Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Carnival Of Education: Week 88

Welcome to the 88th edition of The Carnival Of Education! We are delighted that after a short "road trip," the Midway has returned home.

This week's collection of exhibits from around the EduSphere represents a very wide variety of political and educational viewpoints.

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 Margaret Paynich's Poor, Starving, College Student. Please send contributions to: edpolicypolitics [at] gmail [dot] com, or use this handy submission form. The College Student should receive them no later than 8:00 PM (Eastern) 5:00 PM (Pacific) Tuesday, October 17th. 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!


Does more funding of public education result in better public education? For a number of reasons, that's not an easy question to answer. But Thespis Journal has
some numbers that supports the idea that money has little to do with it. (Who would believe that there are public school districts out there that spend an astounding $51,828 on each student?)

Brad Hoge of HUNBlog
develops his own variant of the Constructivist approach to teaching and learning. Meanwhile, the Textbook Evaluator takes a hard look at Constructivism.

The ways in which the federal government wastes the taxpayers' money is truly mind-boggling. But this story from Joanne Jacobs about how F.E.M.A. continues throwing our money into the wind for "education-related" activities blows
takes the cake.

With the recent uptick in gun violence in our public schools, it has been proposed that school personnel be trained to use firearms. High school teacher Ms. Cornelius of A Shrewdness of Apes considers what
packing heat on campus might mean.

When I learned at Going to the Mat that three and four-year-olds are subjected to regular spelling tests, I also began to wonder if we are
A Nation Too Tested.

The title of this post by Michael Anuzis says it all:
The Obsolete Classroom: Rethinking Education in the Information Age.

When Scarsdale, New York began thinking about cutting back or eliminating A.P. classes, it caused quite a stir in the EduSphere. Philadelphia Principal Chris Lehmann of Practical Theory thoughtfully
examines the issue, the Nerd Family stakes its position, our site's coverage is here, JoanneJacobs is there, and Jill Davidson of The Essential Blog chimes in.

We've seen that the President's summit on school safety is already making some waves out here in the virtual teachers lounge. For example: Alexander Russo of This Week in Education notes that
some blogs are discussing the notion that the summit may be a stratagem cooked up by the Bush Administration to distract the public from the mess caused by Republican Congressman Mark Foley.

Next week's Carnival host Poor, Starving College Student,
lets us know that President Bush wasn't the only public official planning a Safe Schools Summit.

When, if ever, should a school hold students accountable for what they write and publish off campus? Respectfully submitted for your consideration is our take on an Indiana school district that does just that.

Teaching and Learning:

Nowadays, science teachers often walk a fine line in their efforts to teach evolution while taking into consideration their students' varied religious beliefs. Science and math teacher "Mr. R." offers some
sound reasoning behind his approach to this very sensitive issue.

My goodness. Could you imagine running a college class like a parliamentary democracy? Well... that's
what's happening over in the classroom of the professor Dan's tdaxp. (Be sure to read the entire series; it's fascinating.)

Lesson planning ideas concerning the recent shenanigans pulled by Congressman Mark Foley are the subject of
this post by Andrew Pass' Current Events in Education.

Shiloh Musings gives us a history lesson while reminding us that all the urgency behind the recent thrust for learning more math and science is
something that we've seen before.

What are the best methods to use in teaching kindergarten through third grade? Has the time come to fundamentally alter the ways in which we serve our youngest learners? Building Blocks, a book by Gene Maeroff, "challenges us to think differently about pre-school learning." Over at Get on the Bus, education reporter Scott Elliott
comprehensively reviews Maeroff's work.

Teachers Unions and Collective Bargaining:

Dr. Homeslice has done
a very thorough job with a roundup of stories related to teachers unions.

The debate over vouchers continues with Sophistpundit
calling out the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) over the Federation's position on vouchers.

The Chicago-based District 299
has the skinny on a lawsuit filed by the Chicago teachers union against the State of Illinois over its approval of a virtual charter school! (I wonder if the lawsuit is seeking virtual damages?)

While we're on the subject of teachers unions, Darren over at Right on the Left Coast, is
announcing the launch of a new organization dedicated to informing teachers of their rights with regards to joining unions... or not joining unions.

Educational Leadership and School Governance:

Did you hear the one about the Illinois school superintendent who got himself
into hot water by making a video that mocked his newer teachers? (Consider checking out the ideas for appropriate work-place humor.)

a great idea that I wish more schools were doing: getting the school's first year teachers together on a regular basis in order to talk about what's going on in their classrooms.

The Parental Perspective:

Do you remember enrolling your kids in pre-school? What were your impressions? Babblogue XL is looking for
some thoughts from educators about the Montessori approach.

urges parents to either instruct their children how to reject a school's teachings that are contrary to their religious faith or investigate other options for their kids' education.

The Student Perspective:

Psst! Hey buddy! Did you know that Edspresso has a spy planted in the hallowed halls of a teacher education school? Read the operative's latest
top-secret report from the funny and surreal world that is teacher Ed.

The International Perspective:

In Australia, things are not as rosy as the commercials would have one believe. They are also embroiled in the struggle between
who will control EduPolicy: Will the central government in Canberra call the shots or will it still be the states who decide what is taught and learned?

From the Classroom:

Are you one of those classroom teachers who already have, or may consider doing so in the near future,
getting rid your teacher's desk? (I know that I certainly don't get to use mine much...)

What would you think if a well-respected individual that you met years ago turned out to be one of the monsters who attack and hurt children? One of this week's
must reads is from Graycie over at Today's Homework. Prepare to have your heartstings pulled.

Over at Scheiss Weekly, Mamacita had
a very long day that left me with a smile on my face.

Second Grade Teacher has just had a student tell her about some domestic violence that she witnessed in the home. But after reporting the incident, the Teacher learned that there was
even more to the story than the child was able to share...

If you're gonna teach in an elementary or middle school, you've gotta develop a sense of humor. The Median Sib has
a nice roundup of some of the funny survey responses that didn't make it into her elementary school's literary magazine. Here's a taste:
“Last year my brother had to have his birthday at Hooters. So that night they had him stand on a bar stool and sang happy birthday to him. Then when he got off the bar stool, he fell down. Then when we ate chicken wings, he got stuff all over his face.”
Mr. Lawrence has a message for the EduCracy: Please Mr. Government, Don't Take Over The School.

What's a teacher to do when a kid has given up and the parent undercuts the teacher's efforts to help by
telling the child things that were discussed in confidence?

Higher Education:

RightWingProf discusses a concept that is foreign to many of us public school educators: Academic Freedom. But is Academic Freedom ever free? He shows us that it
often is not.

It may be a cliché, but graduating from college truly is a "life-changing experience." Here's some
good advice for anyone who's about to enter the work force.

Inside The Blogs:

Sadly, I was astonished when I read
this post and learned how accepted the "casual lie" has become in our society. (And sadly, so many college students are admitting that they cheat...)

And finally: This, like most of our journeys 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.