Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Carnival Of Education: Week 86

Welcome to the 86th edition of The Carnival Of Education! We are delighted that after an extended "road trip," the Midway has returned to its home.

This collection of submissions from around the EduSphere represents a very wide variety of political and educational viewpoints. U
nless they are labeled otherwise, all entries were submitted by the writers.

If you have a website and are interested in hosting an edition of The Carnival Of Education, please let us know via this email address: edwonk [at] educationwonks [dot] org.

Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word about last week's midway. Links are much appreciated, trackbacks are, as always, adored. Visit the Carnival's archives here and see our latest EduPosts there.

Next Week's Carnival midway will be hosted by The Current Events In Education. Please send contributions to: ap [at] Pass-Ed [dot] com, or use this handy submission form. Current Events should receive them no later than 5:00 PM (Eastern) 2:00 PM (Pacific) Tuesday, October 3rd. Please include the title of your post, and its URL, if possible. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the midway should open next Wednesday morning.

Let the free exchange of thoughts and ideas begin!


In this post-NCLB world of standards and accountability, political conservatives continue to debate what role, if any, the federal government should have in the formulation of education policy. The Upside Down World
stakes its position.

What would you do if a classroom teacher forced your child to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag against your child's religious objections? That's
just what happened to the son of one North Carolina man.

The recent "Reading First Scandal" (backstory
here) at the U.S. Department of Education is the subject of a post over at Alexander Russo's This Week in Education. (We agree with Russo's assessment regarding the scandal's possible impact on renewal of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.) On a related note, Edspresso wonders if the whole thing is less of a scandal and more like a tempest in a coffee cup.

Ken DeRosa's D-Ed Reckoning has
an exhaustive review of Vicki Snider's book, Myth and Misconceptions about Teaching. Here's a sample:
Myth #3: The myth of eclectic instruction refers to the practice of drawing on a variety of teaching methods and materials. Teachers believe that designing patchwork lessons is creative and makes learning more interesting. This haphazard approach, however, ignores the complexity of curriculum and restricts teachers' practice to what is intuitive.
While echoing a statement by the National Academies, HunBlog sounds the clarion call for major changes in the way science is taught and learned in order to boost K-8 student achievement.

Didn't somebody once say
something about lies, damn lies, and statistics? District 299 Chicago Public Schools Blog warns us yet again about misleading data.

In a jointly published post over at Edspresso, Ken DeRosa (of D-EdReckoning) and Right Wing Prof (of Right Wing Nation) take
a hard look at Philadelphia's High Tech High. (Disc. We think of technology as just one more implement in our teaching tool belt. It's only as effective as the craftsman (or craftswoman) who wields it.)

The American Federation of Teachers' NCLBlog
introduces us to an EduTerm that we've never heard of before but which we're likely to hear a lot more of in this post-NCLB era: the E.M.O. or Educational Management Organization. (Wasn't there an '70s-'80s band that went by a very similar name?)

Inside This Teaching Life:

It seems as though students nearly everywhere are cheating on nearly everything. Ms. Cornelius of A Shrewdness of Apes explores cheating techniques and the reasoning behind the latest excuse that students have for why they cheat: "
My parents made me do it."

First-year classroom teacher (and former University of Virginia student) EdWahoo has discovered the insanity
that often drives the planning of lessons.

The Science Goddess has been teaching for a few years now and has seen substantial changes in just about everything. Now, she's wondering if it's time
for a paradigm shift in the assigning of student grades.

Some parent-sent emails are more annoying than others, and IB a Math Teacher has reached into his mailbag and
is sharing with us three emails that would certainly bother us. (Heh. Babysitters actually get paid more on a per hour per kid basis than most teachers...)

Mr. McNamar of The Daily Grind has brought us
the second installment of his popular "Whaddaya wanna bet" posts. (And we agree 100% on that one about the student dress code!)

If you want to see what really goes on in the classroom when the "regular" classroom teacher is away, you should make substitute teacher Kauai Mark one of your daily reads. Check out
what happened when Mark spent a few days in an elementary school.

The Secret Lives of Students and Teachers:

Mamacita of Schiess Weekly
let's us know that it's Banned Books Week! (Who would have ever thought that one of those cute Waldo books has actually been banned from some schools?)

a gripping post submitted by The Los Angeles Times' edublog School Me!, the lid gets blown-off of author Jeremy Iversen's new book, High School Confidential. According to School Me! this so-called "tell all" book may not be what it seems. A must read post.

Those of us who are in the classroom know first-hand what a waste so-called "professional development" workshops often are. But not always. Last week's Carnival host, The Median Sib, attended
one of the good ones.

