Tuesday, January 31, 2006

How Crooked Long Island School Administrators Hurt Kids

Officials at several Long Island, New York school districts seem to have real problem keeping their hands out of the public till:
Two former top administrators at the William Floyd School District have pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $1.5 million between them.

The admissions are the latest revelations of theft from Long Island school treasuries in percolating scandals that have prompted an audit of dozens of districts by state Comptroller Alan Hevesi.

In the most blatant example of thievery to date, six people associated with the Roslyn school district in Nassau County were charged with stealing more than $7 million from district coffers over a period of years.

In neighboring Suffolk County on Monday, Daniel Cifonelli, the former William Floyd assistant superintendent for business, pleaded guilty to five counts of grand larceny and two counts of money laundering.

He admitted stealing more than $687,000 from the district and the state retirement system, and from various district bank and insurance accounts.

Cifonelli, who retired in 1998, continued to work as a district consultant until 2003. The prosecutors' investigation found no evidence of retirement papers being filed or an application for a waiver from the state that would allow him to collect retirement benefits and a district paycheck simultaneously.

"He held a position of trust," prosecutor Maureen MacCormack said of Cifonelli. "This was not a situation where he was stealing to put food on the table. This was plain avarice."

The district's former treasurer, James Wright, pleaded guilty to one count of grand larceny and seven counts of filing a false instrument. He admitted stealing $777,145 from the district by writing checks to himself.

Both Cifonelli, 71, and Wright, 57, face two to six years in prison when they are sentenced, Cifonelli on April 3 and Wright on April 19. Cifonelli has so far repaid about $100,000 and Wright has given back $500,000, prosecutors said.

Also Monday, William Floyd's current assistant superintendent for business, Dennis Fidotta, and Michael Schildkraut, a retired assistant superintendent for personnel and administration, pleaded not guilty to a charge of filing a false instrument and official misconduct.

Prosecutors said the men, who both were released without bail, faked documents to hire Schildkraut's daughter-in-law in the business office.

The William Floyd School District is located on the south shore of Long Island, approximately 60 miles east of New York City. Its enrollment is approximately 11,000 students.

Hevesi's office estimated as much as $11.2 was missing from the Roslyn treasury, but could only link about $7 million to the accused thieves. Five of the six have pleaded guilty, including the former superintendent of schools and the district's independent auditor.
I believe that there should be a special type of punishment hell reserved for public employees and politicians who steal from kids.

But I think that these thieves are going to receive anything like the punishment they deserve. Our long-time friend Tony Iovino, who lives nearby, had this to say about the Roslyn Scandal:
Here on Long Island the Roslyn school scandal is starting to wind down. This is the case where over $11 million dollars was stolen by the Superintendent, the Business manager, etc.

Most of the culprits in this juicy scandal have pled guilty-- the sentencing is starting.

Unfortunately, the now-former DA pled the cases down to ridiculously low charges; indeed, that may have been the key reason the 30-year incumbent lost the November election.

The first sentence, that of an accountant who helped cover up the crime, was pathetically short-- 4 months.

Now this guy didn't steal any money, but the others did and their sentences will also be relatively short. Horrible. These criminals not only stole from the kids in their district, but they've made it harder for other districts to pass budgets.

I don't believe in leniency for so-called white collar crime. They should be stripped of all assets, rendered with fines and restitution that will keep them poor forever, and sentenced to long prison terms.

And I think that goes for every thief, embezzler, stock fraud artist, etc. People who don't play by the rules shouldn't be allowed to profit from their actions.
We agree with Tony's assessment and his sentiment. Stripping these peculators of their assets would certainly send an unmistakable message to others who would steal from children.

But that's probably not going to happen in today's criminal justice system in which the well-to-do are afforded special treatment even while incarcerated.

In all likelyhood, these malefactors will be sent to some sort of minimum-security facility for white-collar criminals that will be similar to the "Club Fed" that hosted convicted felon Martha Stewart.
See our latest education-related posts right here.

Not Your Grandfather's Oxford University

How this for evidence that the England of today isn't the England of yesteryear?
Oxford University, one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the world, sees the need for students to sign a contract legally obligating them to attend lectures. The school agrees to supply instruction and resources for research.
What's this going to do to the time-honored concept of the "Gentleman's 'C?"

Don't Leave Home Without Your Guide To Great Schools!

I know that it's common practice to rate hotels and restaurants based upon the number of "stars" that they've been given, but who would've thought that a state government would also be using those celestial bodies to rate its public schools?

Enjoy your four-star meal school.

Monday's Hair Puller

Here's one of those things about This Teaching Life that doesn't leave me scratching my head but makes me want to pull my hair out in clumps:

The first semester ended this past Friday. Not coincidentally, the grading period also ended this past Friday.

Some computer-generated reports needed in order to give grades for all first period classes were only distributed to teachers Monday morning.

So why on earth did our school's office mandate that grades for some 900 students must be turned in Monday afternoon, just 30 minutes after the students went home?

Where's the logic in that? Where's the rhyme or reason?

I can remember when teachers here in our part of California's "Imperial" Valley used to be considered as "professionals" and had about a week to generate their grades rather than one weekend.
Entries to this week's edition of The Carnival Of Education are due tonight. Get details right here; see our latest posts over there.

Scoring Touchdowns For His Country

Twenty-one year old Timmy Bailey has done his bit for God and Country and now he's finally moving forward with his plan to attend college on an athletic scholarship:
While other students planned to play college football, Timmy Bailey signed with a different recruiter -- Uncle Sam.

Now, after serving a year in Iraq, the 21-year-old private in the U.S. Army National Guard is back home. And remarkably, four years after Bailey graduated from a tiny high school in the rural Mississippi Delta, the soon-to-be sophomore has attracted more attention from college coaches than ever.

"It's maturity -- I'm not your average recruit," Bailey said. "I can talk better with the coaches on a one-on-one basis, and they love it."

Bailey is expected to sign a binding national letter-of-intent to play linebacker at Mississippi State on Wednesday, the first day of the national signing period, and finally begin the college football career that for years had been on hold.

"It's an amazing story, and he's an amazing kid who's not a kid anymore -- he's an amazing man," said Jeff Horn, his coach at Riverside High School in Avon, Miss.

"He's got a lot of positives going on in his life. He's done his time in Iraq, and now is his time to move forward," he said.

