Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Carnival Of Education: Week 56

Welcome to the midway of this week's Carnival Of Education. All entries were submitted by the writers and are grouped into several very generalized categories. As always, one can find a very wide selection of posts from a variety of educational and political viewpoints.

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 Carnival midway will be hosted by over at MathandText. Please send contributions to: jaydamion [at] gmail [dot] com. Submissions should be received no later than 11:00 PM (Central) 9:00 PM (Pacific) Tuesday, March 7th. Please include the title of your post, and its URL, if possible. The midway of the 57th edition of the Carnival should open over at MathandTexts next Wednesday morning.

Last week's Carnival, is here. See the complete set of archives
there. For our latest posts, please see our home page and consider visiting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling.

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

General Education Policy And Politics:

Stephen Waters publishes the Daily Sentinel (circulation 15,000) in the town of Rome, New York. Consider taking a look at this highly readable post over at his blog on the best ways to help save public education.

I can remember in the not-too-distant past how a curriculum used in Newton, Massachusetts was termed by many as "Anti-Racist Mathematics." This caused quite a buzz throughout the EduSphere. Now that some time has passed, Chris Correa brings us
a reality check based upon the latest data.

If you want the latest scoop on EduPolitics at the national level, Education Sector's should be one of your daily reads. In
this recent post, Eduwonk clarifies some of the realities of the No Child Left Behind Act while answering concerns expressed by the AFT's NCLBlog.

The Parent-Teacher Association used to be a force in the shaping of education policy at several different levels. At This Week in Education, Alexander Russo comments on, and links to, a Wall Street Journal article that poses an intriguing question:
Whatever happened to the PTA?

Teacher's don't like long commutes to work. That's common-sense. But kids in inner-city schools often lose because teachers either can't afford (or don't wish) to live in urban areas. So the challenge is recruiting effective teachers for those areas. The AFT's NCLBlog proposes a solution to this critical problem. Read part I
here and part II over there.

Should college students have the right to demand an alternative assignment if they object to a course's required reading on religious grounds? Ms. Cornelius has some
food for thought about a proposed Arizona law that would do just that.

The public school system in our nation's capital continues to be in crisis. The title of this post by Casey Lartigue says it all:
DC Public Schools: (Still) A Well-Financed Failure.

The role of unions in our public education system continues to be a topic of fierce debate in both the EduSphere and the Larger Sphere. Are these teachers associations a threat or a benefit to the education process?
You make the call.

What did President Abraham Lincoln have to say on the subject of education? Dana shares with us
this little gem that she stumbled across while preparing to homeschool her child.

Writing over at his blog, reporter Scott Elliott of the Dayton Daily News has
a brand new take on that story about the Washington State elementary school that outlawed the playing of "tag" on the school yard: The trend of banning any type of "chasing" game is spreading!

When used together, the words "book" and "ban" are sure to cause a raucous debate and is sure to put somebody on the defensive. The Common Room
has the scoop about a district that may have had to make some tough choices and is now paying the price.

"Effort, more than any other factor, defines a student's likelihood of high achievement in school." This is the mantra that is being taught to aspiring teacher Russ who asks
a provocative question: Are we practicing educational apartheid?

A high school class called "Peace Studies" has been taught in several schools located in affluent D.C. suburbs for a number of years. Suddenly, the class has become the center of a major controversy with
nearly everyone choosing sides.

School Choice:

The jockeying for position among potential contenders in the 2008 presidential race has already begun. Spunkyhomeschool lets us know about some of the campaign's
opening maneuvers on the Education Front by Hillary Rodham-Clinton.

Curmudgeon has started a brand-new blog and makes his Carnival debut with this futuristic post entitled,
A Vision of a World with Vouchers. Welcome to the EduSphere!

Should the government get out of primary and secondary education altogether? No matter how you feel about that question, you're thoughts are sure to be provoked by
this post over at Liberty Papers who say yes.

Teaching And Learning In The Classroom:

The Median Sib
fancifully reminds us that it's Read Across America Week and that Dr. Seuss's birthday is nigh! (Full disclosure: Green Eggs And Ham has been one of my favorite books since forever.)

I thought that teaching in Israel would be much different than teaching here in American public schools. But after reading this post by Muse, I've learned that were
much more alike than I would have imagined was possible.

One of the most exciting ways to assess student work is through the building of portfolios. Tim Fredrick
gives us a good overview of the technique as well as a field guide to the responses that kids often give.

I wish that we had more posts like these: Three Standard Deviations to the Left offers some practical advice for the working classroom teacher on how to (literally)
keep your kids in the classroom. (But I don't know about that "dirty-dancing" part.)

With the No Child Left Behind Act's emphasis on the testing of reading and math, (and soon science) the study of history is often not emphasized in many schools. But that's not the case in some Minnesota schools where Scholar of Scholar's Notebook had the privilege of serving as a judge
in a competition held on History Day.

Once upon a time at a school where Mamacita used to work, rural students traveled to the Big City of Indianapolis in order to enjoy live theatre and a variety of other cultural enrichments. But no more. See why some EduCrats consider field that trips are
no longer worthwhile for many of America's economically disadvantaged children.

As many schools continue to seek ways to increase the reading proficiency of their students, we humbly
submit for your consideration our post describing The Accelerated Reader Experience.

Parent And Student Survival Guide:

Have you ever wondered which college majors ranked the highest on standardized tests? If so, then
this is the post for you.

If you are a parent, teacher, or just plain interested, consider taking a look at some of the nonsense that schools put students through
in the name of testing security. This left a very disagreeable taste in my mouth...

What role should parents play in their own child's education? New Jersey teacher Janet of The Art of Getting By takes
an informative look at both the theories and practices of this key component of academic success.

Here's something that just about every parent who's ever helped their child research a history project can appreciate.

While sounding
a clarion call for parental action, Mat Johnston offers a review of Joe Williams' book, Cheating Our Kids. Be sure to check out the "12 Rules to help parents take back their schools." I really agree with number 9: "If an administrator tells you something can't be done, plow ahead." (Nothing will motivate a truculent school administrator to change his or her attitude more than a credible threat to go over his or her head to the "next higher level" in the EduCracy.)

Kids are sharp. Anyone who's ever spent much time in the classroom underestimates their ability to detect insincerity at their peril. So why on earth do some athletic leagues still insist on
giving every kid a trophy?

The Secret Lives Of Teachers:

This is one of the most thought-provoking EduPosts that I've read in a long time. One of Dan's former history students has dropped in for a visit as he prepares to return to Iraq for his third tour of combat with the Marine Corps. A must read.

What It's Like on the Inside is living up to the name by revealing to us how the Genie of Teacher Choice has been
let out of the bottle once again at their school.

Probably one of the toughest assignments in education is that of a substitute teacher. Every morning must feel like the first day of school, but for Mr. Lawrence,
one day felt like three.

Administrative Buffoonery seems to be a popular theme in teacher-written EduBlogs. See what happens when an administrator at Polski's junior high school decides that it's a good idea to
pull a fire drill on the district's Officially Designated Test Day. And to think that this was not the first time that this has happened...

And finally: As always, this journey around the EduSphere has been both enjoyable and informative. Thanks to all the contributors whose submissions make the midway's continuing success possible and all the readers who make it rewarding.
This midway is registered at TTLB's carnival roundup. See our latest posts here, and the complete Carnival archives over there.