Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Carnival Of Education: Week 141

Welcome to the midway of the 141st Carnival of Education!

Here's the very latest roundup of entries from around the EduSphere. Unless clearly labeled otherwise, all entries this week were submitted by the writers themselves.

Folks interested in hosting an edition of the C.O.E. should please let us know via this email address: owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net.

Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word about last week's midway, which was hosted over at The Tempered Radical. Visit the C.O.E.'s early archives here, later archives there, and our latest entries here.

Next Week's Carnival will be hosted by History is Elementary. Contributors are invited to send their submissions to: historyiselementary [at] mail [dot] com , or use this handy submission form. Entries should be received no later than 6:00 PM (Eastern) 3:00 PM (Pacific) Tuesday, October 23, 2007. Please include the title of your post, and its URL, if possible. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the midway should open next Wednesday morning.

Let the free exchange of thoughts and ideas begin!

EduPolicy And EduPolicymakers:

It seems as though school site shootings and stabbings have been around for decades. But instead of just rushing to put more metal detectors at the school house door or starting more programs in order to address the plague of school yard bullies, Joanne Jacobs raises some issues about
one of the contributing factors to all the violence that many in the MSM just seems to continually miss.

With the No Child Left Behind Act up for reauthorization this year, the debate grows ever more intense. Recalling what the EduWorld was like prior to the passage of NCLB, the folks over at Homeschool2.0 Blog
make their case for the law's renewal in no uncertain terms.

The title of this contribution by The DeHavilland Blog says it all:
Why Do We Educate?

Andrew Rotherham's Eduwonk has a feminine counterpart in the Mystery Lady who's writing over at Eduwonkette. (Could it be the much-missed
Alice in Eduland???) In this week's Carnival entry, Eduwonkette takes a hard look at the criteria that are being used to evaluate the much-ballyhooed KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) Schools that primarily serve inner-city youths.

Some say that there will be a "teacher shortage" in the near future. Others say that rumors of such a shortage are greatly exaggerated. Dave says
take a look at the math while Scott says take a look at the graph. (We report, you decide. - With apologies to Rupert Murdoch and Fox News.)

Should corporations fund public schools?

Thanks to Lost in the Ozone, we don't have to register in order to take a look at
Chester "Checker" Finn's latest piece in the Wall Street Journal. Finn's newest is called, "Dumbing Education Down."

IB a Math Teacher of Three Standard Deviations to the Left presents us with
an alternative translation of the acronym NCLB while making us think about where all that money is really going.

What, if, anything,
is wrong with this statement: Dear Parent: Your kid is fat- Sincerely, the Principal.

Is so-called "Affirmative Action"
based upon one's socio-economic class rather than on one's race in our societal future?

From The Classroom:

Only those who have never taught could possibly say that teaching is easy.
Just take a look at a snapshot of one of the students in Mrs. Bluebird's classroom:
He endeared himself to his classmates by rapidly running his hands back and forth across his head and screaming "It's snowing!" as the dandruff flew. He scratched and itched and scratched at flea bites so bad that we were sending him to the nurse twice a day to try to see if there was anything she could do to get him to stop scratching until he bled. He steals things from other children (and was a bit upset when I caught him in the act). He refuses to do any work whatsoever. None. Nada. He won't even put his name on a piece of paper. He will, however, hum, play with pens, draw his cartoons, tap his pencil, rock back and forth, mutter, kick at chairs and yell at tablemates for no reason whatsoever. (I have him sitting with the two most patient kids on earth, bless their hearts). Today he pulled his shirt up over his head, tucked his arms in to his side, and assumed a fetal position for most of class.
And yes, the federal government has mandated that Mrs. Bluebird's student, like every other kid in America, will be performing at or grade-level in reading, math, and science by 2014 or else the school will be held 100% accountable while the parents avoid any responsibility whatsoever...

And now for something unexpected: at least one public school in America requires that its female teachers wear panty hose and male teachers dress shirts and ties. (No word as of this writing about male teachers who wear pantyhose...)

The Science Goddess
gives a timely reminder to teachers everywhere that when it comes to interacting with students, they should beware of the "but word."

