Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Carnival Of Education: Week 150

Welcome to the midway of the 150th edition of The Carnival of Education!

Here's the very latest roundup of entries from around the EduSphere. Unless clearly labeled otherwise, all entries this week were submitted by the writers themselves.

Folks interested in hosting an edition of the C.O.E. should please let us know via this email address: owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net.

Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word about last week's midway, which was hosted over at The Colossus of Rhodey. Visit the C.O.E.'s early archives here, later archives there, and our latest entries here.

Next Week's Carnival will be hosted by History is Elementary. Contributors are invited to send submissions to: historyiselementary [at] mail [dot] com , or, easier yet, use this handy submission form. Entries should be received no later than 6:00 PM (Eastern) 3:00 PM (Pacific) Christmas Day. Please include the title of your post, and its URL, if possible. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the midway should open the day after Christmas.

Let the free exchange of thoughts and ideas begin!

EduPolicy And EduPolicymakers:

What should school administrators do when confronted with the challenge of students who have indicated that they might have violent intentions? Is "zero-tolerance" the answer? Joanne Jacobs
takes a look at how one school handled a potentially disastrous situation...

What's the best way to measure a school's success? Norm-referenced or Criterion-based Tests? Grades? Some one's Subjective Judgement? Going to the Matt
wrestles with this most relevant of topics.

My goodness. Ms. Cornelius has
the disturbing news of one Connecticut school that is banning any sort of competitive activities.... during recess!

is letting us know that New York City's public school's chief Joel Klein is being more than a little creative when it comes to the subject of accountability and student progress while both NYC Educator and Education Notes Online are calling out Mayor Michale Bloomberg's EduAdministration. Not to be left out, NYC art teacher Woodlass declares that "Accountability" is a mantra for Spinmeisters.

Heh. Using a data-driven Starbucks-based statistical model, Eduwonkette well-illustrates how New York City's affluent
have chosen to address the situation of less-than-great public schools.

The Tempered Radical
wonders why the United States is adamant that hard targets are inappropriate when discussing global warming yet confident that hard targets are appropriate tools for driving change in education.

Should parents who have children pay a special tax each and every year? Agree or disagree,
prepare to have your thoughts provoked!

KDeRosa of D-Ed Reckoning
is telling us an engaging story about EduReform. It's all about What Happened in Kansas City. Here's a small taste:
The great cities of America never recovered from the unintended wrath of the dragon. All the great cities were now impoverished and destitute. All the capable citizens had fled the cities, leaving only the incapable to fend for themselves. The incapable, being incapable, once again proved their incapability by failing to provide for themselves. The great cities of the kingdom reverted to poverty like almost all the cities that comprise the lands outside of the kingdom. Much gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands ensued trying to rectify the conditions in the now impoverished cities--especially when it was learned that most of the people who remained in the cities were disproportionately the black and brown people who lived in the kingdom. The debate rages as to why this is so. No one knows for sure, but no one seems to be satisfied with the outcome.
Educating the inner-city poor is also on the mind of Delaware-based Kavips. Meanwhile, the professor who writes over at uses an incendiary title in order to make his point.

In this era in which public school students and teachers are heavily discouraged (if not outright banned) from celebrating Christmas in the classroom, Greg over at Rhymes With Right wants to know:
whatever happened to the separation of Mosque and State?

And what about that Texas school
that plans to offer a Masters Degree in Creationism?

The Columbus, Ohio Teachers Association says that one for-profit charter school operator
didn't get the windfall that they anticipated.

one for the books: In Wisconsin, they're apparently thinking about requiring students to study the history of unions and collective bargaining.

We find ourselves in agreement with Dave over at the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence:
we do have a math problem.

The Eternal Battle between those who support creationism and those who do not is the subject of
this contribution by Greg Laden's Blog.

What does it mean when a school
cancels fieldtrips due to standardized testing?

From the Classroom:

Does giving students detention serve as a deterrent for undesirable classroom behaviors? British-based EduBlog Scenes From The Battleground
thoughtfully addresses the question.

Joel at So You Want to Teach had one of "those days"
that we all have from time to time...

What's a teacher to do when the teacher's supervisor comes to watch one teach?
See what one Israeli teacher did.