Bailey was a star tight end and linebacker from the nearby town of Glen Allan (pop. 1,118) who was preparing for his senior season in 2001 when he came to a startling decision. Two days after turning 17 -- and unbeknownst to his coach -- Bailey volunteered for the Army National Guard.

"At the time, coach Horn didn't know I was going to join, and he really didn't want me to join," Bailey said.

Bailey led the team that season with nearly 900 yards receiving, Horn said. But he still couldn't get the attention of the big-name college recruiters.

"I didn't get a lot of recognition out of high school. That kind of hurt me," Bailey said. "But coach Horn always said,'Keep your head up because you're going to get there one day."'

Only Southern Mississippi and in-state schools from divisions I-AA and II offered scholarships, Horn said.

"He was full-speed whether he was blocking, making tackles, catching -- he never stopped," he said.

Bailey, 6-foot-3, 237 pounds, completed basic training in 2002 and enrolled in Mississippi Delta Community College the next year, leading the team in tackles in 2003 and drawing the attention of several Division I-A schools.

But shortly before the start of his sophomore season in August 2004, he learned his unit -- the Hernando, Miss.-based Troop A 98th Cavalry -- was being activated for duty in Iraq. Bailey reported with his unit to the Guard's training site south of Hattiesburg, then spent roughly a year in the war-torn country driving trucks.

"Basically, I was in harm's way," Bailey said. "It was more IEDs (improvised explosive devices). There weren't too many crazy people that would shoot you. They liked to blow up people. That made me even more scared.

"You can lose a limb, an arm or leg, at any given moment (but) you can't think about that. If something happens, you've got to use your training and react, and hope for the best."

He returned safely to his home state on Dec. 28 and found out three Southeastern Conference schools -- Mississippi, Mississippi State and Alabama -- were recruiting him.

"Most people had their slots already filled, and here I come out of nowhere," Bailey said.

Bailey picked Mississippi State because he said coach Sylvester Croom offered him a scholarship before his deployment.

He will have four years to exhaust his three remaining seasons of eligibility, and is looking forward to resuming the playing career that at times seemed lost.

"You take it one day at a time (and) you thank God for what you have that day," Bailey said. "Now I have a chance to do something I love."
During the Second World War, and, to a lesser extent during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, this type of self-sacrifice was commonplace as young men and women put their personal plans on hold in order to serve their country in its time of need.

In these very different times and during this very different war, it's good to know that there are still some young people who are willing to put their own plans on hold while answering their country's call.

Timmy Bailey is a great example to the Nation and is one of its true heroes.
Entries to this week's edition of The Carnival Of Education are due tonight. Get details right here, see our latest posts over there.

Carnival Entries Are Due!

Entries for The Carnival Of Education are due TONIGHT over at this week's guest host Diane Weir on Education. Please send them to: dweir-westford [at] comcast [dot] net with Carnival 51 in the subject line. Submissions should be received no later than 5:00 PM (Eastern) . Include the title of your site's post, and its URL if possible. View last week's edition, right here and the complete Carnival archives over there.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the carnival's midway should open over at Diane Weir's place Wednesday morning.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Just Deserts

Have you ever gone to a professional conference and felt like doing this on the way out the door?

Targeting Progress In Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, Taliban guerrilla fighters are targeting schools:
Taliban insurgents have torched three schools in a restive southern province of Afghanistan, the latest attacks in the militants' campaign against the U.S.-backed government and its efforts to promote education.

The three newly built schools, where 1,000 boys and girls studied, were gutted on Friday night in different parts of Nawa district in Helmand province, said provincial education chief Mohammad Qasim.

"I can say that the Taliban were behind this," Qasim told Reuters on Saturday, adding that no one was hurt in the attacks.

Taliban spokesmen were not immediately available for comment.

The Taliban banned girls from school during their rule, which ended when they were ousted by U.S.-led forces in late 2001 after the Islamists refused to hand over Osama bin Laden, architect of the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Since then, insurgents battling U.S. and government forces have launched numerous attacks on schools and teachers, including deadly attacks in recent weeks in Helmand, where British troops will soon be based.

Suspected Taliban gunmen dragged a teacher from his classroom and shot him at the gates of his school in December after he had ignored warnings to stop teaching boys and girls, officials said.

In a separate attack, also in December, gunmen shot and killed an 18-year-old male student and a guard at another school in Helmand. The gunmen opened fire on teachers and said they would be killed unless the schools were shut down, police said.

In Zabul province, also in the south, a teacher was dragged from his home and beheaded last month.

Dozens of people, most of them civilians, have been killed in a wave of attacks -- including 13 suicide bombings -- across Afghanistan's south and east in recent months.

The government blames Taliban fighters and their al Qaeda allies, saying the militants want to frighten off NATO members from a planned expansion of their Afghan peacekeeping force.
In a land where girls weren't even allowed to attend schools until recently, I can't say that I'm surprised that such barbarous tactics are being used by those who would turn back the clock to the Dark Ages.

Our thoughts go out to the students and educators who have to labor under such awful conditions.
See last week's Carnival Of Education right here and our latest education-related posts over there.

Going Japanese In The Buckeye State

In and around Columbus, Ohio, live about 600 Japanese students who are trying to maintain proficiency in their home language while acquiring English and attending local public schools:
After a difficult week trying to learn a foreign language from teachers with vastly different styles from back home, about 600 Japanese students in Ohio look forward to Saturday -- for more school.

As Honda Motor Co., its suppliers and other Japanese companies transfer workers to operations in the region, Japanese students have become a fast-growing segment of English-as-a-second-language classes.

At the same time, their parents want them to keep up with Japanese language instruction in case they're transferred back to Japan.

A program that started in one family's basement in 1979 -- when Honda opened its plant in nearby Marysville -- has grown into the Columbus Japanese Language School.

The parent-run school has all-day Saturday classes for elementary through high school students in two schools in suburban Worthington. Students come as far as 88 kilometers to attend.

There are about 90 such schools in the United States serving some 50,000 Japanese children, according to Tokyo-based Japan Overseas Educational Services.

"In order to enter prestigious secondary schools and high schools, the students have to maintain age-appropriate Japanese-language ability even while they are in the U.S.," Saburo Iwasa, of the Overseas group, told the newspaper.

The day starts with calisthenics, a comforting reminder of school days back home, where uniforms are identical down to the book bags and the teachers are much stricter. Students work on repetitive drills to learn the complex written language -- memorizing 1,850 distinct characters by sixth grade.

