Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Carnival Of Education: Week 110

Welcome to the 110th edition of The Carnival Of Education! We are delighted that the Midway has returned home.

This collection of exhibits from around the EduSphere represents a wide variety of political and educational viewpoints. Unless clearly labeled otherwise, all entries were submitted by the writers themselves.

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 over at What It's Like on the Inside. As always, links to the midway are much appreciated while trackbacks are adored. Visit the C.O.E.'s archives here and see our latest EduPosts there.

Next Week's Carnival midway will be hosted by us here at The Education Wonks. Writers are invited to send contributions to: earthlink [at] earthlink [dot] net , or use this handy submission form. Submissions should be received them no later than Midnight (Eastern) 9:00 PM (Pacific) Tuesday, March 20, 2007. 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!


When a parent is unhappy about a grade that their child has received, is it ever appropriate to file a lawsuit? That's what happened when one West Virginia high student turned-in a late assignment. But there's more than meets the eye in this one, and the Science Goddess
has the details.

What should be done about "bad teachers?" And how should "bad teachers" be identified? In response to
this post by NYC Educator about bad teachers and bad teaching, Edspresso's Ryan Boots makes some proposals regarding teacher tenure and due process.

Teacher Mike Block over at Alone on a Limb reports that Minnesota’s governor, Tim Pawlenty, recently made some rather interesting remarks regarding why so many high school students are not making the grade
“Too many of our high school students today are engaged in academic loitering for much of their high school career. In too many cases, our high school students are bored, checked-out, coasting, not even vaguely aware of their post-high school plans, if they have any, and they are just marking time.”
But is Pawlenty's assertion that "student motivation" is the missing ingredient of successful EduReform? You be the judge.

Disruptive and defiant students who do their level best to monkey-wrench the educational process and ruin opportunities for others to obtain an education is also
on the mind of Hube over at The Colossus of Rhodey.

California-based math teacher Darren of Right on the Left Coast
takes on the Left's anti-NCLB arguments one-by-one. Agree or disagree, your thoughts will be provoked!

Linda Seebach of the Rocky Mountain News reports that in an attempt to increase student performance, Colorado's Greeley-Evans School District adopted a district-wide reading curriculum last fall. After only a few months, the board and many of the district's teachers
are already at loggerheads.

North Carolina 6th grade teacher Bill Ferriter stirred the pot recently over at the Teacher Magazine website with a piece called "The Problem with Class Size Reductions." In this week's submission, Mr. Ferriter
addresses some of the concerns that were expressed by those who read that thought-provoking article. (Sadly, Teacher Magazine requires free-registration in order to read the original article.)

The federal No Child Left Behind law is up for congressional re-authorization this year. California classroom teacher Polski3
is issuing a clarion call to his fellow teachers to take action in order to fix that which he says has been broken by the law.

Scott Elliott of the Dayton Daily News' edublog Get on the Bus!
takes a hard look at Ohio's 15 years of EduReform and whether or not that effort has been successful.

Matt Johnston asks an interesting question: Has the time finally come for
Independent Assessments as a Counter to Grade Inflation? You be the decider.

The Simple Dollar has an UnSimple post about how the death of the American Public Education System
may be greatly exaggerated and that there may actually be little difference betwixt public and private schools.

At Teacher in a Strange Land, Nancy Flannigan
cautions us that truly gifted children never allow themselves to be bored in the classroom. They will find a way to become engaged. (Though it has been our experience that the engagement in which the gifted engage themselves in may not always be positive.)

What happened when a female student was sent to the principal's office for saying, "That's gay!" in an open classroom? Why, her parents ended-up
suing the school district! (Naturally!)

Presidential Politics and Education:

Over at This Week in Education, Chicago-based EduBlogger Alexander Russo
gives us the skinny on presidential candidate Barack Obama's record on education.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton alluded to the No Child Left Behind Act in
some recent remarks made in the run up to the key Iowa primary caucuses.

From the Classroom:

Be prepared to have your heartstrings pulled. Ms. Cornelius of a Shrewdness of Apes gives us an
eyewitness account and poignant reminder about how teachers are often on the front lines of protecting our older as well as younger students from physical abuse.

What happens when fourth-graders attempt to write essays about American History? A
highly-readable contribution from an elementary history teacher that helps remind us what teaching should be about.

If you want to find out what really goes on in our public school classrooms, talk to a substitute teacher. Or read what Mr. Lawrence has to say over at Get Lost Mr. Chips. In
this week's contribution, Mr. Lawrence tells us that he may not be giving an education, but he certainly is receiving one from his students.

