Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Carnival Of Education: Week 114

Welcome to the midway of the 114th 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 Dan over at DY/DAN. Contributors are invited to send submissions to: dan [at] mrmeyer [dot] com , or use this handy submission form. Entries should be received no later than 11:00 PM (Pacific) Tuesday, April 17, 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!


Edspresso continues fostering EduDialogue with
this week's debate. The topic is the Whole Language instructional method, with whole language teacher Nancy Creech going-up against edblogger Ken De Rosa of D-Ed Reckoning.

Should there be a national math curriculum? Now that's a controversial EduQuestion if we've ever seen one. I.B. a Math Teacher comments upon the findings of a recent survey that ponders that very notion.

In many high schools around the country, the role of A.P. classes continues to be a hotly-debated topic. Matthew K. Tabor
has some thoughts on recent program audits and the need to make sure that when it comes to A.P., that there is truth in advertising.

Should high school students who profess to be gay be granted the same access to school facilities as other, more traditional student groups? That's been an ongoing controversy for a number of years. High school math teacher Darren
has the skinny on the latest federal interference court rulings and lets us know in no uncertain terms which side of the issue that he's on.

The Colossus of Rhodey has been keeping an eye on the Seattle School Board. But
this latest report from Colossus about the Search for a new school superintendent and how the need for job applicants to have an "understanding" of "institutionalized oppression" will most certainly provoke strong reactions. Judge for yourself.

Baltimore's public education system continues to be
in a state of complete meltdown. (Are the people who're responsible for this on-going disaster ever going to be held accountable?)

While Baltimore's public schools continue to flail about struggle, things aren't much better in Los Angeles. A few months ago, the second-largest school district in the country hired retired navy vice-admiral David Brewer III (
initial four-year contract, lotsa perks) as its superintendent even though he had no experience in public education whatsoever. Friends of Dave
reviews the latest episode in the long-running soap opera that is the nation's second-largest school system.

This week's entry from Right Wing Nation
takes a hard look at a recent survey that illustrates the astounding disconnect between high school and college educators about how well students are prepared for university-level work. Be sure to check out the tables used by Nation to buttress their position.

One of the first friends that we made back when the EduSphere was young (Sept. 2004) was former school board member Tony Iovino of A Red Mind in a Blue State. In
this week's Carnival entry, Tony links to, and comments upon, a controversial study that asserts that when it comes to math and reading, the use of high-tech software in the classroom makes little or no difference in student performance.

How much homework is too much homework? NYC Educator
has the news about a young man who is taking a stand against the assignment of excessive homework over vacation. (Disc. We ourselves don't assign "vacation homework." We consider vacation to be just that...)

From The Classroom:

What would you do if a kid walked into your classroom with a t-shirt that was emblazoned with the hammer and sickle? That's exactly what happened to one California teacher. Find out how he dealt with
this very sickle situation.

Prepare to have your heartstrings pulled when you read this entry from a teacher named Pete who
did all that could could do to help one of his most challenging students. But in the end, those challenges could not be overcome.

Today's Homework also has a heart string puller with
this entry about one student who is saved and one who was lost.... (And don't miss that part about the ships!)

Ms. Cornelius of A Shrewdness of Apes
is showing us how some parents insist on academic commitments being scheduled around their kid's social and extra-curricular calendars. Here's a sample
And BTW, this parent sent me the email the day before the test was scheduled. This person noted that his son had chosen to be involved in this project, and of course he should take responsibility for his choices and make sure he can handle them, but, and I quote, "isn't it really a teacher's job to encourage students to be involved in activities outside of school?" He concluded with the suggestion that if I couldn't move the test, perhaps I could shorten it. The parent also stated that he had talked this over with other parents, and they agreed. So he was sort of carrying the standard, if you will, for a groundswell of opinion.
In order to help students have a better grasp of ratios, Let's Play Math has taken multi-billionaire Bill Gates' net worth and stood it on its dollar-stuffed head. Mathematically-speaking, of course.

When it comes to speaking to one's students, the Science Goddess
gives us a reminder about the importance of knowing our audience.

Inside This Teaching Life:

Mamacita takes us down memory lane with this tidy post that invokes the "Equal Rights Amendment" and the correct use of indicative/reflexive pronouns. (Like Cita, we only buy ERA detergent when its on sale...)