"The U.S. system pays great attention on individual difference of learners and lets students learn from various angles," said Makoto Morioka, one of 35 teachers. The Japanese system "respects harmony, and students are taught not to disturb 'group dynamics."'

Families pay $55 a month per child through the ninth grade and $20 monthly for each high school-level class. The employers and Japanese Ministry of Education also support the school financially.

Most of the teachers are parents or college students, and supplement the part-time income with other jobs. Morioka also teaches English-as-a-second-language in Worthington middle schools, and teaches Japanese at Columbus State Community College.

While the drills are strict, the students often feel more comfortable, especially since they can speak in Japanese.

"Here, I'm open. I can be natural," said Ken Kawai, who attends sixth grade in the nearby suburb of Dublin, a district with 270 Japanese students.

The students also work hard to adjust to classes at their weekday schools. It can take 18 months or more for the children to get a good grasp of everyday English and six years to catch up academically, Iwasa said.

"We're asking these kids to do a lot, and most of them rise to the occasion," said Elana Hohl, a coordinator for the Dublin English-as-a-second-language program.

It's not only a difference of language, but of culture. The Japanese system demands respect and avoids conflict, while Americans stress individuality.

The students say the teachers are much different.

"In Japan, they can yell or scream," said Natsuki Kuno, 16. "They are strict."

Her 18-year-old sister, Mizuki, said the niceness of American teachers can leave her skeptical.

"Teachers say all the time, 'You're great. You're doing so good,"' Mizuki said. "I think, 'Really?"'

Still, students say they're starting to make friends.

Sisters Shihomi and Fumina Kiyonaga moved with their family three years ago.

They say classwork can be an opening to make friends.

"In Algebra 2, I had knowledge on it in Japan," said Fumina, 15. "I always had an A in the class. So everybody came up to me during group work.

"But that helped me with speaking English."

Shihomi, 16, said she's gotten over some of her initial shock at American culture.

"American people burp (in) front of people and throw things to each other," Shihomi said. "I was totally shocked.

"But as I became more acclimated to the U.S., my views changed a lot," she said. "Burping is still vulgar and bad, but I can stay with it. Throwing things -- I do this sometimes and my parents notice it all the time. I know that's bad, but I just can't stop doing that."
I think that the remarks offered by the students concerning the American and Japanese public education systems give us some first-hand insight into the differences between the two systems. What struck me was how 16-year-old Mizuki Keno expressed doubts about the sincerity of her American teachers when they praised her work.

At our junior high school here in California's "Imperial" Valley, our efforts to establish a "Saturday School" program for students in need of additional help was met with only lukewarm parental support.
See last week's Carnival Of Education right here and our latest education-related posts over there.

Have You Hugged Your Local Catholic School Lately?

This week marks the 33rd annual observance of "Catholic Schools Week." Here are a few statistics:
7,799 schools (6,574 elementary, 1,225 secondary).

2,420,590 enrollment (1,779,638 elementary/middle, 640,952 secondary).

Average tuition: $2,432 elementary, $5,870 secondary.
I wonder if what they used to say about all those nuns and their rulers really was true?

Curiouser And Curiouser

It just had to happen. Somebody has finally made a movie about Curious George.

Those of us of a certain age can never forget reading all about the adventures of this mischievious little monkey and his guardian, The Man in the Yellow Hat.

I hope that they've done a good job. When you mess with an American icon, you'd better do it right.

Look for Curious George in theaters February 10th. Visit George's movie website right here.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Student-Teacher Relationship: On A First Name Basis?

The time has come for Jenny D. to choose a high school for her daughter. Among the choices offered, this high school in particular caught my eye:
450-student HS; kids chosen by lottery if they apply. Students call teachers by their first names. No AP classes are offered, but kids can take them at the other two big HS. They can also design "Community Service Representative" classes that are taught by some community member. So if you can get the local newspaper editor to teach you journalism, and you can get the editor to set up a syllabus, arrange it with the school, agree to supervise--then that's a class. Fewer tests, less homework, but more meaningful homework. Kids can do sports but must travel to big HS to do it. There's a bus to get there. Very cozy. Kids eat at downtown restaurants for lunch. More white and wealthy than the other two high schools.
I'm not too sure that I'm comfortable with that part about high school students addressing teachers by their first names. The need for students to learn good manners and public decorum aside, there are some real educational concerns that I would have with this policy.

I believe that there are times when its best to maintain some semblance of formality in our society. This includes children addressing those adults in positions of authority by their courtesy titles and surnames.

I wouldn't want my 14-year-old daughter (the TeenWonk) calling her 20-something-year-old biology teacher by his first name any more than I would want my seventh-grade history students addressing me by mine.

And that works for me too. I could not imagine going into a courtroom and addressing the traffic court judge has "Hank."

The teacher-student relationship is not a relationship between friends or even equals. It is a position of trust in which the teacher is in a postion of authority and the student is in the position of being obligated to comply with the legal directives of the adult in loco parentis.

I think that a strong argument can be made for the idea that when children use the first name of adults who are in those positions of responsibility, that it sends mixed messages to both student and teacher that there is a relationship between equals thereby making it more difficult (for some) to maintain "professional distance" in the teacher-student relationship.
See last week's Carnival Of Education right here and our latest education-related posts over there.

Recommended Verbiage

Expand your vocabulary and broaden your horizons with NPR's "A Way With Words." I've been enjoying this show, which is broadcast from San Diego's National Public Radio affiliate, KPBS, for some time now. The program airs Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00 AM. (Pacific)

Listen to KPBS' simulcast right here and a rebroadcast of "A Way With Words" over there.

A Thought Exercise: Report Card Remake

In South Australia, they're changing the format used on report cards to make them more "parent friendly."

One of the changes that had been proposed but in the end was not adopted was the ranking of students by grade point average.

Even though I can easily imagine the controversy that this would cause, would it actually be productive to rank students on the report cards that would be distributed to parents?

Is There A Student Discipline "Race Gap" In Seattle?

When it comes to student discipline, is there a "race gap" in Seattle?
Nearly two decades after it began tracking student discipline, Seattle Public Schools continues to struggle with a chronic problem: African American students are still far more likely than their white peers to be suspended or expelled.

The "discipline gap" persists even as the district drastically lowered the overall number of students who were expelled last year, new statistics show.

