Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Carnival Of Education: Week 24

Welcome to the twenty-fourth edition of The Carnival Of Education. Here we have assembled a variety of interesting and informative posts from around the EduSphere that have been submitted by various writers. We believe that the Carnival represents the widest spectrum of topics, political/educational viewpoints, and writing styles.

Those entries selected by us appear at the bottom of the page.

We offer a comprehensive listing of Carnival archives at the bottom of this post.

A successful carnival is a team effort. Please consider helping to spread the word. The more folks that know about this collection of exhibits, the more that will "drop-in" and visit the midway. Trackbacks, links, and mentions all help.

To those that have helped to publicize the Carnival, we offer our deepest gratitude.

Your comments, constructive criticism, and thinly-veiled threats are always welcome.

Next week, the Carnival will be guest hosted by Jenny D. Please follow the submission guidelines given below.

An Invitation: All writers and readers of education-related posts are invited to contribute to the twenty-fifth edition of The Carnival of Education. Please send your submissions to: jdemonte[at]comcast[dot]net. Contributions should be received no later than 10:00 PM (Eastern) 7:00 PM (Pacific) Tuesday, July 27th, 2005. The Carnival midway will open at Jenny D's place next Wednesday morning.

And now.... let's see what the midway has to offer this week.

They are having quite a discussion over at Alexander Russo's This Week In Education. It's all about an outfit called "Fair Test" and whether or not their agenda should be considered part of the "fringe." Once you've read the post, I guarantee that you'll have an opinion. Then consider joining the discussion. (Background: See Fair Test's k-12 testing website right here.)

Giving us the straight scoop on educational policy and politics is's stock in trade. The year 2014 has been designated by the No Child Left Behind Act as the year in which all children should be testing as proficient in reading and math. In a recent entry, Eduwonk makes
some well-reasoned predictions about what the year 2014 will probably look like, and where public education will go from there.

What would you do if you had worked at a job for a number of years and then someone arbitrarily raised the retirement age due to a "financial emergency." And what would you do if at the same time if management gave itself an increase in pension benefits? Well... that's what the State of Texas is doing to its teachers and Rhymes With Right
has the details.

For many of us classroom teachers surrendering monies to one or more unions is not an option. The unions simply take the money whether or not the teacher chooses to belong. Worse, the unions often use teachers' money to support political causes and candidates that the teacher may oppose. Sense of Soot brings us a round-up of some of the non-education related items that The National Education Association (NEA) busied itself with at its annual convention. (What does a boycott of Wal-Mart and Gallo Wines have to do with wages and working conditions of NEA dues-payers?)

Brand-new homeowner Coach Brown is battling intruders in the form of wasps and black-widow spiders. While avoiding stingers and bites, he wonders why he is having to spend so much time
preparing for a series of classes that "teach" teachers the obvious.

What are some of the things that a first year teacher needs when she begins her very first assignment? The First-Year Writing Teacher
is counting down the days with some sound advice for those who are about to embark on their very first teaching assignment.

Kitchen Table Math is not a blog, but a blooki. (part blog, part wiki, part book) We find the concept to be fascinating. Check out this two-parter about how students learn math, as well as the conceptual gap that many kids experience when learning about abstract operations. See Part I
here, Part II over there, and a description of what is a "blooki" (and an invitation to contribute) right here.

It is said that many public school systems are infested with nepotism and hiring-by-crony. But should a job applicant ever have to shell out big bucks to pay for medical exams and background checks in order to simply apply for a teaching job? Ruminating Dude is
reporting that is what is demanded of prospective job-seekers in Providence, Rhode Island. (Seems like "pay-to-play" to me.) He is looking for work in other locals that seem to actually want teachers to come work in their schools and shares with us some of his experiences concerning "The Interview."

The more things change the more they stay the same. Or so it's been said. Over at The Common Room, they show us how a book published in 1912 has some lessons that are
applicable in the 21st century.

I must admit that I'm fascinated by scientists and things scientific. Well, it looks as though I'm not the only history teacher one who likes science. Polski
is telling everybody about a new discovery. Here is a taste:
The new element has been named Edubureaucratium. Edubureaucratium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 11 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since edubureaucratium has no electrons, it is inert.
I just don't understand how some folks can be so dead-set against the use of computers in the classroom. I've seen several articles over the past few months that were written by folks who would seemingly have students sitting at their desks writing on slates. Over at Assorted Stuff, they us how one such critic of classroom technology can be both right and wrong.

