Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Carnival Of Education: Week 112

Welcome to the midway of the 112th Carnival of Education!

Here's this week's roundup of entries from around the EduSphere. All entries this week were submitted by the writers themselves.

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

As always, we give a hearty "thank you" to everybody who helped spread the word about last week's midway. Visit the C.O.E.'s archives here and see our latest EduPosts there.

Next Week's Carnival midway will be hosted by Matthew Paulson over at Getting Green. Contributors are invited to send submissions to: ggreenblog [at] hotmail [dot] com , or use this handy submission form. Entries should be received no later than 9:00 PM (Eastern) 6:00 PM (Pacific) Tuesday, April 3, 2007. Please include the title of your post, and its URL, if possible. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the midway should open next Wednesday morning.

Let the free exchange of thoughts and ideas begin!

EduPolicy and Politics:

Edspresso shows us that when it comes to philanthropists who are willing to donate some $200 million dollars toward the building of charter schools,
no good deed goes unpunished.

Hube at The Colossus of Rhodey
has the latest in the battle over student-authored school-sponsored publications. This time, it's the State of Washington that is apparently taking on the Supreme Court of the United States. (We're putting our money on SCOTUS.)

Ms. Cornelius of A Shrewdness of Apes
is sounding the alarm about the sad fact that many of our students are being cheated out of the study of history. Here's a sample:
My elementary aged children have spent precious little time on learning about history or geography or economics-- in fact, my first-grader has not had ANY assignments brought home that deal with social studies, while my fourth-grader has covered one unit on state history, and that is all. Meanwhile, hours each day are devoted to test-taking skills as those high-stakes test loom in just a few days' time.
The "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case (background here) is on its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Rhymes With Right takes a hard look at what might very well be a landmark decision by the Supreme Law-Making Body Court.

While effectively using graphs and data, Friends of Dave shows everyone how some California schools can more than satisfy the state's "high standards" (Even receiving praise from State Superintendent Jack O'Connell.) and yet
still manage to let-down large numbers of minority students.

Who (or what) is ultimately responsible for student success or failure? The student or the "system?"
Judge for yourself.

very intriguing post by Going to the Mat introduces us to the idea of measuring teacher effectiveness based upon concepts of data analysis that proved successful in the world of.... professional baseball.

Should high schools remove books from their libraries and reading lists if they deem them too sexually explicit? Even if such books are considered to be "classics?" NYC Educator invites you to join in the EduDiscussion
over at his place.

What would happen
if we apply the lessons of Henry Ford to public eduction?

Scott Elliott of Ohio's Dayton Daily News wonders if
consolidating school districts might actually cost more money than it saves. (We find that EduCracies are like weeds; they grow no matter what one does to 'em.)

In Texas, the "top ten-percent" are supposed to get into the the state school of their choice. Or are they?

Humbly submitted for your approval is our contribution about what happens when a state finally gets around to taking-over a large city's failing public school system.

From The Classroom:

The Teacher With A Bad Attitude (How's that for a site's title?) loves homework
but is finding-out that many parents have an altogether different attitude...

Joanne Jacobs has this
charming contribution about the mom who discovers that her son has a knack for making things even though the lesson learned may not have been what was intended by the teacher.

Teachers try and try... and try. And still the kids don't "get-it" when it comes to the plague that is plagiarism. (And the clincher? These are students from the other side of the world!)

How about
a few breathing exercises to start the EduDay?

Here's a roundup of essay's
written by the students of Pennsylvania's Red Lands High School. The assignment: complete a project describing a recent brain (or genetic) study that affects behavior. (In a more simpler time we were tasked with essays such as "What I did during my summer vacation." How things have changed over the years!)

We thought that the Hall Monitor was going to take us down memory lane with this submission about Senior Cut Day. That is until we read about
the parents being in on it....

The British teacher who writes over at Scenes From The Battleground shows us that when it comes to the behavior of high-school age students,
we share a lot in common with our Transatlantic Cousins.