Compared with white students, African Americans were nearly twice as likely last year to receive short-term suspensions, lasting 10 or fewer days. Long-term suspensions were imposed on black students more than twice the time.

"We're still seeing a lot of disproportionality," said School Board member Darlene Flynn, chairwoman of Student Learning Committee. "That hasn't improved at all."

The disparity was investigated by the Seattle P-I in 2002 in a special report, "An Uneven Hand," which found that black students were being disciplined at much higher rates than students of other races -- and had been for at least two decades.

The district has made an effort in recent years to provide better training to teachers and administrators and focus on alternatives to suspending or expelling students. But short- and long-term suspension rates are virtually unchanged since 2000, and in some cases are higher.

Flynn said the district needs to do a better job of lowering discipline rates, especially for black and Hispanic students.

It's a daunting problem that has long frustrated district officials. Several task forces have been convened to study the problem and make recommendations -- recommendations that were rarely followed.

In its five-year strategic plan, approved last spring, the School Board formally set a goal of narrowing the discipline gap by 20 percent a year, starting in 2005-06.
There is much more to read in the whole piece.

What is unstated by the writer of the article is the number of infractions that were said to have been committed by the various racial groups being tracked. Apparently, the focus was on the number and type of consequences being assigned.

In order to judge whether or not the Seattle system is fair, it would be best to disagregate the data by race, total number of accusations, and the number and types of consequences administered.
See last week's Carnival Of Education right here and our latest education-related posts over there.

Mamacita's Show And Tell

Once upon a time, Mamacita was teaching public speaking in rural Indiana. The kids were tasked with giving a "how to" speech:
That week, we all learned how to crochet a chain stitch, how to do macrame, how to carve a simple wooden toy, how to change a tire, how to juggle, how to put a belt on a broken vaccum cleaner, how to put a zipper in a skirt, how to make various color combinations of Easter egg dyes with food coloring and vinegar, and how to make homemade ice cream.
But that wasn't all the kids talked about. See the whole post; don't miss that cute little cartoon. Key vocabulary needed for comprehension: suppository, neuter, and calf.
See last week's Carnival Of Education right here and our latest education-related posts over there.

The Watcher's Council Has Spoken!

Each and every week, Watcher of Weasels sponsors a contest among posts from the Conservative side of the 'Sphere. The winning entries are determined by a jury of 12 writers (and The Watcher) known as "The Watchers Council."

The Council, of which we are a member, has met and cast their ballots for last week's submitted posts.

Council Member Entries: In a tie vote in which The Watcher had to cast the deciding vote, Done With Mirrors, took first place with Chaos or Community. Dr. Sanity's Ronald Reagan -- A Personal Recollection was the runner-up.

Non-Council Entries: Winds of Change was the winner in the non-council category with their entry, Just A Second – It’s Not That Dark Yet (And We Have A Really Big Flashlight).

Saturday, January 28, 2006

In Remembrance Of Teacher Christa McAuliffe

Christa McAuliffe was a mother, a teacher, and an example to the nation. It has been 20 years since she and the rest of the Challenger crew "slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God."

May we honor their memory always...

Give'em Gobblers

Here's a new take on high school student discipline: Gobbler Dollars.

I wouldn't want to be the young lady whose job it is to distribute the gobbler geenbacks; I can just imagine the jokes...

Private Vs. Public Schools: Some Surprises

When adjustments are made for differences in family income, public schools compare more favorably with private schools than many would think, writes The New York Times:

A large-scale government-financed study has concluded that when it comes to math, students in regular public schools do as well as or significantly better than comparable students in private schools.

The study, by Christopher Lubianski [sic] and Sarah Theule Lubianski, [sic] of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, compared fourth- and eighth-grade math scores of more than 340,000 students in 13,000 regular public, charter and private schools on the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress. The 2003 test was given to 10 times more students than any previous test, giving researchers a trove of new data.

Though private school students have long scored higher on the national assessment, commonly referred to as "the nation's report card," the new study used advanced statistical techniques to adjust for the effects of income, school and home circumstances. The researchers said they compared math scores, not reading ones, because math was considered a clearer measure of a school's overall effectiveness.

The study found that while the raw scores of fourth graders in Roman Catholic schools, for example, were 14.3 points higher than those in public schools, when adjustments were made for student backgrounds, those in Catholic schools scored 3.4 points lower than those in public schools. A spokeswoman for the National Catholic Education Association did not respond to requests for comment.

The exam is scored on a 0-to-500-point scale, with 235 being the average score at fourth grade, and 278 being the average score at eighth grade. A 10-to-11-point difference in test scores is roughly equivalent to one grade level.

The study also found that charter schools, privately operated and publicly financed, did significantly worse than public schools in the fourth grade, once student populations were taken into account. In the eighth grade, it found, students in charters did slightly better than those in public schools, though the sample size was small and the difference was not statistically significant.

"Over all," it said, "demographic differences between students in public and private schools more than account for the relatively high raw scores of private schools. Indeed, after controlling for these differences, the presumably advantageous private school effect disappears, and even reverses in most cases."

The findings are likely to bolster critics of policies supporting charter schools and vouchers as the solution for failing public schools. Under President Bush's signature No Child Left Behind law, children in poorly performing schools can switch schools if space is available, and in Washington, D.C., they may receive federally financed vouchers to attend private schools.

Howard Nelson, a lead researcher at the American Federation of Teachers, said the new study was based on the most current national data available. The federation, an opponent of vouchers that has criticized the charter movement, studied some of the same data in 2004 and reported that charter schools lagged behind traditional public ones.

"Right now, the studies seem to show that charter schools do no better, and private schools do worse," Mr. Nelson said. "If private schools are going to get funding, they need to be held accountable for the results."

Supporters of vouchers and charter schools, however, pointed to the study's limitations, saying it gave only a snapshot of performance, not a sense of how students progressed over time. Jeanne Allen, president of the Center for Education Reform, said other state and local studies showed results more favorable to charter schools.

Nelson Smith, president of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, said that many students went to charter schools after doing poorly in traditional public schools, and took time to show improvement.

"Snapshots are always going to be affected by that lag," Mr. Smith said.

Officials at the federal Education Department, which has been a forceful proponent of vouchers and charter schools, said they did not see this study as decisive. "We've seen reports on both sides of this issue," said Holly Kuzmich, deputy assistant secretary for policy. "It just adds one more to the list."