Scroll down in order to get to this humorous submission about what happened when a third-grade math teacher sat down with the kids in the cafeteria and
began trading food with the best of them.

Here's a real-life tale from the classroom that shows what kids often do when a project is assigned a deadline. And what happens when time
finally does run out.

Why are there boys called Cain? Don't these parents have even a basic knowledge of the Bible? These and other mysteries
are addressed by the Mysterious Mystery Teacher who is writing over at the British-based teaching blog called Scenes From The Battleground.

High school math teacher Dan does not assign any homework. Which is interesting. What is even more interesting is why he
doesn't assign that homework.

Teaching and Learning:

California teacher OKP has some
common-sense advice on the judicious use of praise for our kids. Meanwhile, don't forget to reward positive behavior. (Ignore the comparison of students to dogs; it's the thought that counts.)

We think that New York high school principal Kimberly Moritz
is spot-on with this contribution titled: "Student Apathy = Teacher Apathy."

Teacher Dana Huff is looking for readers to give her the names on any books that
America Can't Live Without. (We'll try to drop-in with our choices sometime this evening.)

Parent and Student Survival Guide:

Did you
see the one over at Joanne Jacobs' place about the San Francisco parents who did everything but stage a dog-and-pony-show only to find that their child had been rejected by the top-ten pre-schools? (This story adds a new dimension to the term "competitive edge...)

Remember when we were kids how we used to bring school supplies such as scissors, glue, pencils and pens to class at the beginning of the year? Each youngster had his or her own school desk with his and her very own set of supplies in it. But Mamacita lets us know how even this cherished childhood tradition has been
changed out of all recognition.

Trivium Pursuit makes an unusual (and interesting) argument about why government should not legislate to protect parents' right to
homeschool their offspring.

Have you ever wondered what Unschooling was all about? Cindy gives us
an inside view through her son Eric and his acquired knowledge of.... snakes... and the importance of the child actually being interested in what is being learned.

School Governance:

There's been quite a
dust up over the suspension of three New York State high school students who defied their school's administration and publicly read certain passages from The Vagina Monologues. Now Principal Rich Leprine of John Jay High School gets his turn to speak out. (This just in: Apparently, the girls have beaten the rap.)

The subject of on-going teacher evaluation and effectiveness remains a touchy one for many of us who serve in the classroom. Most educators and non-educators alike agree that there is much room for improvement. The Exhausted Intern has developed
some nifty ideas for fundamentally changing the evaluative process.

Bad teachers and bad teaching do hurt kids. But is it just possible that a bad counsellor can cause even more damage to both kids and teachers?
See for yourself.

The Secret Lives Of Teachers:

And now we have the EduSphere's
very first food fight! (Key quip: "I got your studies right here, pal.")

Over at Casting Out Nines,
they remind us about the importance of not running our mouths speaking too loudly about our college professor's bosses' area of expertise when they're within earshot of an open door!

Unions and Collective Bargaining:

The union that represents teachers in New York City is the AFT-affiliated United Federation of Teachers. Over at JD2718, they
have some suggestions for improving the organization's effectiveness.

In another UFT-related contribution, Dr. Homeslice has this
handy-dandy field guide to the power players in this week's union elections.

Testing and Technology:

The title of this contribution from Let's Play Math says it all:
In honor of the standardized testing season. (Yep.... that time of the year is rapidly approaching....)

Miss Proffe is asking some
tough questions concerning the usefulness of Web 2.0 (Wikipedia article here) for those educators and students who are teaching/learning a second language.

Higher Education:

Chanman is working toward earning his Masters in Education. He shows us that when it comes to taking tests, the powers-that-be in his school
aren't practicing what they're preaching.

a primer for how to get oneself (or one's kid) into an Ivy-League college.

Getting to Graduation
demonstrates how a decrease in student-loan interest rates will effect those who must borrow in order to get that much-coveted college degree.

Inside the EduBlogs:

The Voice for School Choice takes a recent Education Next piece
to task for its naming of three individuals as "education entrepreneurs." According to Choice, things aren't always what they seem.

Matthew Jackson asks
an interesting question: what does it mean to be educated?

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 donate their time to help spread the word, and the readers who continue to make it A Free Exchange of Thoughts and Ideas
This midway is registered at TTLB's carnival roundup. See our latest EduPosts here, and the complete Carnival archives (soon to be updated) over there.