Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Carnival Of Education: Week 48

Welcome to the New Year'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. As always, one can find a wide selection of posts from a variety of educational and political viewpoints.

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

Next Week's Carnival midway will be hosted by Jenny D. Please send contributions to: jdemonte [at] comcast [dot] net. Jenny should receive them no later than 10:00 PM (Eastern) Tuesday, January 10th. Please include the title of your post, and its URL, if possible. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the midway of the 49th edition of the Carnival should open over at Jenny's place next Wednesday morning.

See the complete set of archives
here. For our latest posts, please visit our home page.

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

Education Policy:

How should effective teaching be evaluated? Over at Going to the Mat, they propose an
altogether new paradigm for evaluating the performance of classroom teachers.

A piece by Forbes' Dan Seligman indicated that the achievement gap between economically disadvantaged students and those who are better-off cannot be closed. EdWahoo disagrees and presents some sound arguments as to why that gap exists
and what can be done to correct it. Here's a peek:
Also, I don't know, perhaps the persistent achievement gap has something to do with the fact that disadvantaged schools get on average worse teachers with less experience, lower expectations and fewer majors in their subjects; buildings which are often crumbling and don't contain adequate technology or resources such as books; and, on top of all that, receive on average $1,300 less per-pupil.
It seems as though the State of Florida is giving serious consideration to testing students in music. At Get on the Bus, Scott Elliott ponders the possibility that a child could flunk the test because he or she doesn't know Britney from The Beatles.

The recruitment and certification of teachers continues to be a hot topic in the EduSphere, with Reform
urging an end to paperwork barriers and training teachers for the realities of today's classroom.

The recent court decision barring the teaching of intelligent design in the public school classrooms of Dover, Pennsylvania continues to be hotly debated in the EduSphere. Sadly, the viewpoint of parents has largely been missing from the discussion. Happily, this is no longer the case. See post I
here and post II over there.

Many classroom teachers are required to financially support the National Education Association. But do they know where much of that money is being spent? Some of
these expenditures would be very surprising to many of the rank-and-file. (Ed's Note to the NEA: Please sponsor a comments-enabled weblog. It would be such a gas!)

Should public school students be required to furnish their own laptop computers? A political hot-potato if I ever saw one. However, A Shrewdness of Apes
doesn't hesitate to take on this controversial issue.

The expenditure of $50 million dollars to buy every 7th grader a laptop computer is being considered in the State of Illinois. At Education Matters,
they take a hard look at the idea.

Can the world of public education learn some valuable lessons from the business world? You bet they can, and The DeHavilland Blog
gives us nine examples!

Editor's Choice: The New York City affiliate of The American Federation of Teachers has a comments-enabled blog named Edwize. In a recent post,
they take a look at how district policies have negatively impacted students in New York City's public schools.

Teaching And Learning:

No matter what age the student, teaching pupils to write well is a challenge. The 2nd Grade Teacher
has some candid thoughts about this most challenging aspect of an elementary teacher's school day.

For many years, I taught in what some refer to as a "portable" classroom and what most refer to as a "trailer." I enjoyed the experience. And over at What It's Like on the Inside, the Science Goddess
has also had a "portable experience."

What's the best way to teach English to students who have recently immigrated to this country? NYC Educator learned Spanish as a second language and has some thoughts based upon his experiences.

Humbly submitted for your consideration is
our cautionary tale about the need for those who work in schools to maintain "professional distance" between themselves and students as well as the consequences for one young student teacher who did not.

Editor's Choice: We consider Tim Fredrick's place to be one of the best sites out there that primarily discusses teaching and learning in the classroom. Consider taking advantage of this opportunity to review two recent posts of his which examines Reasons not to teach whole-class, teacher-selected novels as well as the other side of the coin,
Why whole-class, teacher selected novels work.

Editor's Choice: In a tale of two teachers, Joanne Jacobs
gives us the skinny about a mother who teaches high school students in Maryland and a daughter who teaches students in Beijing.

Survival Guide For Parents And Students:

A number of years ago, the school nurses in our California disrict were all laid-off. But some schools still have these much-needed professionals and Diane Weir reminds us about all the important things that school nurses do and how certain licensure requirements in her state just don't make much sense at all.

Higher Education:

I didn't even know that there were people who majored in Social Work at Harvard University. And who would have guessed that Jon Stewart was trained in psychology? Over at Frugal Wisdom,
they discuss the value of a variety of college degrees.


The importance of getting radicalized and involved is what Vernice Jones
is showing us in the latest installment of her remarkable series of interviews of people from all walks of life.

Editor's Choice: The very first midway of The Carnival Of Homeschooling
is open for your enjoyment over at Why Homeschool.

The Secret Lives Of Teachers:

I wish that the computer-generated teaching credential that was mailed to me by the State of California looked half as pretty
as this one from the late 19th century that belonged to the ancestor of the Headmistress over at The Common Room.

Editor's Choice: With the New Orleans' public school system in complete disorder, Texas history teacher Greg over at Rhymes With Right
has the story of some of the more "special" luxury items that are being bought by Louisiana's governor.

Education Technology:

How can blogs be effectively used in the classroom? This is just one of several topics that Sophistpundit addresses in his
Pragmatic Theory of Blogging.

Inside The EduBlogs:

District Superintendent Mark J. Stock, who publishes The Wawascene, is seeking to construct a list of websites and blogs that would be of interest to k-12 school administrators. If you publish such a site/blog (or know someone who does) please email him at : mstock [at] or leave a comment at his blog.

The impeachment of President Bill Clinton has made it into the history books. Multiple Mentality
gives us the fundamentals for those who are tasked with teaching that most unpleasant episode of our country's history.

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