If you liked William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, then you'll love the Reflective Teacher's
dramatic production of A Normal School Day: A Play in Five Parts. (Comedy of tragedy? You make the call...)

What's does a young New York City science teacher who's spending a year teaching in Turkey see when she goes to the beach for a little peace and quiet? Why...she sees everything from used syringes to
twisting tornadoes! (For a little relaxation at the beach, we prefer petting the whales down in Baja California.)

wonders aloud about those teachers who make a big show of shaking hands with their students but then make a beeline for the sink...

Writing over at The Colossus of Rhodey, teacher "Hube" points out some of
the word games that are being pulled by the National Education Association in its publications.

Teaching and Learning:

Australian teacher Elias
has some thoughts on the best way to approach the teaching of math to girls. (We like his use of "The Simpsons" to illustrate his point.)

ABC's evening news broadcast recently did a segment on "the middle school slump," and inadvertently showed what many think is
the wrong approach to the teaching of math.

Sometimes when a high school kid wants to do something good, it's best if the adults just stay
out of the way.

Recently, Columbia University extended an invitation for Iran's controversial president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to speak on that school's campus. The invitation was then revoked due to "security concerns." Next week's Carnival host, Andrew Pass of Current Events in Education, has
some timely ideas for classroom lessons on the controversy stirred-up by Columbia's decision.

California Live Wire
gives us the skinny on "average" students that can (and do) A.P. classes.

The title of this post by the Let's play math! EduBlog says it all:
Solving Complex Story Problems II.

Thespis Journal
argues forcefully that students should be taken to see the Broadway revival of "A Chorus Line." (I like the idea of students watching live theatre, with certain exceptions.)

School Governance:

See what happened to the El Paso middle school principal who
hoarded textbooks for a month before being found-out by his superiors. (Don't forget to cast your ballot!)

In a cry that's bound to be echoed from thousands of classrooms around the country, La Maestra pleads for
An Extreme Makeover.

Follow the links and you'll see why schools wind-up having so many lawsuits
on their hands.

submitted for your consideration is our take on the knuckleheaded middle school principal who was dismissed from his post because he couldn't find a clerk to distribute the textbooks that he was hoarding.

The Parent Perspective:

In this age of NCLB-driven accountability and anti-obesity campaigns, The Essential Blog is seeking readers' opinions on
whether or not it's a good idea for kids to have cupcakes and other treats at school on their birthdays.

Personal Personnel Matters:

New York City Educator gives us a good reminder about how some of the things that we do our first year in the classroom
can haunt us for as long as we are at that school. (Ask me sometime about the math teacher at our school who was known as "Seymour Spacely" for 35 years!)

What counts more when it comes to hiring decisions: teaching experience and expertise or the possession of a degree? The
answer can sometimes be an exercise in frustration for the truly qualified.


One of the many hurdles that homeschoolers must overcome when applying for college entry is demonstrating high school level proficiency. "
Work Keys" provides that certification. But there is a problem, and Spunkyhomeschooler has the scoop.

Higher Education:

If you haven't already talked the college student in your life into going to graduate school, you might want to take a look at this listing of the
Top 10 Reasons to Go To Graduate School In The Modern World. Well said.

First Harvard stopped accepting early admissions. And then Princeton University followed suit. And now Scott Elliott over at the Dayton Daily News' edublog Get on the Bus predicts that if Harvard also drops the S.A.T. requirement, then
the admission dominos will fall.

What is the purpose of a college education? What should a college education provide? These are two questions addressed in a book by Derek Bok called Our Underachieving Colleges
and reviewed by Matt Johnson.

A campaign to eliminate term papers in college? Now I wonder who would want to do that and why? Find out for yourself over at
this week's submission by The Anonymous Educator.

Here's some good
common-sense advice for those who are studying for the GMAT exam.

Inside The EduBlogs:

Education in Texas
gave us a chuckle with this submission about how the title of an innocent-sounding web page can generate a less-than flattering acronym.

The Poor, Starving, College Student presents
a roundup of EdWriter Julia Steiny's most recent op/ed pieces.

Teaching in the Twenty-First Century has what must be an EduSphere first:
A Teaching Meme!

Evolving Education links to, and comments on, the story about
the Kansas science teacher who had some 50 students use the same lancet to draw blood. (And now, the district is having to pick-up the tab for all that blood work...)

Here's how
to contact a variety of elected officials.

And finally: This particular journey around the EduSphere has been both enjoyable and informative. Our continued thanks to all the contributors whose submissions make the midway's continuing success possible, the folks who find the time to help spread the word, and the readers who continue to make it rewarding.

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