Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Carnival Of Education: Week 67

Welcome to the 67th installment of the Carnival Of Education! Here you'll find a selection of entries that have been submitted from sites all around the EduSphere. The posts were submitted by the writers themselves unless labeled otherwise and are grouped into several categories.

If you're interested in guest hosting an edition of The Carnival Of Education, please let us know via this email address: owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net.

Please consider helping spread the word about the midway. Links are much appreciated, trackbacks are adored.

Special announcement: Next week's carnival midway will be guest-hosted over at NYC Educator. Please send contributions to: nyceducator [at] gmail [dot] com. They should be received no later than 10:00 PM (Eastern) Tuesday, May 24th. Please note the time change. Include the title of your post, and its URL, if possible. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the midway of should open over at NYC Educator next Wednesday morning.

Many thanks to last week's guest host, HUNBlog for their fine job. Visit the Carnival's archives (Which we are updating.)
here. For our latest posts, please take a look at our home page.

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

Education Policy:

The Los Angeles Times has a brand new EduBlog called School Me! They make their Carnival debut in a big way with this entry about the California judge who
single-handedly scrapped California's High School Exit Exam (the CAHSEE) and by so doing failed the state's students.

The Golden State's now-suspended exit exam is also on the mind of The Friends of Dave who believe that throwing out the "must pass" provision of the test
removes an important incentive for students to study and put forth their best efforts.

If you were to write "Ten Commandments for Public Education," what would they be? Read
the entry submitted by Going to the Mat and then consider which ones you would keep and which ones you would not.

Are smaller class sizes better for children? This post from new teacher Sinead over at Edpol
may surprise you.

Should our system of public schools be comprehensively restructured? HUNBlog has an entry that's all but guaranteed to
get the discussion going. Here's a sample:
School duty should be as mandatory as jury duty. As a sense of public pride, let's ALL commit to serving a certain number of hours, perhaps 20/year/person, to provide tutoring and other services to schools. There can be reasons to disqualify someone from school duty, or to allow someone to avoid it, but we'll work out the details later.

Let's remove the mandatory requirement to go to High School. Let's be realistic. If we lived up to our 8th grade standards, our children could work as soon as they turn 16. Why do we continue to require them to go to school if they don't want to? Let's let them decide.
When should a school's administration ban the singing of a song at a school talent contest? I think that most can agree to do so when profanity is involved, but what of those tunes that have a political message about the president? Whether you agree or disagree with this post, you'll have your thoughts provoked.

Alexander Russo's This Week In Education has a roundup, ranking, and critique of the
top daily online sources for education news. Take your pick.

A South Carolina teacher recently lost his job due to some very controversial remarks that he made concerning his views about race and intelligence. Rhymes With Right asks
if this was a case of McCarthyism, while we here at The Education Wonks also had some thoughts on the matter.

The American Federation of Teachers is holding a series of "town meetings" to ask teachers for their input about the No Child Left Behind Act. This week,
they're in Cleveland.

Get on the Bus, which is written by the Dayton Daily News' education reporter Scott Elliott,
reminds us that divisive and combative superintendents can run but rarely hide.

The No Child Left Behing Act mandates that a "highly qualified" teacher be in every public school classroom. But as I Thought a Think
points out, the reality is often very different from the mandated fantasy.

Editor's Choice: It seems as though every few months we have another textbook controversy. This time around, it's California's turn and Joanne Jacobs has the latest.

Teaching And Learning:

Darren likes to use coins as teaching aids in the classroom. He's been thinking about what new faces should go
on our spare change. (Who would have ever thought that a nickel could be so political?)

When it comes to effective instruction, D-Ed Reckoning gives educators
a reminder of the necessity of paying more attention to what the research says and less to their own biases.

The title of this post from Paul's Tips says it all:
Six Steps for Learning Difficult Subjects Quickly. (But I don't think that I would've had that anatomical discussion with a doctor...)

Half Sigma asks
a thought-provoking question: Are we nearing the end of cursive writing as we know it? (I would hate to see that happen!)

From The Classroom:

Those of us who are serving students in the classroom have come to dread "The Interruption To Instruction" that always seems to come at the moment we least expect it... But who would've thought that these classroom interruptions would now include
door-to-door salestudents?

