Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Carnival Of Education: Week 119

Welcome to the midway of the 119th Carnival of Education!

Here's this week's roundup of entries from around the EduSphere. Unless clearly labeled otherwise, 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, which was hosted by NYC Educator. Visit the C.O.E.'s archives here and see our latest entries there.

Next Week's Carnival midway will be hosted by I Thought A Think. Contributors are invited to send submissions to: rgrant [at] mlsd [dot] org , or use this handy submission form. Entries should be received no later than 9:00 PM (Eastern) Tuesday, May 22, 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!


Textbook Evaluator makes the case for bringing back the teaching of geography in our schools.

Conservative math teacher and EduBlogger Darren found a copy of Anti-NCLB "talking points" posted on the wall above his school's copy machine. Darren now exposes them
for all the world to see and invites your free exchange of thoughts and ideas.

Matt Johnston
introduces us to a topic that we had never before considered: Is there a place for public charter schools in those school districts that are already doing well? Here's a sample:
Charter schools are about alternatives for students and parents who want something different. Yes, I believe charter schools inject a modicum of competition into an otherwise monopolistic system, a competitive spirit that has immediate primary and long-term secondary benefits. But charter schools are, first and foremost, about serving a need. The need is not necessarily "real," in terms of how a school board or the rest of the community would think of the matter, i.e. poor schools and minority kids trapped in bad circumstances through no fault of their own.

Rather need is a matter of perception and the parents of the 261 families who competed for the 160 seats in the St. Mary's chater school sense a need to find something different. So long as a need is perceived by some members of the community and they are willing to seek out alternatives, then the school board and the rest of the community should not stand in the way. Just because a community is relatively affluent does not mean that the families in that district can necessarily afford private school, so a public school alternative is needed.
Read the whole thing.

Higher Education:

When we were college students, we all filled-out those course-evaluation sheets. Now take a look at what it feels like to be the college professor
who reads them.

I've heard many different reasons why young folks go to college, but who would have ever dreamed that fear
was one of them?

Collective Bargaining And Unions:

Buckhorn Road has some common-sense (and humorous) advice for those educators who are contemplating
going out on strike.

Inside This Teaching Life:

Have you heard the one about the out-of-control squirrel that forced an entire campus to go into lock down? And was this squirrel an agent of some conspiracy unleashed by the Dark Gray Forces Of Evil?
Read the testimonial and judge for yourself.

Be ready to have your heart strings tugged when you read
Mamacita's contribution about how some kids pay the price for bad parenting...

InnerKids has some thoughts on this year's
National Teacher Appreciation Week. (Our school did absolutely nothing to recognize its teachers.)

The Science Goddess over at What It's Like on the Inside
has the skinny on a powerful grading tool that's all-too-often neglected by many teachers: "I" is for Incomplete.

Why do so many teachers leave the craft in their first few years? Well....
here's a top-ten list (plus some commentary) that may surprise many.

Aquiram asks a question that made us smile:
Question of the Week #15–What TV Show is Your Classroom Most Like?

From our "Third Graders Say the Darnedest Things Department,"
we have this brief inter-planetary dialogue about.... Uranus.

Do not fail to carefully read
this math problem submitted by IB a Math Teacher. (Prepare to have you funny-bone thoroughly tickled.)

Teaching and Learning:

Keeping students who are working in groups productively engaged is often challenging under the best of circumstances. Missprofe
has some suggestions for giving students a helping hand when tasked with creating their own dramatic skits.

Reader S. Richards submitted
this N.Y. Times article about a middle school that is doing things right.


The State of Texas is considering doing-away with its "must pass in order to graduate" TAKS test and replacing it with a series of standardized assessments designed to measure competency in several content areas. But replacing one test with another
raises a new set of concerns.

And now for something
completely different: a side-by-side look at a math problem from a Chinese college entry examination and one from a Canadian exam.

Student and Parent Survival Guide:

Nowadays, kids don't just show-up at the senior prom with a date on their arms,
they have to make an entry.


A mom who homeschools her children
shares some on-point observations on what motivates very young children to learn. (But who would have thought that "Calvin and Hobbes" would have been such a great motivational tool?)


The title of this one says it all:
If Technology is the Devil, Time is the Exorcist.

How do we make sure students are safe online and when using social networking sites? Neu-Thinking
has some thoughts on the matter. (In our California district, administrators have solved this "problem" by imposing such a strict "acceptable use" policy that few, if any, teachers still use the Internet as a teaching/learning tool.)

Inside The EduBlogs:

Humbly submitted for your consideration is our take on what may very well be the most tasteless so-called school "prank" ever played perpetrated upon a group of students.

Editor's Choice: Did you know that last week was "National Teacher Appreciation Week?" Around our middle school, we had no idea.
Until Ms. Cornelius of A Shrewdness of Apes told us.

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.