Is Ebonics a language? Or is it nothing more than a form of non-standard English? And should it be taught in the schools? And if it is taught, what effect, if any, does it have on students' ability to speak and write standard English? The debate has now been raging for years. Over at Number 2 Pencil, they have the very latest on one of the hottest topics in the EduSphere, as well as links to what others are saying.

When we speak of the Chinese educational system, are we talking about Taiwan, Hong Kong, or mainland China? Chris Correa is always interested in comparative data and in a recent post takes
a well-reasoned look at a piece comparing Chinese and American mathematics programs.

Jenny D. has a post that
introduces many of us to an article by John B. Carroll that is considered by many to be the most cited article in the history of educational research. This entry is a must read for all who are teachers, hope to be teachers, or are interested in educational research.

Has the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act been good for kids? Well, that depends on who you ask. Some say that it's been a mixed blessing. Others argue that what's needed is a major overhaul of the statute. Quincy
takes a look at NCLB and the Achievement Gap between minority students and white students.

is what's being discussed over at What It's Like On The Inside. Did you know that kids in grades 3-12 spend an incredible 6 hours and 21 minutes of each day plugged into some sort of electronic media? How can educators use this to an advantage?

How on Earth did the teaching of mathematics ever become politicized? Does the Pythagorean Theorem belong to a political party? And it it did, who would the theorem support in the next presidential election? Darren, over at Right on the Left Coast has the latest two installments in the debate over the politicized of number theory. Part I
gets it set up, and part II jumps right in.

When it comes to individual income, how much does education matter over time? Ironman at Political Calculations
mines a report from the Dallas Fed and finds that knowledge is what matters most in determining earning power. (Some sites are just plain fun as well as informative; Political Calculations is one of them.)

If you are a stay-at-home parent, have you ever considered homeschooling your children? If the answer is "no," why not? Over at the Thomas Institute,
they are discussing the most often given reason why parents who can don't homeschool.

When I was taking my education classes, our professors preached to us that Whole Language was the program that was going to save public education. We were taught that grammar was evil. Phonics was evil. Then came content-area standards and suddenly everything changed, at least in our part of California. But the effects of Whole Language are still around and Stop The Blackmail shows us in three parts:
here, here, and over there.

Is there a such thing as "Testing to the results?" In a series of commentaries, Jerry Moore, of My Short Pencil,
is raising the alarm that the State of New York may be manipulating its scoring criteria in order to raise the percentage of test-takers who pass New York's Regents Examinations.

A recent graduate of the University of Kansas writes over at a brand-new blog called, Expression. The writer was able to actually attend the recent NECC (National Educational Computing Conference) in Philadelphia where
she delivered a presentation with other students from around the world. I'm envious; I would have loved to have attended that particular conference. Expression is off to a great start!

Who would have thought that Ogres are interested in Education? Well, Ogres are parents too, and the one that writes over at Ogre's Politics & Views is alerting folks that a teacher is alleging that there was
hanky-panky going on with the grades at a Charlotte, North Carolina high school.

And now for some entries that were selected by the editors:

Should credit for recent gains in test scores be attributed to the effects of the No Child Left Behind Act? In a thoughtful post, A Constrained Vision
gives us some straight talk. See the bonus post about public school choice in Massachusetts.

Joanne Jacobs had a multitude of great posts this week, but the one that I found most thought-provoking was the post about Washington State University's administration
approving the disruption of a performance of the satirical play Passion of the Musical by African American student Chris Lee.

Are you one of those lucky people that know how to write effectively? Are you too shy to claim credit for your writing? Do you enjoy working around scientists? If you are tired of teaching for peanuts and want to make some real money, University Diaries
knows about a job for you.

Many of us have played some variation of The In-Law Game at one time or another. Over at Fred's World, they play the game at an altogether different level. See
Part I here and Part II over there. (In this game, patience is a virtue as well as a curse.)

And finally, here at The Education Wonks, we humbly submit for your approval our entry about Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's attempt to
overthrow the city's elected school board in favor of a scheme where he would appoint both board and superintendent.
Carnival Archives

The first edition can be seen here, the second, here the third, here the fourth, here, and the fifth, here the sixth, here the seventh, here the eighth, here the ninth, here the tenth, here the eleventh here the twelfth here, the thirteenth, here the fourteenth, here the fifteenth, here, the sixteenth, here the seventeenth, here the eighteenth, here the nineteenth, here, the twentieth, here, the twenty-first, here the twenty-second, here and the twenty-third, over there. To get to EdWonk's main page, (with a variety of education-related posts) please click here.