Once again, we can see what damage a principal does to his or her school's program by
engaging in favoritism. (If you are a teacher who works for a principal who doesn't play favorites, then you are truly blessed.) Was it George Orwell who wrote, "All teachers are equal but some teachers are more equal than others?"

What kind of individual
sociopath uses their employer's school bus as a gettaway vehicle after stealing $17 worth of food from a grocer?

Mr. Miller of The 21st Century School House
is venturing into Dangerous Territory. He went into his principal's office recently and volunteered to put-on a professional growth workshop on EduTechnology. (We hope that his presentation is not plagued by the Dark Demons of Technology Demos...)

Texas teacher Missprofe has
come to grips with one of those aspects of The Teaching Life that all veteran teachers must realize if they are to survive very long in the trenches.

Respectfully submitted for your consideration is our entry about the high school jock senior who mooned his teacher and then turned around and sued the school!

Teaching And Learning:

Check out this cute (and highly-readable) entry about the moon. The post is structured around.... a test question! (Ed's note: M-O-O-N... that spells "moon." [We'll give bonus points to anyone who can tell us which author/book that we lifted that one from.] The book's one of our favs.)

his entry to last week's Carnival of Education, Scott McLeod's asked if "Schools quash Student's Enthusiasm for learning?" Henry Cate of Why Homeschool gives his answer to Scott's question.

Teaching in the Twenty-First Century poses an interesting EduQuestion:
Are You a Teacher of Content or Teacher of Skills/Strategies?

Is there such a thing as an "Emotional I.Q.?" And if there is, how would it affect the learning process?
Judge for yourself.

International Perspectives:

Over in Britain, it appears as though the EduPowers-that-be are giving
serious consideration to handing the keys to the asylum over to the inmates.

Unions and Collective Bargaining:

Former C.O.E. host Dr. Homeslice presents a roundup
of union-related posts from around the EduSphere. (Key vocabulary needed for understanding: "grievance.")

Parent And Student Survival Guide:

We think that this must be the first time that
someone has actually mapped the intimate intricate personal relationships that are to be found in the typical American public high school. (Looks to us like there's more than a passing similarity to certain perennially popular soap operas...)

Pick the Brain tells us which 5 types of books
will actually make your child smarter. (We really like number 4, but then again we're biased in that particular department.) While Sharp Brains recommends a few books on how learning changes our Brains-literally. And at any age.

a list (indispensable, for some) of the easiest colleges to get into. (This is definitely a one-of-a-kind roundup.)

Absolutelee has
some strong thoughts about parents who send their daughters to school dressed more like for a Friday night dance date rather than Monday morning math lesson.


Life Without School has
a good introductory primer about homeschooling. Recommended for those who are contemplating teaching their kids in the home as well as those that are curious.

Diary of 1
reminds us not to forget one primary trait that's key to the success of any effort to educate our children.

We first heard of homeschooling some twenty years ago about the time we were infatuated with listening to
this musical group as well as that one. Trivium Pursuit takes us back to those early days of the Homeschooling Movement with a link to one of the very first interviews given by homeschooling pioneer John Holt.

Higher Education:

Sophistpundit proposes an idea why college texts cost so much.
It's a conspiracy by the Cartel!

We definitely agree with
this assertion that medical students need more training in mental health! (Meanwhile, we'd like to recommend this particular book. Good summer reading.)

short submission sounds like something that could have been written by the fictional Dr. Doogie Howser.

It's about time that somebody
is finally making some headway in the development of some ethical standards in the granting of student loans. (Now if someone would finally make some headway in reigning-in the ever-rising cost of student tuition....)

here's one method of lowering your student loan payments. (But who'd want to give anyone that kind of access to your account info?)


Teacher Dana Huff
answers the question: What Can You Do with a Wiki?

Inside the Blogs:

We have to agree with The Essential Blog's
critique of the new No Child Left Behind logo. (And to think that someone actually earned made money to come up with that awful graphic and that someone else in one of the higher pay-grades in the federal civil service must have made the final decision to adopt it....)

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 (somewhat) complete Carnival archives over there.