Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Carnival Of Education: Week 45

Welcome to this week's edition of The Carnival Of Education. All entries were submitted by the writers except those labeled "Editor's Choice," and are grouped into several categories. I was particularly pleased with this week's diversity of subjects addressed by our contributors.

A successful carnival is a team effort. Please consider helping spread the word. And as always, your comments and constructive criticism are most welcome.

An Important Announcement: Next Week's Carnival midway will be guest-hosted by Coturnix over at Circadiana. Please send contributions to: coturnix1[at] aol [dot] com. They should be received no later than 5:00 PM (Eastern) 2:00 PM (Pacific) Tuesday, December 20th. Please include the title of your post, and its URL, if possible. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the midway of the 46th edition of the Carnival should open next Wednesday morning.

Last week's Carnival, hosted by What It's Like on the Inside, is here. See the complete set of archives
there. For our latest posts, please visit our home page.

Let the free exchange of thoughts and ideas begin...

Education Policy:

We think that the EduSphere's best satirist is the Super (as in Superintendent) over at The Super's Blog. In
this week's entry, the Super proposes that some parents might want vouchers that would enable their children to escape higher-performing schools in the San Francisco area and place their children in the lower-performing school of their choice.

What is the purpose of American public education? At the Oxford University Press weblog, author Patricia Albjerg Graham asserts that it's
all about the access. A must read.

Every year at this time there's quite a bit of debate on the appropriateness of Christmas carols in the schools. But has anyone ever thought to ask the music teachers their opinion? Well, Melinama did,
and here's what they're saying.

Chris Lehmann has just finished reading Malcom Gladwell's The Tipping Point and is wondering why schools aren't applying some of the ideas found there
to public education. Come to think of it, why aren't they?

It's always good when teachers are given meaningful roles in the adoption of curricula. Most teachers jump at the chance, and Donna didn't miss her opportunity. And then
reality came calling.

The subject of school vouchers continues to be hotly debated and discussed throughout the EduSphere and the Larger Sphere. Why Homeschool
presents their case in support of voucher programs and why they won't be happening anytime soon.

What's the best way of attracting quality teachers to the classroom? Ogre's Politics and Views has
some very provocative proposals. Here's one of them: "Change their working conditions so THEY are in charge of the classroom and not the children." Read this post with caution. Remember, you've been warned.

Once again we've been hearing a significant amount of "buzz" about an impending teacher shortage in California. But is this shortage a fact or fiction? Humbly submitted
for your consideration is our post on the subject.

Editor's Choice:
Via Mike at Education in Texas, the Schools Matter blog is breaking the story of how the voters in a Colorado school district have opted out of the federal No Child Left Behind Act and are making up the difference by increasing their local taxes.

Editor's Choice: Joanne Jacobs
was the first with the story of the Kansas school principal who suspended a student for speaking Spanish in the school hallway and what happened afterwards.

Teaching And Learning:

Hey!! Take
a look at this entry that featured snapshots from a real-life working science class! How on earth did the kids in the Science Goddess' class make all those bubbles?

Why don't kids like to read? That's one of education's Eternal Questions. Over at the highly-readable Tim Fredrick's place,
they ponder the possibilities as well as some possible solutions.

Just about everyone can use a tip or two when it comes to the teaching or learning of math. This week, MathandText brings us
a helpful lesson for understanding The Order of Operations. (Say goodbye to Aunt Sally!)

What is a middle school teacher to do when a student doesn't even attempt to do the work? The result is that some 50% of PostHipChick's students are now earning a grade of "F" and phc is looking for
some help from readers. Here's a sample:
I don't know what to do anymore about the academics. Sure, I could spend all of my spare time calling parents- but don't they get the progress reports sent home with big F's? Out of 55 F's, I will probably get two calls from parents who are concerned.

