Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Carnival Of Education: Week 34

The thirty-fourth midway of The Carnival Of Education is now open for your reading enjoyment. We hope that you'll find that this collection of writer-submitted posts is representative of the very wide range of thoughts and ideas that are to be found in the EduSphere.

As always, those entries selected by the editors appear at the bottom of the page, just above the Carnival archives.

All successful carnivals are a team effort. We ask that you consider helping to spread the word. The more readers who know about this collection of exhibits, the more who will "drop-in" visit the midway, and read the posts. Trackbacks, links, and casual mentions all help.

A number of sites have been very helpful in publicizing and/or hosting the midway. We thank them for their continued support. If you would like to guest-host an edition of the Carnival at your site sometime in the future, please contact us at owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net.

Your comments, constructive criticism, and suggestions are always heartily welcomed. Readers are appreciated, commenters are adored.

An Invitation: Writers of education-related posts are encouraged to contribute to the 35th edition of The Carnival Of Education. Please send your submissions to owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net no later than 9:00 PM (Pacific) 11:59 PM (Eastern) Tuesday, October 4th. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the midway should open here at The Wonks next Wednesday morning.

Let's take a look at what the midway has to offer this week:

Jay Mathews writes about education matters for the Washington Post. Mathews grabbed much attention recently with a column that spoke glowingly of the current state of public education in this country. EdWahoo takes
a clear-headed look at Mathews' assertions.

With all the emphasis on testing lately, Mamacita wonders if many school administrators look at a group of students and see kids,
or do they see something else altogether?

I've always thought that students who dress for success do better in school. Unfortunately, the current trend is to display more and more skin, which many male teachers are reluctant to openly point-out due to fear of lawsuits. So what do these "brave hearts" do? They run and
call on teachers such as Ms. Cornelius to address the concern. Here is a sample:
About once every other day, one of my male colleagues comes scurrying to me pointing out some shocking little piece of eye-candy to ask my intervention. A few days ago it was the young assistant principal who encountered an outfit so provocative he couldn't ignore it, and asked me to corral a young hottie dressed in strategically placed string. So at least he stood behind me with his arms crossed, looking like a bull mastiff with a toothache, while I did the actual dirty work...
Who would have ever thought that the term "bullet points" as used on a document could ever be considered anything but descriptive? Ms. Frizzle let's us know about the new reality.

Like that
wonderful song sung by Sam Cooke says, "I don't know much trigonometry." But Political Calculations does and brings us some mathematical solutions to our problem.

The old debate: when it comes to public education, should we emphasize the traditional liberal arts, or would it be better, as many say, to focus on a more technology-based approach that would better enable our workforce to compete in the worldwide economy. Cleveland teacher MB Mathews
makes that case that both are vital to our nation's future success.

Ever wonder how dedicated young teachers balance their professional and personal interests? Nani, a teacher in New York City,
let's us have a look.

Here at The Wonks, we strongly advocate for the rights of parents to homeschool their children. For those who do choose to do so, homeschooling offers its own set of unique challenges as well as rewards. Vernice Jones, who writes over at at Jones Blog, has overcome one of those challenges with
a little help from an unexpected source.

Around here, we are always excited to learn about teachers who encourage their students to write blogs. (Sadly, our ultra-conservative district doesn't allow teachers to sponsor student-written sites.) But there can be a downside, such as when Clarence, who teaches in northern Canada,
has to pull the reins in on some of his students' writing.

By now, most teachers have access to a computer in their classrooms. Tim, of Assorted Stuff, correctly points out that many teachers are unaware of the enormous power that is
sitting there atop their desks. We heartily approve of Tim's recommended listening.

I've personally overheard one or two folks say some unkind things about those who majored in elementary education. At Bright Mystery, they
clarify some misconceptions and would like to know why this honorable course of study has gotten such a bad rap over the years.