Kaavya Viswanathan is the young Harvard student who was recently involved in a controversy regarding certain passages that she had "borrowed" from another writer's works. Her book, How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life was pulled from the shelf by her publisher. See what Viswanathan's former high school chemistry teacher
had to say about it.

From our International Desk we have this entry that
shows us just how good teaching can be. I'm envious!

With standardized testing done for another year, Polski's school has mandated that final grades be turned in with two weeks left to go before vacation. But Polski's not upset. This means that he
gets to teach the way he wants to teach.

Reading specialist Carol over at The Median Sib is also winding-down the school year. She proves to us once again that real kids "
still say the darndest things," this time about reading.

Here's "a first day of school" report from a volunteer
who had signed on to give a four-session mini-course to high school students on how to handle money. (Who can forget the first time they ever went before a room full of live students?)

Editor's Choice: If you are a newer teacher who is feeling tired and worn-out as the end of the year approaches, read this post from over at Edwize and know that you're not alone.

Higher Education:

Bora is teaching a Biology 101 class for students who are afraid of science and things scientific. Check out his very risky instructional strategy
that actually seems to work.

The Prof over at Right Wing Nation
has put together a nifty "how to" guide for those who need to overhaul a course that is out-of-date or in bad need of repair. I think that this might even have applications at the K-12 level... (Ed's Note: Originally submitted to the 65th midway, the Prof's webserver crashed the morning the Carnival was published, so we've included it in this week's roundup at his request.)

Many college faculties around the country are now represented by unions. But who would've thought that part time (adjunct) faculty would be attempting to organize themselves in order to bargain collectively? Well...
they are, and on two different campuses.

MBAXPLOIT: STEPS 1-2-3 TO A MBA FUTURE is a niche blog if I ever saw one. Here, they give readers
some advice on how to get accepted to business school.

The Secret Lives Of Educators:

Mamacita brings us
a fun and entertaining tale about how when it comes to field trips, it's not the kids that necessarily get into trouble but the chaperones who cause all the excitement.

The Parent Perspective:

Remember when school lunches were prepared in the school's very own kitchen? I can still remember the savory aroma of fried chicken that wafted throughout our elementary school when I was a young KidWonk. Well. As The Common Room is telling us, in many areas of the country, school lunches
aren't prepared the way they used to be.

At A Teacher's Perspective, they're undertaking a truly daunting task this summer: the writing of a "Parent's Handbook." Check out this preliminary list of
topics to be addressed and add your suggestions.

Is there a not-so-secret war being waged against
traditional playground equipment?

Parents beware. Education Matters alerts us that Big Brother School Administrator
may be watching what your kid is blogging about.


Once the decision to homeschool is made, then parents must face what may be the toughest choice of all. Which approach to use. NerdMom is
weighing her options.

Editor's Choice: It's the Wild Kingdom Edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Testing And Technology:

Ms. Cornelius
has the disturbing news that since the format of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (S.A.T.) was changed, student scores have dropped. She has a pretty good idea why....

With technology changing our world at ever-increasing speed, it did not come as a surprise to learn that some schools are now making podcasts in order to inform the public about their mission and methods. The Thinking Mother gives us
the low-down about a recent 'cast by Chicago's E-City Charter School.

Inside The EduBlogs:

My goodness. Over at The Super's Blog, the Indiana School Superintendent is
giving us the skinny on a candidate for the Indiana Senate who's advocating the use of flogging as a form of deterrence.

Editor's Choices: We couldn't let this edition of The Carnival of Education be published without a roundup of posts about bikini wearing Florida teacher Erica Chevillar. Here they are:, Joanne Jacobs, Intercepts, (here and there) School Me! and of course, our site.

Just Plain Interesting:

Ordinarily, if it's not education-related or educator-written, it doesn't get included in The Carnival of Education. But I just couldn't resist
this wonderful birthday tribute to one man's mother. Well worth your time...

And finally: As always, this journey around the EduSphere has been both enjoyable and informative. We've always been pleased to read so many different political and educational viewpoints from so many folks who care so deeply about education. Thanks to all the contributors whose submissions make the midway's continuing success possible, the folks who help spread the word, and the readers who continue to make it rewarding.

This midway is registered at TTLB's carnival roundup. See our latest posts here, and the (soon to be) complete Carnival archives over there.