Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Carnival Of Education: Week 40

Welcome to this week's edition of The Carnival Of Education.

Last week's midway, hosted by education reporter Scott Elliott over at his blog Get on the Bus, is a tough act to follow, but we shall do our best.

All posts were submitted by the writers except those labeled, "Editor's Choice."

Writers of education-related posts are invited to send contributions to next week's Carnival. Please send your submissions to: owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net. We should receive them no later than 9:00 PM (Pacific) next Tuesday, November 15th. Please include the title of your post, and its URL, if possible. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the midway should open here next Wednesday.

There is a complete set of carnival archives
here. For our latest posts, please visit our home page.

Let the free exchange of thoughts and ideas begin...

Teaching And Learning:

Last week's midway host Get on the Bus is the first stop on this week's midway. In a recent post, Scott
gives us some sound reasons why homework matters and suggests how teachers may effectively use this time-honored teaching tool.

Does your local school have some sort of written homework policy? Our junior high here in California's "Imperial" Valley adopted one about 10 years ago. The Harried English Teacher
is looking for some advice about all these new restrictions.

Would you believe a single chemistry book that is designed for use with three different ability-levels of students? Ruminating Dude shows us that
truth is stranger than fiction.

Chris Lehmann, Principal of Philadelphia's soon-to-be-opened Science Leadership Academy, (website
here) will be hosting a summit of 10 people who will be getting together to discuss science curriculum. In a pensively-written post, Chris develops some highly useful ideas that we think would have a variety of applications for those who must plan any meeting where educators get together to discuss curriculum.

Over at What It's Like on the Inside, they ask an excellent question:
What Do Teacher's Need? The Insider offers some sound advice for a policy-maker near you.

Should teachers accept late assignments or not? Over at Tim Fredrick's, they carefully study both sides and come up with
a positive solution that encourages punctuality while not being punitive.

The discussion of successful teaching strategies is the essence of EduBlogging. Over at The Reflective Teacher,
they've got a good one that stimulates the imagination of kids. (We especially like the one that features the mouse, the helmet, and the trap.)

Education Policy:

Jenny D. is hosting the EduSphere's first-ever moderated debate. The subject is the hottest topic in EdPolicy today: the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Don't miss
the opening statements from the two participants and the lively dialogues among the commenters!

Mark Lerner, who is the Chair of the Board of Directors for The William E. Doar, Jr. Public Charter School for the Performing Arts
has written a thought-provoking letter to The Washington Post on the trend toward smaller high schools based upon his own experiences.

Over on The Super's Blog, The Super
is linking to a comment on a newspaper site alleging that public school teachers have been suspended with pay after allegations from students that teachers used excessive force when breaking up THEIR fights. Hmmmm. As Alice once said, this gets curiouser and curiouser.

The Sharpener (What a great name for an blog!)
makes some suggestions for improving higher education is Britain. Is there something that we could learn from our transatlantic cousins?

Are the attitudes of America's public school students fundamentally flawed? Jerry More takes a look at
a post by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's education blog Get Schooled and makes some suggestions of his own.

Should the Christian Bible be taught in our public schools? At Ogre's Politics and Views,
they take a stand on the issue. Educationmatters also has some thoughts about the controversy.

Who would have ever thought that R.A.'s (resident assistants who help supervise student dorms in colleges and universities) would be
forbidden to lead Bible study groups? Sometimes this sort of thing just leaves me scratching my head.

There is much that we can learn from reading books written by those who have proposed educational change and reform. Over at Going to the Mat,
they take a close look at one such book, Crash Course.

Humbly submitted for your consideration is our post about the school district who got a $117,500 lesson about how the First Amendment of the United States Constitution also guarantees that students have the same freedom of speech that every other person has, as long as they are off campus.

The Secret Lives Of Teachers And Students:

I think that it was the Bard's Juliet who once asked, "What's in a name?" Well, there can be
a lot more than one would think when one is in China and one's name sounds similar to "Stalin."

Mamacita was
looking forward to teaching a lesson on punctuation. But then there was this kid who asked her in open class if he could go to hell for saying _____, and Mamacita managed to turn that into a punctuation lesson!

I was taken aback
when I read this post from The Common Room. Would you believe that there are people out there who have high-school diplomas and yet can't do simple division? And isn't it a sad commentary when a 9-year-old child doesn't know that pumpkins are plants?

The First Year Teacher has a teaching colleague who is clearly out of control. What would you do
if you knew a teacher like this?

Subsititute teachers must have adventures beyond imagination. I bet they've seen it all and then some. But being a 'sub often brings unexpected surprises, as it did for Mr. Lawrence when
he recently filled in for a primary school P.E. teacher.

One of the worst things that a school district can do is alienate teachers by retaliating against them for supporting their union. Sadly, many teachers end-up by leaving their communities in order to get decent treatment and administrative support.
That is exactly what is happening to A History Teacher. When good veteran teachers leave their districts, everyone loses, most especially the kids.

Editor's Choice: It seems as though the teachers of New York City have ratified the proposed collective bargaining agreement between the union and administration. EdWize, the blog sponsored by the local union, effectively addresses concerns that some had expressed over how the ratification vote was held. (While effectively advocating the union's position, we continue to be impressed by EdWize's open commenting policy.)

Survival Guide For Students And Parents:

I remember during my first year as a junior high school teacher I had a parent of a seventh grade student actually require me to justify giving her kid an A-, so when I read this post over at Curious Goldie's Suburban Adventures, it really hit home. It's
all about a great letter that a local school administrator sent home to the parents of gifted students. The post's title: Straight "A's, They're Overrated. (I sure could have used that letter back in '91.)

Here's an idea: When students first enroll in public school, each kid should be read his or her Miranda Rights. Spunkyhomeschool makes
this lighthearted suggestion in view of recent federal court rulings. And in this bonus post, Spunky introduces us to a brand-new concept: parents who are "unschooling" their children, which is not to be confused with homeschooling.

If high school students walkout of their school in order to participate in an anti-war protest, should they suffer the consequences? Multiple Mentality
raises the issue and takes a stand.

San Francisco's Ninth Circuit of Appeals consistently makes rulings that many would disagree with. Quincy is telling us how this federal court has
further eroded traditional parental rights, this time in the highly controversial area of sex education. Crossblogging notes that the Court of Appeals has now declared parenthood to be unconstitutional.

Political Calculations takes a wry look at math terminology in
this handy field guide for parents and anyone else who is trying to interpret all those mysterious mathematical names.


Vernice Jone's
continues her highly-readable series of face-to-face interviews with people from all walks of life with this latest installment about a friend's early years in China.

If your local public library closed, what would you do? See how Why Homeschool managed to take the 26-cassette tape unabridged "Books on Tape" version of Homer's Odyssey and
made history come alive.

Testing And Technology:

Before our school district here in California's "Imperial" Valley adopted a truly asinine "acceptable use policy" for classroom computers, I used to employ them quite a bit in my lessons. Mike in Texas
introduces us to a mysterious type of computer file that I've never even heard of before.

When it comes to testing, it's always great to hear a parent's perspective. Over at French Road Connections, Susan has written
a must-read post about testing, teaching, and learning.

Have you ever wondered what was going on in the mind of an I.T. professor? And what about the history behind these technology tools? And what about the future? The
mysteries are revealed in this candid interview of a recently-retired dean of I.T. who is now in charge of training federal employees.

This midway is registered at TTLB's carnival roundup.

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