Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Carnival Of Education: Week 5

We are pleased to present the fifth edition of The Carnival Of Education. What we have done is assemble a variety of interesting and informative posts from around the EduSphere (and one or two from the Larger 'Sphere) that have been submitted by various authors and readers. We think that they represent a great variety of topics, political/educational viewpoints, and writing styles.

A word or two about how the entries are presented. This week, once again, we are posting the entries randomly. Writers that submit their own work are guaranteed an "exhibit" here at the Carnival; reader-submitted posts will be included if at all possible.

It has been our pleasure to continue corresponding with a number of both writers and readers that care deeply about the education of our young (and not so young) people.

The First Edition of The Carnival can be seen here, the second here, the third, here and the fourth, over there. To get to EdWonk's main page, (with a variety of education-related posts) please click here.

Submissions for next week's Carnival Of Education: Week 6 should be sent to: owlshome [at]earthlink[dot]net and should be received no later than 10:00 PM (Pacific) next Tuesday, March 15, 2005. For more information about the purpose of the carnival,
click here. Our objective is to open the carnival each Wednesday morning.

Here is some very special news: next week, we will be announcing who will be hosting the Carnival on its first road trip.

The Secret of having any well-attended Carnival is advertising its existence. To this end, we hope that folks will help by getting the word out.

We heartily welcome all feedback, including, (but not limited to) comments, questions, concerns, or even constructive criticism.

Let's see what the midway has to offer this week:

Our first attraction is titled, appropriately enough, What It's Like on the Inside. Written by a high school science teacher in Washington State, the Insider is telling us that the emperor has no clothes and her school could use some strong leadership. (We here at the 'Wonks in SoCal can definitely sympathize.)

Over at Spunkyhomeschool, Spunky has written an intriguing post about parents that have outsourced their authority to a variety of people. There is a curious link to a Rhode Island proposal that would require school districts to reduce student obesity. (Guess the kids will be starting the South Beach Diet soon.)

DC Education Blog
points out how three individuals are suspected of causing the intentional contamination of their school by spilling mercury all over the campus in some sort of "prank."D.C. Take a look at how some newspaper columnists are rationalizing this "stunt."

It looks like there may be
a strike soon at the college where Moebius Stripper teaches math. Her site, Tall, dark, & mysterious tells us her plan of action should the unfortunate occur. (What a way to come back from vacation.) has the inside scoop about the shake-up over The United States Department Of Education. (Note: this post included by the editors.)

Science and Politics
is telling us that it's that time of year when college professors get evaluated by their students. Here is a taste:The problem I see with evaluations is their inherent support for the notion that students are "clients" or "customers". But, one of the most important roles of the University is to change the perception of students what education is.

Fifth graders in Texas face a test that must be passed in order to be promoted to sixth grade. Number 2 Pencil
takes a look at two teaching styles that can be used to prepare students for that very high-stakes exam. As an extra bonus this week, the Pencil offers an outstanding New Feature that is called "The Statistics Term of the Day."

Bill Gates' controversial labeling of America's high schools as obsolete. Assorted Stuff
has the details of an online forum by some college students regarding Gates' remarks. (From the mouths of babes...)

A site that is guaranteed to provoke thought, Discriminations
has the low-down on how the University of Virginia is ignoring the spirit and intent of recent court-rulings regarding the use of racially exclusive scholarships. (Think about taking a look at the post's updates.)

First Year Teacher
is experiencing a problem that more than a few of us teachers have had at one time or another, "I am having a problem. I have no idea what to teach next." (With spring vacation coming on, it's an eternal challenge finding good topics to teach in March.)

Teachers that have very little academic background in their subject areas
is the topic addressed by Joanne Jacobs. (Who would have thought that only 18% of history teachers would have a major or minor in the subject that they teach?)

Bud the Teacher
wistfully thinks about how nice it would be if there were such a thing as an effective school-wide blogging system. (We agree with Bud, but the 'Wonks medieval school district doesn't even allow the kids to author blogs.)

The origins and original purpose of I.Q. tests
are discussed over at Chris Correa's place. The tests were developed in France, but have proven much more popular here in the United States!

A Constrained Vision
has the second installment a well-constructed two-part post about how "Blain Amendment" type laws have been used to short-circuit school choice. (You can get part one here.)

Stiles writes over at Learning Matters. He
wants to know if there is a place for vocational education in the high schools of tomorrow. (Not all of us can labor in offices, someone will always need to know how to fix things. They should be well-paid to do so.)

At Shutupandteach, Joe
argues forcefully against the use of school vouchers. He cites Milwaukee and Cleveland as examples where vouchers haven't lived up to expectations.

Michael Williams
raises the alarm that the Los Angeles teachers union is now controlled by a more militant group of leaders bent on lobbying for even greater pay raises.

Would you believe a college class about various types of coffee and another one titled "Basketball as Religion?" Illuminaria's Voice
has all the details about this high-charged topic. (Where were these classes when I was an undergraduate? heh.)

Right on the Left Coast is written by Darren, who is a classroom teacher in northern California. Since he won't be getting any pay raise at all next year, he
has some interesting ideas for augmenting his salary that include charging students fifty cents to take a quiz.

New Jersey grade-school teacher Janet
is looking for readers' suggestions about how to overhaul her bulletin boards over at "The Art Of Getting By." (Sometimes I'm glad I teach junior high school.)

A classroom teacher named Clarence writes Remote Access from a small town up in Canada. This week, Clarence
is asking some important questions about the purposes of standardized testing. Let's wish him luck as he travels down to Winnipeg to work on test design.

At Open up my head and see what's on my mind, Megan
tells us about a much-admired colleague that has had a checkered past. (We guess it's a story about redemption.)

Jenny D. has
quite a dialogue going on in the commenting threads over at her post titled "Not Everyone Can Be Smart, says AP teacher."

Qulog is a neat site that is written by a physics student who is attending university in Utrecht, The Netherlands. This week, Florine
is reporting that girls that are told they will not do well---don't. (We would like to thank her for linking to an earlier Carnival. Also, I gotta check out #3 on her blogroll.)

Over at Pratie Place, Melinama
has some excellent practical advice for teachers that must speak in front of audiences. (That means most of us... We also appreciate all the help that she has given us in promoting the Carnivals.)

Jonathan writes a new blog called Overeducation. Jonathan
discusses one of teaching's Eternal Questions: Why do so many teachers act unprofessionally. (Check out all the interesting places that Jonathan has lived!)

Commenting on Jonathan's post, Level 5 Blog
also addresses some of the factors that tend to hinder teachers from reaching their leadership potential.

Precinct 333 is written by a classroom teacher in Texas. This week, Precinct
let's us know about how some school's "Zero Tolerance" policies have been unjustly applied.

Over at Polski3's View From Here,
he has one of those "Just for fun things" going on. (Reminds me somewhat of license-plate bingo.)

At Multiple Mentality, they
give us their take on The Rubber Band Story. (I love their graphics, there's something about those "M"s that my cursor likes.)

The Daily Grind is written by a practicing high school teacher in Washington State. The Grind
has some accurate predictions for those that are about to enter the field of classroom teaching for the first time. (Some of these remind us of our past...)

Reader Mike McDaniel
sent us an open letter that he has written to educators. (We've made it into a back-dated post.) Mr. McDaniel is a high school English teacher in Texas. He raises a number of important issues that are of interest to those in public education.

Here at The Education Wonks,
we offer our own post titled "Governor Schwarzenegger Gets It Right." (Does anybody have a quarter?)

To all the writers that have donated their work to the Carnival, and to all the readers that make this effort the enjoyable experience that it is for us to host----We Thank You!

Main Page