Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Carnival Of Education: Week 53

Welcome to the Anniversary Edition of The Carnival Of Education! Where has the time gone? It has gone by so fast... This week's exhibits are grouped into several categories and were submitted by the writers unless labeled otherwise.

If you have a site and are interested in hosting an edition of The Carnival Of Education, please let us know via this email address: edwonk [at] educationwonks [dot] org.

Please consider helping spread the word about the midway. Links are appreciated, trackbacks are adored. As always, your comments and constructive criticism are always most welcome.

Special Announcement: Next week's midway will be hosted over at The EdWahoo. Folks are invited to send contributions to: edwahoo [at] gmail [dot] com. Submissions should be received no later than 8:00 PM (Eastern) Tuesday, February 14th. Please include the title of your post, and its URL, if possible. The midway should open over at EdWahoo's place next Wednesday morning.

Last week's midway, hosted over at Diane Weirs place, is here. See the complete set of archives
there. For our latest posts, please visit our home page.

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

Education Policy And Politics:

It has been said that one should never scrutinize, criticize, or otherwise speak of Oprah the Magnificent in anything less than the most of glowing of terms. To do so could invoke the Wrath of The Many. Over at the Dayton Daily News' Get on the Bus, Scott Elliott tempts the fates by
letting all of us know that The Greatest One is excluding homeschoolers from a certain essay contest that she is sponsoring. Maybe Oprah Winfrey plans to award this slightly damaged item as the prize for first place.

There have been a number of voices in the EduSphere that have been issuing the call for the National Education Association (NEA) to sponsor a comments-enabled weblog (similar to AFT/UFT's Edwize) so that educators and the public may participate in the discussion of education-related issues. In a recent post, Ms. Cornelius of A Shrewdness of Apes asks a good question:
If the AFT can do it, why can't NEA?

If you're looking to know the latest in education policy and proposals from the nation's capital, Education Sector's should be one of your regular reads. In this week's entry, Eduwonk
has the scoop on the President's proposed budget and what it might mean to public education.

Many folks confuse the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) with the larger National Education Association (NEA). I believe that there is a substantial difference between these two unions.
This post from the AFT's NCLBlog about addressing the critical shortage in science and math teachers may challenge the ideas that some have about teachers unions.

Respectfully submitted for your consideration is
our post about the Washington State school that banned the playing of "tag" and what the kids are doing about it. We also offer our roadmap to a recent multi-post back-and-forth between and NCLBlog.

What's the best model out there for whole school reform? That's not an easy question to answer for a variety of answers, but Jenny D.
has the skinny on a recent presentation that discussed several approaches. Here's a peek:
Of the three school reforms studied, SFA and America's Choice had the "tightest" designs. They both had controls in the design to get teachers to follow the design. SFA was scripted.

Both had poor scores on school "climate" and "teacher autonomy" from teachers. This led the lecturer to conclude that school climate and teacher autonomy were not essential to improve student achievement. He also came away with some kind words for scripts.
How can we increase student attendance? Bribe them reports Me-ander. But that's not all. Spunkyhomeschool gives us the skinny on some additional financial incentives that the kids are being given to attend class.

It's great to hear some good news about education finance, and last week's Carnival host Diane Weir
gives us some.

Whether or not teachers are "professionals" in the same sense as physicians, attorneys, and other traditionally self-regulated occupations is as hotly debated today as it was decades ago. At Going to the Matt, they take a
highly-readable look at the question and have some sound proposals to affirm the position of classroom teachers as "professionals."

Many have come to believe that the Republican Party is of one mind when it comes to public education policy. Interestingly,
this doesn't seem to be the case.

When one reads about the challenges faced by teacher Jack F. in Alaska's remote bush country, one begins to wonder about
the appropriateness of "one-size-fits-all" federal mandates such as the No Child Left Behind Act. Here's a sample:
Normally, people refer to where I live as bush Alaska. It is remote; there isn't a road in or out. It is isolated; the flights to Anchorage cost nearly $500, and have to go through Bethel. And there are bushes. Well, at least here that's all there is. You have to go nearly 30 miles inland to find trees and those are spindly willows that only grow along the riverbanks.
Illinois-based Education Matters wants folks to take a hard look at proposed new school district bonds before voting to incur more debt.