The study was financed with a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences at the Education Department, but was independent. The federal government is expected to issue two more studies looking at the same data and using similar techniques. Those studies are still undergoing peer review, but are expected to be released in early spring.

The current study found that self-described conservative Christian schools, the fastest-growing sector of private schools, fared poorest, with their students falling as much as one year behind their counterparts in public schools, once socioeconomic factors like income, ethnicity and access to books and computers at home were considered.

Taylor Smith Jr., vice president for executive support at the Association of Christian Schools, which represents 5,400 predominantly conservative Christian schools in the United States, said that many of the group's members did not participate in the national assessment, which he thought could make it a skewed sample. Mr. Smith said he did not know how many schools from other Christian organizations participated.

The report found that among the private schools, Lutheran schools did better than other private schools. Nevertheless, at the fourth-grade level, a 10.7 point lead in math scores evaporated into a 4.2 point lag behind public schools. At the eighth-grade level, a 21 point lead, roughly the equivalent of two grade levels, disappeared after adjusting for differences in student backgrounds.
It would be interesting to see a thorough analysis of the methodology used in this study. My guess is that much will be made of these findings, but will they stand up to scrutiny?

Related: Edwize
See this week's Carnival Of Education right here and our latest education-related posts over there.

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Recess Conundrum

Is it appropriate for a teacher to cancel an entire class's recess because students "aren't far enough along in their studies?"
A Central Texas mom is mad at her son's school for not letting his fourth grade class out to recess.

"I'm really concerned no only for my son, but also for the other kids who don't have recess," says Lina Abad. She says her 9-year-old is hyper-active and not having recess only makes him get into trouble.

But, at Waco Independent School District's Meadow Brook Elementary, policy is for the individual teacher to schedule recess for their class.

Principal John Campbell told us if the teacher does not feel the students are far enough along in studies, then recess can be cancelled.

Physical Education classes are scheduled every other day, but according to research, it might not be enough.

"We need that recess," says Baylor Professor of Physical Education, Doctor Karen Fredenburg. "We need that break or that freedom from what they have to do, that structure all day long."

Experts say recess actually helps promote learning, by giving an outlet to digest all the information.

And Dr. Fredenburg says further studies show P.E.is a class like math or reading. The structure format doesn't allow children the freedom to make choices that recess does.
Personally, I think that students need a daily recess; kids need to be kids. Having said that, teachers also need that little break from the classroom.

With the epidemic of childhood obesity becoming steadily worse, I firmly believe that students need physical education each and every school day.
See this week's Carnival Of Education right here and our latest education-related posts over there.

Rise Of The Charters: The New York City Experiment

Keep your eye on this New York City charter school that's being run by the United Federation of Teachers, (affiliated with the AFT) which is the local teachers union:
Observers say the success or failure of United Federation of Teachers Elementary Charter School could affect attempts to unionize charter schools at a time when teachers unions have been ambivalent at best about such schools, which are publicly funded but independently run.

"It's potentially a big deal whether it succeeds or fails because there's implications in New York and there's implications nationally of initiatives like this," said Andrew Rotherham, co-director of Education Sector, a Washington think tank and a board member of the New York Charter Schools Association.

The success of the school, or lack of it, could also influence the debate over limiting the number of charter schools in New York state and could impact the strained relationship between hard-core school choice backers and teachers unions.

The nation's two largest teachers unions, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, have been lukewarm at best toward charter schools, saying they support them but usually attaching conditions. More than 3,600 charter schools operate nationwide, according to the Center for Education Reform.

Supporters, who have President Bush in their corner, tout the charter movement as a way for educators to rid themselves of red tape _ including union-negotiated contracts and rules _ while pursuing higher student achievement. Critics say such schools shift much-needed money away from regular public schools.

The UFT, a powerful city union with more than 140,000 members, wants to prove charter schools can succeed while being unionized. The staff at the charter school, which just started its second semester, operates under the existing contract with the city's Department of Education.

"With each passing day, it gets stronger and stronger," union president Randi Weingarten said of the school.

The union charter school has 150 kindergarten and first-grade students who were selected by lottery. The union plans to expand the school in the fall.

Rita Danis, the school leader, said teachers help plan the curriculum and activities, a collaborative model that is not common among public schools. And teachers say there is less micromanagement, whereas at other schools even their bulletin boards may face mandates.

The city's education department is supporting the union with its charter school venture, including letting it share building space with a public school for free. Schools Chancellor Joel Klein's backing of the charter movement is exceptionally strong for the head of a public school system.

Rosa Cribb said her grandson Skyler Rogers adores his teachers and classes. After they learned he was accepted into the union school, she and her daughter, Skyler's mom, cried, she said.

"The public school he would have gone to in the neighborhood, we would not want him to go there," Cribb said. "I've seen some of the kids that go there, it's just not right. It is overcrowded."
Did you notice that in this school the person in charge isn't called a principal but the "school leader?"

It will be very interesting indeed to see if a teachers union can successfully run a school. I hope that the experiment is successful, as it could give parents yet another alternative for public school choice.

Here in California's "Imperial" Valley, our school district has folks who visit classrooms for the purpose of ensuring that teachers at the same grade-level have the same bulletin boards on their classroom walls.

Related: Andrew Rotherham's excellent Ed-policy blog Eduwonk.com
See this week's Carnival Of Education right here and our latest education-related posts over there.

No Habla Parent Permission Slips

How on earth do folks this naive obtain teaching credentials?
District officials in Fayette County, Kentucky, suspended high school Spanish teacher Fernando Del Pino for showing the R-rated movie The 40-Year-Old Virgin to students Monday.

The school policy on videos requires parental consent before an R-rated movie can be shown. But administrators were also upset about another small but salient point...
Get the whole story over at Intercepts.

How on earth can a public school teacher possibly justify the showing of any "R" rated movie as an instructional tool?

And no, I don't think that the "sex ed" angle would work.
See this week's Carnival Of Education right here and our latest education-related posts over there.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Dress Code Education: Boys In Skirts

What does an enterprising young man do in order to protest his New Jersey high school's "no shorts" policy? Why he wears a skirt instead:
A male high school student from Bergen County will be allowed to wear a skirt to school after the American Civil Liberties Union intervened on his behalf.