Miss A of Confessions From The Couch
is telling us about how some of her students remixed children's songs with topics from their study of Buddhism. (Be sure to use the password that she supplies on the post.)

Of Parents and Kids:

Folks who are new to public education
would do well to take a look at this short post about how Home Affects School.

Inside This Teaching Life:

For many years I've enjoyed Berkeley Breathed's Bloom County and Opus. And now the Elementary History Teacher
shows us how Breathed has proven the existence of Santa Claus!

Paul has been chosen as "Teacher of the Year." But,
he asks, "How do they know?"

Mamacita of Scheiss Weekly
has a poignant reminder that when it comes to the Holidays, some folks just need to "chill."

Teacher "Clix"
is looking for opinions concerning Silent Reading.

Ms. Teacher
has contributed a gripping entry that can't help but make us wonder what we would do in her situation. Here's a sample:
A few years ago, I had the privilege to teach a very brave young girl. This girl had been kidnapped by Curtis Dean Anderson. Anderson had kidnapped and murdered another young girl, Xiana Fairchild, previously and so surely his motive would be to do the same to his next victim. The girl that I taught was smarter than him and she managed to escape, outwitting a grown man who thought it normal to have sex with children.

I taught this student three years after this traumatic event. When I took roll that first day and said her name, I thought it sounded familiar, but it was only after talking to my team teacher that we both realized who she was. Looking back, as a relatively new teacher, I wished that I would have been more equipped, but how well prepared can you be when you have a student who has so bravely managed to face death at the tender age of 8?
Check out how Mike in Texas dealt with a potentially disastrous situation involving a child, a perceived lie, and two very upset teachers.

Mister Teacher's elementary school has developed a slightly "different" strategy for preventing student tardiness:
feed them breakfast in the teachers' classrooms. (And yes, teachers get fed too!)

Even though Christmas will soon be here, Nancy F.
reminds us that when it comes to this time of year, it's indeed a small world after all.

Even though Bellringers cautions us that, "no students were harmed in the creation of this blog"
we have to wonder about that category on her school's disciplinary form that is labeled "capital murder..."

Teaching Ideas:

Would you believe that Mad Money's Jim Cramer (
bio here) would make a fantastic English instructor? Believe it!

Challenged by the large number of students who don't learn the material, the Science Goddess over at What It's Like on the Inside
is seeking opinions about a nine-day plan for mastery learning.

Here's a roundup of Christmas math puzzles and other activities for the classroom.

Montana's Michael L Umphrey
has an in-depth piece whose subtitle says it all: Five steps to a better high school writing program.

a brief outline for writing an analysis essay.

How about an online game
for vocabulary development?


Take a gander at what Rational Homeschooling includes and what it does not.


Pssst!! Don't tell the students,(or even the teachers) but The Revolution
has begun!

Teachers don't have to be "power users" every time kids discover a new technology, but they'll fare better in the classroom when they try to meet students where they are. If one is feeling bold enough to try social networking for the first time,
here's some tips that will help one navigate Facebook. (Ed's note: use with care!)

The Department of the Unusual:

Substitute teacher Kauai Mark
links to a whimsical (and very cute) rendition at the "12 Days of Christmas."

I thought that I had heard it all. But it's obvious that I haven't:
The Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society — dedicated to demonstrating that poker has educational benefits.

Higher Education:

Yale freshman Sam Jackson
takes a hard look at whether or not colleges and universities should have complete access to the high school disciplinary records of those who seek admission.

Are you looking for an athletic scholarship? Then you ought to
consider reading this.

Here's some thoughts about why
one should attend college in person.

A global approach to the comparison of colleges and universities? Is this an idea whose time has come? Or would it be an exercise in comparing apples and oranges.
You be the decider!

"Open Source Universities?"
Why not?

Inside the Blogs:

you can have your dream career!

How about
a little brain food?

And finally: This, like nearly all of our journeys around the EduSphere, has been both enjoyable and informative. We continue to thank all the contributors whose submissions make the midway's continuing success possible, the folks who give of their time to help spread the word, and the readers who continue to make it A Free Exchange of Thoughts and Ideas