Teaching And Learning:

Rhymes With Right is reporting some outlandish new behaviors that students in some high schools have been recently engaging in. Are your local high school students having "
cuddle puddles?"

In a
highly readable post from Kitchen Table Math, we see some of the challenges that college math teacher Matt Goff is having to confront when students arrive wholly unprepared. More importantly, Matt takes a reflective look at some solutions.

Gotta love the template that The Median Sib uses. Blogaesthetics aside,
consider checking-out this post from the Sib showing a revealing journal entry from one of her elementary students. Be prepared to smile.

Henry Cate offers
some good advice about those vital aspects of the teaching of reading that are sometimes forgotten.

When students are running amok during lunch period and entering teachers' classrooms thereby disrupting the delivery of instruction, who should be held accountable? Polski's nightmare should serve as an
object lesson for both teachers, parents, and would-be administrators.

The Eternal Question asked of teachers by their students since time began: "When are we ever gonna have to use this?" Math teacher Darren had an answer that's
hard to beat.

At The Art of Getting By, Janet begins a series of posts which address the many day-to-day problems that confront actual elementary school teachers in their native habitat.
This week's topic: The schoolwide discipline plan. (Or rather the lack of such a plan...) And yes, Janet knows her Pink Floyd.

Testing And Technology:

Next week's Carnival host EdWahoo brings us the
surprising news that many standardized tests produce results that really don't measure students' mastery of higher order thinking skills and gives an inflated (and thereby misleading) appearance of what they do know.

I can easily remember when it was a "pad and pencil world" for most of us. But, for better or worse, the world changed. The crew over at An Educational Voyage also
made the same journey to the shores of the virtual continent that is known as High Tech Land.

Students who'll soon be taking the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) might consider taking a look at
this site.


At CrossBlogging, they're
issuing a call to action for all Illinois homeschoolers to participate in Legislative Day next month.

The Secret Lives of Teachers:

Many folks mistakinly think that teachers have a "free" instructional period. See how one teacher spent his "free" period because he played grab-ass joked with the
wrong student at the wrong time.

Have you ever wondered at some the stuff that your child's teacher sees in the course of his or her career? With
things like this happening in our children's schools, it's any wonder that the kids learn anything at all.

Survival Guide For Parents And Students:

The title of this post from substitute teacher Mr. Lawrence says it all:
You Don't Hit Girls, Kid.

Interested Participant tells us the distressing news of
what it's like to be a high school ROTC student in tony Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Over at The Common Room, college student HeadGirl had an assignment that some might say
was cruel and unusual punishment. (Ed's Note: Wasn't there something in the Social Contract about the need to rebel against this sort of thing?)

As the parent of the 14-year-old TeenWonk, anytime anyone mentions the two words "college tuition," he or she has my undivided attention. Over at Financial Baby Steps, they mention six words that I wish that I'd heard earlier:
Prepaid College Saving Programs Looking Better.

Inside The EduBlogs:

If you are of a certain age, I'll bet that you can remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when the crew of the space shuttle Challenger "slipped the
surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God," twenty years ago. R. J. O’Hara of the Collegiate Way remembers it well.

Editor's Choice: Consider checking-out the 6th edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling over at Why Homeschool? Just follow the traffic signs.

Editor's Choice: At Number 2 Pencil, Kimberly shows us
an excellent example of EduGobbledygook.

And finally: One year ago, we published the first edition of The Carnival Of Education. But any success that this Carnival enjoys isn't due to us, but belongs to the contributors, readers, and guest hosts who make this whole effort both possible and worthwhile. We hope to continue the free exchange of thoughts and ideas for many more midways to come.

Thank you for your support.
This midway is registered at TTLB's carnival roundup. See The Education Wonks' latest posts here, and the complete Carnival archives over there.