The ACLU of New Jersey announced Tuesday that it had reached an agreement with the Hasbrouck Heights School District allowing 17-year-old Michael Coviello, a high school senior, to wear the attire as a protest against the school's no-shorts policy. The district's dress code bans shorts between Oct. 1 and April 15, but allows skirts, a policy Coviello believes is discriminatory.

At first, Coviello wore a costume-style dress, and high school officials objected, telling him to go home and change. The district's superintendent then advised the Coviello to purchase everyday dresses and skirts at a retail store, which Coviello did, the ACLU said.

But after a few days, the student was sent home with a note from his principal saying if he wore a dress, kilt or skirt, he could no longer attend school.

That was when his mother contacted the ACLU, which in turn contacted the superintendent on Jan. 3. The organization protested that all students -not just girls- are entitled to wear skirts, and that Coviello's fashion statement is protected by the First Amendment.

Last week, the district agreed that Coviello could wear skirts.

"I'm happy to be able to wear skirts again to bring attention to the fact that the ban on shorts doesn't make sense," said Coviello in a statement.

The Hasbrouck Heights superintendent, Joseph C. Luongo, did not return telephone messages left Tuesday by The Associated Press.
I've got to hand it to our old buddies over at the ACLU. They don't seem to have a problem with the appointed-for-life Supreme Court Law Making Body kicking families out of their homes and giving the land to a private company for its financial gain, but they're eager to go to the wall for a boy's right to cross-dress in a public high school.

As New York's fashion week is rapidly approaching, I wonder if
The Manolo would recommend these to go with that young man's "costume" dresses?

Via: Dave Berry, Tipped By: Kauai Mark
See this week's Carnival Of Education right here and our latest education-related posts over there.

Classroom Realities

Gracie over at Today's Homework writes:
So far this year, I've taught my kids two different ways to add physical description to writing. Their semester exam writing prompt was to compare and contrast the old school with the new one. I told them that I would be scoring for written expression by looking for physical description. Maybe twenty out of all my kids put in any physical description at all. Of those, less than ten used more than simple minimal adjectives. "The classrooms are yellow and cold." "The stairs are steep."

I couldn't believe it. The vast majority of my kids totally ignored what they were supposed to do -- and sensory description is something that they have been doing since the third grade.
Consider reading the whole thing.

Motivating the unmotivatable is one of the hardest things that we as teachers are tasked to do. For all too many teachers, what happened to Gracie is an every day occurrence.

Given the realities of today's public school classrooms, is there an answer to this age-old challenge?
See our latest education-related posts right here.

Girls BasketBrawl

When I read this story out of Cincinnati, I didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or merely sit in stunned disbelief:
The varsity and junior varsity girls' basketball teams at Hughes and Woodward both have been suspended from competition indefinitely, after a fight at Saturday's JV game between the schools at Woodward.

Dave Dierker, Cincinnati Public Schools athletic director, said the teams will not play pending an investigation. Both Hughes and Woodward are CPS schools.

"It's a very unfortunate situation, but it needs to be fully explored," Dierker said. "It could last two games. It could last the whole season. We don't know yet, but it will be a (CPS) district decision."

Cincinnati school district spokeswoman Janet Walsh said two basketball coaches, Woodward varsity coach Randall Broxterman and Hughes JV coach Michelle Davis, have been suspended from their coaching duties, pending an investigation.

Walsh said the coaches allegedly were involved in the incident, but she could not give additional details. Davis and Broxterman could not be reached for comment.

The incident occurred about midway through the Hughes-Woodward JV game Saturday, Dierker said, and resulted in the rest of the game being canceled. The varsity game, which was to be played after the JV game, also was canceled after the fight.

Dierker said the incident originated in the stands and did not at first involve either team's players, but then matters spilled onto the basketball court and some of the teams' JV and varsity players became involved. Dierker said he did not know of any serious injuries.
I wonder if there is any record of a spelling bee or the Academic Decathlon ending in hand-to-hand combat?
See our latest posts right here.

Tragedy In Florida

This tragic crash involving a school bus, a car, and a truck killed seven children who were riding in the auto.

Nine students who were aboard the bus were thrown from the vehicle by the force of the impact. Three were "seriously" hurt while six others sustained what are said to be "minor" injuries.

Once again, this will bring the debate over requiring the use of seat belts on school busses into sharper focus.

Is this an idea whose time come?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Question Of The Day

In many workplaces, favoritism is a major concern. How does one know who are the boss's "favorites" at your workplace?

The Carnival Of Education: Week 51

Welcome to this week's edition of The Carnival Of Education. The midway's exhibits are grouped into several categories and were submitted by the writers unless labeled otherwise.

If you have a site and are interested in guest hosting an edition of The Carnival Of Education, please let us know via the email address given below.

Please consider helping spread the word about the midway. Links are appreciated, trackbacks are adored. As always, your comments and constructive criticism are always most welcome.

Special Announcement: Next week's midway will be hosted over at Diane Weir on Education. Please send contributions to: dweir-westford [at] comcast [dot] net with Carnival 51 in the subject line. Submissions should be received no later than 5:00 PM (Eastern) Tuesday, January 31st. Please include the title of your post, and its URL, if possible. The midway should open over at Diane's place next Wednesday morning.

Last week's midway 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:

The state of Florida says that it has enough money to issue each teacher a laptop computer. Or give their teachers a pay raise. But the state government says that there's not enough for both. Which
would you choose?

Writing at his blog, Get on the Bus, this post by Scott Elliott, education reporter of the Dayton Daily News is a must read. The title says it all:
Is It All About The Money? Agree or disagree, your thoughts will be provoked.

Opening a brand-new public charter school is a meticulous process involving (among other things) personnel, plant, and curricula. Principal Chris Lehman, of Philadelphia's soon-to-open Science Leadership Academy,
lets you have the inside scoop on what makes for a relevant high school English curriculum.

When students don't learn, who is ultimately accountable? Always a controversial topic, Education Matters
doesn't hesitate to take on the issue. Here's one key phrase from the post: "You want accountability? Measure students every year, and start taking names."

When it comes to paying for campus improvements, those charged with school oversight must oftentimes strike a balance between beauty and utility when it comes to paying for new school buildings. Next week's midway host Diane Weir offers
some sound reasoning on striking that balance.

