Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Carnival Of Education: Week 80

Welcome to the midway of the Carnival Of Education! What we have here is a selection of entries that have been submitted from throughout the EduSphere. We believe that the posts represent a wide variety of political and educational viewpoints. All entries were submitted by the writers unless labeled otherwise and are grouped into several categories.

If you are interested in guest hosting an edition of The Carnival Of Education, please let us know via the email address given below.

Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word about last week's midway. Links are much appreciated, trackbacks are adored. Visit the Carnival's archives here and see our latest EduPosts there.

Next Week's Carnival midway will be hosted by us here at The Education Wonks. Please send contributions to: owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net, or use this handy submission form. We should receive them no later than 8:00 PM (Eastern) 5:00 PM (Pacific) Tuesday, August 22nd. Please include the title of your post, and its URL, if possible. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the midway should open next Wednesday morning.

Special Announcement: We experienced a number of technical difficulties Tuesday (Thanks for nothing, Microsoft!) and because of this we were unable to complete the midway by Wednesday AM. So...throughout the day we'll be posting additional entries to this roundup, please consider checking back with us later today. (Update: As our tech issues have continued, we'll continue adding posts on Thursday and Friday as well.)

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

Thursday's Additions:

It's back to school time over at Thespis Journal. In a reflexive post, Thespis takes a look at some of the problems confronting public school educators today
and proposes some solutions.

College student Margaret Paynich links to (and comments upon) a piece by Julia Steiny that posits an interesting idea: "Do adults who ask the right questions help teens make the right choices?" There's some Food for thought there...

D-Ed Reckoning notes that standardized test scores have been going up recently. But why? Is it due to The No Child Left Behind Law or is there another reason? Will the trend continue? And is there an "I.Q Achievement Gap" in our kids' future? Reckoning ponders some possibilities.

Over at Spunkyhomeschool, (She homeschools six kids!) Spunky answers those who call for homeschoolers to be accountable to the state and why those folks have it backwards. Consider taking a look at the lively debate among the commenters.


The title of this week's submission from The Colossus of Rhodey says it all:
Cali law: No teaching of anything "negative."

The field of education research continues to be hotly debated throughout the EduSphere. When it comes to teaching and learning in the k-12 classroom, how should it be done? Over at HUNBlog, they take a look at the issue
and present their case. Here's a sample:
Paradigms for education must be found that take social inequities into consideration. (Granted, whereas I agree that this approach too often leads to negative results due to a lowering of expectations, it does not need to. With the discipline to hold all students to the same standards while at the same time recognizing the additional needs of challenged students, we should be able to identify ways to provide the additional help needed to succeed.)
In California, voters said "no" recently to Universal Preschool. But over in Massachusetts, the battle is heating up over whether or not the state can mandate pre-kindergarten classes for all. Diane Weir comments on the latest dispatch from the front.

Why are some poorly-written textbooks used in many of our public schools while better written texts don't "make the grade?" Over at Why Homeschool?, Henry Cate shows us how
politics and simple laziness often drive the process that is used to decide what books are bought and what aren't. Meanwhile, The Textbook Evaluator addresses the issue from a very different angle.

What happens when experienced teachers get caught-up in red-tape labyrinth inhabited by "The NCLB Paperwork Monster?" Science teacher "Dr. P" is ensnared
in a bureaucratic trap that is seemingly designed to obtain sustenance for that ravenously hungry creature who lives in the nether regions that are inhabited by EduCrats in plush offices...

When it comes to "Testing Teachers," politician Linda Chavez has said, "And it's no wonder that teachers have a rough time when they're the ones being tested. A recent study by the American Institutes for Research showed that education majors had the lowest levels of practical literacy among college students." Over at Right on the Left Coast, math teacher Darren
has a bone to pick with Ms. Chavez.

I wonder what religious reformer Martin Luther would think about "The 95 Theses of Progressive Teaching?" (Should the first 50 that are finished be nailed to U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings' door??)

Teaching And Learning:

RedKudu is a high school English teacher who says, " I don't get angry. I just document." We liked what we read
when RedKudu said,
Teachers are never fully prepared for what they will encounter in the classroom. There are not enough student-teaching hours in a lifetime to ready one for the constant daily exposure to a clientele so reluctant and resistant as a student. The daunting arrival of new initiatives for education, poorly supported by equal financial enthusiasm, make public school teaching in this day and age a strange, almost apocalyptic landscape, the survivors of which are those who learn how to dumpster dive for useful left-overs, convince students to keep the caps on markers so they don't dry out, and turn a sheet of black poster paper into a working chalkboard.
From The Classroom:

David is a history teacher in Texas. In a recent post,
he shows us the Calm before the storm.

While teaching in Australia, Elias recently presented
an interesting lesson to his "seventh year class." What was it about? Why... it was about Native Americans!

Over at Teaching in the Twenty-First Century, "Ms. Q" reminds us
why we got into teaching in the first place.

Students who cheat on tests and other school work continue to be an ongoing challenge for many, if not all, teachers. But what should be done? Dennis Fermoyle of From the Trenches of Public Ed. has some ideas
well worth taking a look at.

Twenty-something teacher Anonymous Educator has learned a lesson that all classroom teachers must learn sooner...or... later:
less is rarely more.

Education and The Media:

As the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 approaches, Andrew Pass brings us a poignent post (with lesson ideas) about the just-released motion picture called "World Trade Center." (Don't miss the question that one of Mr. Pass's students asked him in class...)

Educator (and motivational speaker) Ron Clark was honored by The Disney Corporation as "Teacher of the Year" back in 2000. Now his life story has been made into film and teacher "Dr. Homeslice" has
the review and reality check.

Your Mama's Mad Tedius is written by NYC special education teacher Miss Dennis. In this week's entry, Miss Dennis links to a podcast of an interview of Miss D by public radio's Tony Kahn on teaching special education in the South Bronx.

Education Research:

The implementation of the federal No Child Left Behind Act has helped cause education research to take center stage. Jenny D wants to know what types of education-related information the public might be most interested in knowing.

Inside This Teaching Life:

Is your school's principal a fair and effective adminstrator or is he/she Machiavellian? Find out for yourself over at Mrs. H's place.


When it comes to the study of history, those who choose to teach their children at home have quite a bit of latitude. Over at Home~Schoolers Rule, Alasandra
makes some recommendations.

Parent and Student Survival Guide:

Here are some ways of
reducing the high cost of a college education. (This has got our attention as our 14-year-old daughter, the TeenWonk, will soon be off on her own College Adventure.)

Higher Education:

Should university professors be unionized? The Workplace Prof Blog has
the latest court decision that could affect that very hotly debated question...

Resources and Curricula:

has some links for those who are looking for blank calendars and other planning aids.

Who can resist a Blog that's totally about
Units of Measure?

seven common-sense rules for sharpening-up your thinking skills.

What educator, student, or parent couldn't use some leadership skills? Get'em
right here.

The Secret Lives of Educators:

This week's "must read" is by Mamacita over at Scheiss Weekly. All who have daughters (or just wish they had a daughter) should prepare to have their heart-strings tugged.

Over at The Median Sib,
they have the skinny on a secret fear that all of us teachers who are over a Certain Age have... but don't want to admit.

As a practicing classroom teacher, I've received a number of sample textbooks over the years. But who would have thought that those "freebies" would actually have Cash Value? A certain math teacher has figured out how to
make those freebies pay off.

Inside The Blogs:

Aside from the Free Exchange of Thoughts and Ideas, here are some additional benefits of participating in blog carnivals.

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, 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 complete Carnival archives over there.