We think that hands-on math has a lot to offer. But
we were pleasantly surprised to see that someone has written a skit designed to get students out of their chairs and shaking hands in order to do a math problem.

Brad Hoge of HUNBlog is teaching physics to perspective elementary school teachers. He's promised them that there wouldn't be too much math. But when a math question does need to get asked,
it's important to make sure that it's the right kind of math question.

Here's more evidence that when it comes to teaching high school math, it might pay to put one's mind "in the gutter" before giving them a "hot" warm-up problem. (We couldn't help but smile at the Blogger label for this one: Lesson Plan Mulligans.")

Parent Survival Guide:

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at this submission by Mamacita of Scheiss Weekly. Here's the title:
Parents Who Want Their Daughters to be Whores and How to Spot Them at the Mall. Tragedy or Comedy? You make the call. (In this bonus post, Mamacita makes her opinion clear on the matter of abortion rights.)

Parent Roy Hester is moving from Sumter, South Carolina to Anchorage, Alaska and is
wrestling with the problem of choosing a school for the kids. (As part-time residents of Tamassee, South Carolina, we can't help but wonder what, if anything, the Hester family is going to miss about the Palmetto State.)

Inside This Teaching Life:

How would one measure "Teacher Productivity?" Cold Springs Shops
takes issue with one site's assertion that teacher productivity must be raised before the question of teacher salaries is addressed.

The Science Goddess at What It's Like on the Inside teaches us that it is likely possible to have
a near-fatal Powerpoint Experience.

This submission from the classroom of Missprofe says it all:
Courage, or: Just When You’re About To Take A Mental Health Day.

Polski3 sheds light on the fact that even though he is forced to financially support the California affiliate (CTA) of the National Education Association, (NEA) he's not allowed to run for certain union positions because
he's the wrong race.

Bluebird's Classroom
reminds us of the fact that when all students get an award, it will be the students who ultimately lose out.

California high school math teacher Darren has obtained a free, plastic wrapped copy of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth." Consider checking-out
the novel way in which he plans to both view and fact-check this controversial film.

English teacher Dana Huff
takes a position on teachers who publish EduBlogs while urging districts to take advantage of the opportunity to get some candid feedback from their employees.

Teaching And Learning:

Dr. Madeline Daniels presents
a convincing argument that if we teach our students to believe in themselves, they will.

School Governance:

Our school district here in California's "Imperial" Valley is notorious for hiring school administrators based more on their politics and connections rather than their qualifications and proven track records. It's
interesting to learn that the evil twins Nepotism and Cronyism infest the hiring of administrators in a certain school district deep in the heart of Texas.


We've always known that students who do well on the A.P. exams receive a variety of delayed benefits, but who would have thought that
they could get a bonus of several hundred dollars for getting a good score?

School Choice:

From the Carnival's Read The Fine Print Department, we have this submission titled
The Honest, Intelligent, Logical, Humane Way to OPPOSE Vouchers....

Higher Education:

The Rightwing Prof has
some helpful hints for those who are considering a career in the upper reaches of academia.

What's in a school motto? There's more to a school motto than
we ever would have thought...

We agree with
this post's logical assertion that when it comes to online Master's programs, they just aren't as good as degrees that are earned the good old-fashioned way.

Resources and Reviews:

From Book Wink we have
this video booktalk of The Lightning Thief, and The Shadow Thieves, which are two contemporary middle grade novels dealing with characters from Ancient Mythology.

Inside the EduBlogs:

When it comes to the history of Indian Princess Pocahontas' conversion to Christianity, it appears as though some folks in the U.S. Capitol building could
use a history lesson.

And finally: This, like most of our journeys around the EduSphere, has been both enjoyable and informative. Our continued thanks to all the contributors whose submissions make the midway's continuing success possible, the folks who donate their time to help spread the word, and the readers who continue to make it A Free Exchange of Thoughts and Ideas
This midway is registered at TTLB's carnival roundup. See our latest EduPosts here, and the complete Carnival archives (soon to be updated) over there.