Here's an interesting educational practice: In a certain eastern state, high school students who maintain a "B" average and obtain a certain minimum score on the ACT don't have to pay college tuition. Now 60% of high school graduates are attending college.
Find out how this is done over at Don Surber's place.

There is a fierce debate going on in education circles over the possible need to adopt a set of national subject-area standards. But the forward-thinking Spunkyhomeschool is
way ahead of the curve. Here's a peek:
Maybe we ought to just have the UN establish a Department of Education. That way we can have global standards and everyone everywhere can learn the same things. Oh wait, Bill Gates already thought of that. He is already working with UNESCO to develop and implement global curriculum and standards. Beginning with universal primary education. Bummer, he always thinks up the good ideas first. And now maybe the Koreans won't have to leave Korea to get the same education as the Americans. We will truly become a world where....
Editor's Choice: While the National Education Association continues to ignore calls (here, here, and especially, over there) for the sponsorship of a comments-enabled NEA weblog, The American Federation of Teachers, which is the nation's second-largest teachers union, continues to expand its presence in the EduSphere with a brand-new blog that encourages discussion of issues related to the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Say hello to: NCLBlog.

Many school districts are locked in protracted battles over when to start the school year. Why? Many argue that earlier starting dates help raise test scores. But others are convinced that the first day of school should be late August or even early September. Rhymes With Right
explores both sides of the issue.

Critical Mastiff points out that the we are using an outdated model for educating our young people. Many would agree. But instead of merely pointing out the obvious, CM
proposes an exhaustively-written remedy.

Would you believe, of all things, that differing religious beliefs and practices has become a source of concern in, of all places, Scotland's education system?
Believe it!

Humbly submitted for your approval is our post announcing new federal requirements that public schools which participate in the National School Lunch Program formulate what are known as "student wellness policies" to combat the epidemic of student obesity.

Teaching and Learning:

One of my favorite movies has always been "Cool Hand Luke." In
a highly readable post, The Reflective Teacher uses this classic motion-picture and the hit movie "Napoleon Dynamite" to teach metaphors. Some might compare Luke's world with their own school experiences...

Lisa asked her students
a thought-provoking question: "How do you know if someone is smart?" The answers may surprise you...

In the modern world, what happens when a math teacher catches a student being truant on test day? Why, the student's mother
gets mad at the teacher that's what happens!

Fewer kids seem to interested in choosing a career in a science-related field. Why is that? The Goddess
examines the problem and tells us of a great science lesson for the first day of school.

It looks as though some journalists are
mathematically challenged. I wonder why that is?

Is it possible to fall in love with a blog template? The Median Sib has a great one, and she also has some great teaching ideas about using
Sign Language for Reading Strategies.

Are student-written classroom journals always a good thing? Multiple Mentality looks at the
pros-and-cons. And lets us know what an "anablog" is.

I firmly believe that the best teachers are also active learners. In a two-parter, A History Teacher has recently reached some milestones and is now
reflecting on the past and thinking about the future.

Higher Education:

With our 14-year old daughter (the TeenWonk) approaching her college years, anything about the rapidly rising cost of a college education deserves our closest attention. Costs are increasing much faster than the overall inflation rate and Political Calculations offers
an original theory as to the cause.

The Collegiate Way
invites readers to stop in and "read the latest news on the global trend to improve campus life by creating small, diverse, faculty-led residential colleges within
large universities."

Testing And Technology:

At Education in Texas,
they've put together a handy set of easy step-by-step instructions that will let your computer generate a "readability score" for most documents written in Microsoft Word. (I tried this myself, and it works! Sweet.)

Survival Guide for Students and Parents:

Reader Liz D. sent us
this interesting post from Odd Time Signatures. It's about how a student blossomed in his sophomore year after he started receiving instruction more suited to his learning style.

Have you ever wondered how some teachers design certain tests and how savvy students can prepare for 'em? Darren, over at Right on the Left Coast,
gives us the skinny on a time-honored technique that can benefit one in school.... and out.

The Secret Lives Of Teachers:

Have you ever attended a staff meeting that seemingly has no positive value? Muse, who teaches in Israel, attended a recent staff meeting armed with an undefeatable coping strategy only to learn that there could be no possible way to cope with
this outcome.

I think that just about every teacher who has ever taught for any length of time can appreciate this post by Polski3. Who says that one can ever have too much of a good thing?

Inside The EduBlogs:

Here's a great idea that I wish that I had thought of first. Matt Johnston, of Going to the Mat, is conducting a series of Blog Reviews. In this week's entry, Matt
takes a look at next week's Carnival host, Diane Weir on Education.

Editor's Choice: Don't miss the fourth edition of The Carnival of Homeschooling over at The Common Room.

And finally: As always, this journey around the EduSphere has been both enjoyable and informative. Thanks to all the contributors whose submissions make the midway's continuing success possible and all the readers who make it rewarding.

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

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Federal Rules That Don't Bite

Schools participating in the National School Lunch Program, (and that means just about every public school in the country) will soon be required to develop "student wellness policies:"
"Gather up the kids for some good news: They might be waving goodbye to Skittle-enhanced math lessons, deep-fried chicken nuggets, after-school Cokes and leisurely recesses.

Next school year, they should find a more healthful environment at school.

In the fall, schools in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National School Lunch Program are required to have wellness policies addressing nutrition education, physical fitness and the healthfulness of all foods available at school -- including the lunchroom, vending machines and classrooms.

Previously, only lunches fell under USDA jurisdiction.

Each school district is being asked to develop wellness policies through an advisory board of parents, students, food service employees, school board members, school administrators and members of the public.

The nation's epidemic of childhood obesity prompted the law, part of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act June 2004, said USDA spokeswoman Jean Daniel.

"We all realized we're seeing overweight and obesity in children, and we realized there was a role schools could play in helping with the problem," she said.

The percentage of overweight children ages 12-19 more than tripled in the past 30 years, from 5 percent to 15.5 percent, according to the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools at George Washington University.

The law creates an opportunity for schools to eliminate the contradiction that sometimes exists between nutrition lessons and the food and drink items sold at school.

"It's not a gotcha' sort of thing," said Steve Forde, of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, where the bill was written.
There's much more to read over on pages two and three.

Usually, we're not in favor of additional federal regulations and the accompanying red tape, but as the problem of student obesity continues to worsen, it's becoming painfully obvious that many parents simply will not teach their children healthy eating habits. Somebody needs to do something.