Mamacita brings us some real-life student essays that are just beyond belief. See the first one
here, the second here, and, just when we thought that all was lost, we found total redemption over there.

has sent us this contribution concerning extra-curricular activities that reminds us about how public school teaching ought to be.

Inside This Teaching Life:

For those of you out there who thought only K-12 teachers were subjected to those all-but-useless timewasters known as "professional development" seminars, the Rightwing Prof has
a reality check for you.

In New York City, teachers who are on payroll but not assigned to a classroom are often spend their days in what is known as "the rubber room." Get
a first-hand report from the asylum right here.

Looking for ways to reduce job stress? Joel
recommends a few stress-reduction activities.

A reader has submitted this post that takes us through the first few weeks of a newly-minted teacher. What's it about? Take a hint from the title:
When New Teachers Begin To Wilt. Touché.

Friends of Dave reminds us that when it comes to the MSM extolling the accomplishments of individual schools,
what one sees isn't necessarily what one gets.

Favoritism involving School principals and their favorite "pet teachers" seems to be a widespread problem in public education. But Texas teacher Mike
is telling us about a case that would cause all but the most hard-boiled teaching veterans to do a double take.

Music teacher Nancy Flanagan asks: What's a teacher to do
when the real world intrudes into the classroom? Just say no--or deal with it? (On 9/11, our principal sent us a written memo that directed us to say nothing about what was occurring to our 7th and 8th grade students. They were to have what she called a "normal day.")

Teacher Carol of Bellringers has
a fantasy suggestion for millionaire NBA teamowners, talk-show goddesses, and softwear moguls who think of $500,000 as "pocket change."

Editor's Choice: Like many public school teachers we know, Ms. Cornelius of A Shrewdness of Apes is being subjected to the whims of useless (and clueless) outside sadists consultants who masquerade as EduExperts.


Mr. McNamar of The Daily Grind
wants to know if you have to turn in lesson plans. And if so, is it weekly, daily, or Something Else?

Sibhan Curious has read Harry K. & Rosemary T. Wong’s The First Days of School,
and compares the Wongs' advice with that which has been learned by their own experience.

Editor's Choice: Looking for a way to teach nouns? Say hello to The Noun Eater!

Teacher Pat H. has some suggestions for
creating effective lesson plans.

Parent Survival Guide:

Digital learning is here to stay...even if students aren't prepared to protect themselves online. And parents
would be well-advised to take a look at what many kids are doing on the computer when none of the grownups are around...

Collective Bargaining:

When it comes to an ongoing labor dispute between Baltimore's teachers and their district, Going to the Mat let's us know that the City Council
might want to think twice about taking sides.

International Perspectives:

Israeli teacher Muse has an eyewitness report of
what happens when Israeli teachers take to the streets. (Be sure to check out those horses!) More here.

Our Trans-Atlantic cousins in the United Kingdom have also been implementing funadamental changes to their state-supported education system. In
this week's entry, the British edublog Scenes from the Battleground point out that would-be EduReformers just might be doing the Devil's work. (With Halloween just around the corner, be on the lookout for 'ole Scratch!)


Becky of Life Without School
lets us on the inside of her decision to become an unschooler.

Higher Education:

Here's a roundup of "college rankings" by several MSM outfits.

How about 7 ways
to get into college without a high school diploma?

When it comes to high school seniors applying to numerous "safety schools," in hopes of being admitted to a top-level college or university, high school math teacher Darren of Right on the Left Coast
presents his version of "Dr. Stangelove or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Admissions Process."

Mark Mongomery
has the latest on the controversy surrounding whether or not students should be able to use a Common Application when petitioning multiple schools for admission. (Should be a no-brainer, but isn't.)

Inside The EduBlogs:

Humbly submitted for your approval is our coverage of eleven-year-old Arabella Uhry, who is looking to land a spot on the U.S. Olympic Fencing Team.

And finally: This, like nearly all of our journeys around the EduSphere, has been both enjoyable and informative. We continue to thank all the contributors whose submissions make the midway's continuing success possible, the folks who give of their time to help spread the word, and the readers who continue to make it A Free Exchange of Thoughts and Ideas.

This week's midway is registered at TTLB's carnival roundup. See our latest EduPosts here, and the (somewhat) complete Carnival of Education archives over there.