his tips for classroom teachers. See part I here, and part II over
there. (Now why didn't I think of calling a post Teacher 2 Teacher?)

Could you imagine what it's like to be lost (and alone) in Paris, France? And what would make it worse, intolerably worse, is being lost and not knowing any French. A California teacher named "M" was the
victim of just such a circumstance, and her post at Open up my head and see what's on my mind will take you along for the ride.

Many folks think that homeschooling is principally done by moms. Over at Guiltfree Homeschooling, they are telling us that
fathers also should be involved in the homeschooling of their offspring. (We are especially fond of Guiltfree's thoughts about rough-housing. We did plenty of rough-housing with our daughter [who is now the 13-year-old TeenWonk] who is now growing taller with each passing day.)

And now, here are some entries that were selected by the Editors:

Nowadays, children from privileged backgrounds openly recoil at the thought of having to share anything when they go away to college. After all, they expect a certain standard of living. Think about heading over to Number 2 Pencil and taking a look at the post entitled "
Coddling the Millennials." Next thing we know, there will be a maid service just for those fortunate sons and daughters. (Oops... someone's already thought of that.)

Dave Shearon
has a tasty article that's all about how some high school students are now using summer vacation as a time to perform activities designed to increase their chances of being accepted at first tier colleges and universities. (We've always liked that quote by Mark Twain in Dave's banner. We are tempted to use it ourselves.)

If you could wave a magic wand and fix one of our country's societal ills, which one would you choose? Katie, who writes A Constrained Vision, has
a well-constructed post that merits consideration.

At Pratie Place, Melinama
has written a fascinating post about the last dancer from The Ziegfeld Follies. Incredibly, 101-year-old Doris Eaton Travis is still performing. (The pictures are simply amazing.

Finally, here at The Education Wonks, we offer our own take on the lawsuit that the National Education Association has initiated against the United States Government.

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 the ninth, here the tenth, here and the eleventh, over there. To get to EdWonk's main page, (with a variety of education-related posts) please click here.