The health of our nation's children depends on it.
Entries to this week's edition of The Carnival Of Education are due tonight. Get details right here; see our latest posts over there.

No Name-Calling Week: Kudos And Controversy

As part of a nationwide effort to focus attention on an age-old problem that continues to plague our schools, this has been declared "No Name-Calling Week" by a number of organizations. But not everyone is happy with the idea:
Using a young readers' novel called "The Misfits" as its centerpiece, middle schools nationwide will participate in a "No Name-Calling Week" initiative starting Monday. The program, now in its second year, has the backing of groups from the Girl Scouts to Amnesty International but has also drawn complaints that it overemphasizes harassment of gay youths.

The initiative was developed by the New York-based Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, which seeks to ensure that schools safely accommodate students of all sexual orientations. GLSEN worked with James Howe, the openly gay author of "The Misfits" and many other popular children's books.

"Gay students aren't the only kids targeted - this isn't about special rights for them," Howe said. "But the fact is that 'faggot' is probably the most common insult at schools."

"The Misfits" deals with four much-taunted middle schoolers - one of them gay - who run for the student council on a platform advocating an end to nasty name-calling.

GLSEN is unsure how many schools will participate in this week's event, but says 5,100 educators from 36 states have registered, up from 4,000 last year. Participation in a related writing-music-art contest rose from 100 students last year to 1,600 this year; the winning poem was written by Sue Anna Yeh, a 13-year-old from Sugar Land, Texas.

"No Name-calling Week" takes aim at insults of all kinds - whether based on a child's appearance, background or behavior. But a handful of conservative critics have zeroed in on the references to harassment based on sexual orientation.

"I hope schools will realize it's less an exercise in tolerance than a platform for liberal groups to promote their pan-sexual agenda," said Robert Knight, director of Concerned Women for America's Culture and Family Institute.

"Schools should be steering kids away from identifying as gay," Knight said. "You can teach civility to kids and tell them every child is valued without conveying the message that failure to accept homosexuality as normal is a sign of bigotry."

In Iowa, complaints by scores of parents about the gay themes in "The Misfits" prompted the Pleasant Valley School Board to rule that teachers could no longer read it aloud to elementary school classes, although it could remain in school libraries.

In Colorado, lawmakers last year rejected a proposal to declare a statewide "No-Name Calling Week" in conjunction with the inaugural GLSEN-backed event. House Majority Leader Keith King said he was concerned about fostering a "victim's mentality" and argued that children should be taught to ignore taunts.

In contrast, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm issued a proclamation recognizing the event, and more than 40 national organizations have enlisted as partners, including the Girl Scouts, the national associations of elementary and secondary school principals, and the National Education Association.

"People who would criticize this, regardless of who came out with it, are people with bad hearts," said Jerald Newberry, who directs the NEA's health information network.

"This is as vanilla as you get in terms of creating safe environments in schools," Newberry said. "To criticize this program would, almost without exception, be a political attack, not an attack on its content."

James Garbarino, a Cornell University professor who has studied school bullying, said harassment based on sexual orientation "ought to be No. 1 on the list" as educators combat name-calling. Such taunting has led to violence and suicides, he said.

Whether programs like "No Name-Calling Week" work depends on whether staff and students heed the lessons yearlong, not just during special events, Garbarino said. "When it's done in a mechanical, mindless way, when it's just for show, kids see the hypocrisy of it," he said.

GLSEN executive director Kevin Jennings agreed that schools should do more than hold a one-week event; he hopes to evaluate systematically whether the initiative indeed reduces name-calling. "Every week should be 'No Name-Calling Week', but having one week at least raises the visibility of the issue," he said.

One of GLSEN's most persistent critics is Warren Throckmorton, director of counseling at Grove City College, a Christian school outside Pittsburgh. His skeptical comments about "No Name-Calling Week" have been widely circulated this month on conservative Web sites.

"There's no question middle school can be a difficult place - I'm not advocating that any group gets mistreated," Throckmorton said in a telephone interview.

"But it will definitely make traditionally oriented teachers and parents and kids feel very uncomfortable, if they happen to object to homosexuality on moral grounds," he said of GLSEN's program. "If you disagree, you're hateful, you're bigoted, you're a homophobe. They're using name-calling to combat name-calling."

Another critic is Brenda High of Pasco, Wash., an anti-bullying activist since her 13-year-old son committed suicide in 1998 following harassment at school.

"The use of 'The Misfits' as a basis for this teaching puts the emphasis on the subgroup of the harassment victim instead of on the perpetrator of harassment - the bully," she said.

But Howe said critics of "No Name-Calling Week" seem reluctant to acknowledge the scope of anti-gay harassment in schools.

"Homosexuality is not a moral issue - it's a fact, and kids who are gay, or maybe just different, need to be allowed to grow up in a safe environment just like everybody else," he said.
It's too bad that such a good idea has become mired in such controversy. But then again, in my 14 years of classroom service, it's been my observation that bullies rarely pay much attention to such attempts to use "moral suasion" in order to stop them from terrorizing their classmates.

I have found that a well-implemented "Zero Tolerance" anti-bullying policy is much more effective in combatting these little thugs. And no, I don't feel much pity for the bullies. Mine is reserved for their victims.

On the web: See the No Name-Calling Week website
Entries to this week's edition of The Carnival Of Education are due tonight. Get details right here, see our latest posts over there.

Green Mountain State Education

In Vermont, they have the lowest student-teacher ratio in the nation, some of the smallest class sizes, rank number 22nd in terms of teacher pay, and steadily declining enrollment.

So what's the problem?

I think that you can probably
guess the answer.
Entries to this week's edition of The Carnival Of Education are due tonight. Get details right here, see our latest posts over there.

Carnival 'O Rama

There's lots of bloggy goodness at the fourth edition of The Carnival of Homeschooling over at The Common Room.

And would you believe that there is a such thing as a Carnival of the Etymologies?

Believe it!

Of Math And Texts

Psst! Hey buddy!

Are you in the market for a good Math blog?

I have just what you're looking for right here.

Carnival Entries Are Due!

Entries for the 51st edition of The Carnival Of Education are due TONIGHT. We should receive them no later than 9:00 PM. (Pacific). Send all submissions to owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net. Include the title of your site's post, and URL if possible. View last week's edition, right here and the complete Carnival archives over there.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the carnival's midway should open here at the 'Wonks Wednesday morning.