At The Daily Grind, Washington State teacher Mr. McNamar
discusses ways in which The Carnival of Education continues to bring people who are interested in education together for the purpose of engaging in the free exchange of thoughts and ideas. (Ed's Note: Thanks for the kind words, Mr. McNamar.)

Until I read this contribution, I didn't even know that it was possible to catch Chicken Pox more than once. (I suddenly feel feverish...*reaching for the telephone to call a 'sub.) The science teacher who writes over at What It's Like on the Inside
takes us back to our childhood by reminding us about "Pox Parties." Don't miss this one, which reminds us of a certain cartoon episode. I guess that one could say that it's mass entertainment imitating life.

One of the propositions in California's upcoming special election is one that, if it passes, would give teachers a choice when it comes to unions withholding monies from their paychecks for political purposes. California teacher Polski3
gives us the skinny about the dishonest methods being used by some groups to defeat the measure.

Over at Rhosgobel, college instructor Radagast gives us a "heads-up" about
some exciting classroom technology: It's called, "In class response systems," aka "clickers." This technology excites us, as the potential for immediate in-class feedback (especially at the high school and college level) is enormous. But there is a cautionary note...

A teacher of children with severe emotional disabilities, Ms. Ris has
the latest installment in her series of posts offering sound advice for teachers and parents of children with special needs.

I learned something new while I was reading
this post over at Going to the Mat: "the 'low-hanging fruit' bounce" as applied to the No Child Left Behind Act (I have to say that I agree with Matt's use of the term...) and what compliance with the Act has caused many public schools to do in order to meet federally-imposed mandates.

It's always great when we hear from teachers who have accepted the challenge of teaching some of our neediest kids, those of the inner city. Greg Wickersham, the teacher who writes Urban Educ8r, works in Georgia and
has some thoughts about staying home a couple of days at the express request of Governor Sonny Perdue. (Get some rest!)

With both Georgia and Kentucky taking extraordinary measure to conserve fuel in response to shortages caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Education Matters
examines the merit of a four day school week.

At The Common Room,
they give us a reminder of something that all kids need to learn about, even though some over at The House of Spellings may disagree.

I've always been envious of folks who have the gift of inventiveness when it comes to the coining of new words and phrases. Mark Lerner has come-up with
a good word to describe a bad situation: "superdomed."

The RightwingProf over at Rightwing Nation
takes a tough look at some of the issues and problems that seem to plague or system of both primary and higher education. Consider taking a look at the Prof's thoughts about homeschooling.

And now for some entries that have been selected by the editors:

Jenny D. has
some great thoughts about Kentucky's four-day school weeks that are being implemented in several areas of the state. Some of these predate the hurricanes!
has an altogether new and insightful take on the recent controversy involving the federal government's proposal to give the parents of students displaced by Hurricane Katrina vouchers that may be used in private schools.

At the Education Intelligence Agency's Intercepts, writer Mike Antonucci lets us know about
the truly insane method that the State of Michigan uses to calculate student attendance. A must read.

Cold Spring Shops
discusses some of the fundamental issues surrounding the teaching of marketable skills to students with disabilities. Cold Spring also links to a roundup of sites that address issues of interest to those who work with or are the parents of children with special needs.

And finally, we here at The Education Wonks, humbly submit for your approval our take on the continuing controversy involving those provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act that require schools to disclose student-contact information to military recruiters.
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 the seventh, here the eighth, here the ninth, here the tenth, here the eleventh here the twelfth here, the thirteenth, here the fourteenth, here the fifteenth, here, the sixteenth, here the seventeenth, here the eighteenth, here the nineteenth, here, the twentieth, here, the twenty-first, here the twenty-second, here the twenty-third, here the twenty-fourth, here, the twenty-fifth, here, the twenty-sixth, here the twenty-seventh here, the twenty-eighth, here the twenty-ninth, here the thirtieth, here the thirty-first, here, the thirty-second, here and the thirty-third, here. To get to EdWonk's main page, (with a variety of education-related posts) please click here.

This midway is registered at TTLB's Carnival Roundup.