I give these students directions, instructions, chances to draw it and write it and stand on their head if it makes them learn it, and still... Nothing. I'm knocking on doors and nobody is home. You may (or may not) be shocked by how many 8th grade students need to be prompted into the most basic things, like what a noun is. I would say at least 75% of my students couldn't tell you right off the bat. A noun. Where have they spent the last nine years of their lives?
Today's public school teacher usually has to devote a certain percentage of what should be instructional time to "classroom management." At Today's Homework, Graycie has created a method for calming-down a group of overly chatty students.

I'd often thought that teaching English to students in Israel would be a pretty straightforward proposition. Until I read this post from Muse at Me-ander, who let's us know that kids are kids and
grammar is grammar.

Higher Education:

The teaching of evolution is one of the hot-topics in education today. Next week's Carnival host Bora, over at Science and Politics,
would like to recommend a method for teaching Darwin's ground-breaking theory.

Mamacita at Scheiss Weekly has written
a highly-entertaining post that successful shows why some students just don't succeed in school. We call this entry "The Slacker Dialogues." Both entry and comments are a must read. And don't miss this follow-up that explains Why Slackers Exist.

With all of the problems confronting our nation at this time, apparently the United States Congress has nothing better to do with its time than to
legislate college football. (I seem to remember that Will Rogers had something to say about the Congress way back when.)

At NoSpeedBumps, they've noticed that women now constitute a large majority of college students. But after also noting that doesn't seem to be the case in the field of engineering, Speed links to
an unorthodox proposal for increasing the percentage of female engineers.


Number 2 Pencil brings us
the remarkable story of the homeschooled kid who won a national science competition. In this bonus post, see what happens when a testing company makes a monumental mistake in the administration of a high school exit exam.

Is homeschooling the right choice for your kids? That's not always an easy question to answer for a variety of reasons. Over at The Common Room, they'll help you
make up your mind.

Homeschooler Vernice Jones has been conducting a powerful series of interviews with folks from all walks of life. Don't miss
this week's interview of a man living with HIV.

Survival Guide For Students And Parents:

A mother of an out-of-control 8-year-old calls the police, has the kid handcuffed, and then the police take the girl to her school and drop her off... where she promptly goes out of control again and is again put into 'cuffs. A Shrewdness of Apes is bringing us the news of who was held accountable, who was not,
and who should have been.

In their Carnival debut, Casting Out Nines
has a prayer that students studying for their finals may find comforting.

EdWonk's Note to parents: Why are you folks allowing your child to take
their electronic gadgets to school?

When teachers unions get involved in the process of electing school board members, does this undermine the influence of parents in the community? Are school boards losing their traditional independence? Education Matters
considers the possibilities.

The Secret Lives Of Teachers:

Darren over at Right on the Left Coast, was the recipient of what's become a relatively rare treat for a teacher nowadays: a glimpse into the real lives of
some of his students.

Polski3 brings us his latest installment of what life was like teaching on the Navajo Reservation near Red Mesa, Arizona. Here's your chance to learn a few words of Navajo.

Technology And Testing:

It seems as though just about every high school student in America now has a secret (or not-so-secret) "MySpace" account. So what would happen if a high school teacher got one as an experiment? That's exactly what Coach Brown did and
he's got the results of the lab work.

Considering all the millions of dollars that has been spent on EduTechnology in recent years, why are so many folks resistant to its use in the classroom? That's something that I've often considered myself but I believe that Tim at Assorted Stuff has
the correct answer.

Inside The EduBlogs:

Editor's Choice: I came across this amusing anecdote over at Ramblin Educat. It's all about one young man's confusion over his self-described sexual orientation.

As always, we've thoroughly enjoyed this trip around the EduSphere. A special thanks to all who have contributed and continue to make the publication of this midway possible. I'm looking forward to visiting next week's Carnival midway over at Circadiana.

This midway is registered at TTLB's carnival roundup. See The Education Wonks' latest posts here, and the complete Carnival archives over there.