Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Carnival Of Education: Week 29

The back-to-school edition of The Carnival Of Education is now open for your reading enjoyment. We hope that you'll find that this collection of writer-submitted posts is representative of the very wide range of thought that is out there in the World of Education.

As always, those entries selected by the editors appear at the bottom of the page just above the Carnival archives.

Any successful carnival is a team effort. Please consider helping to spread the word. The more readers who know about this collection of exhibits, the more that will "drop-in" and visit the midway. Trackbacks, links, and casual mentions all help.

A number of sites have been very helpful in publicizing the midway. We thank them for their continued support. If you would like to guest-host an edition of the Carnival at your site sometime in the future, please contact us at the email address given below.

Your comments, constructive criticism, and suggestions are always heartily welcomed in our commenting threads.

An Invitation: Writers of education-related posts are encouraged to contribute to the 30th edition of The Carnival Of Education. Please send your submissions to owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net no later than 9:00 PM (Pacific) 12:00 midnight Tuesday, August 30th. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the midway should open here next Wednesday morning.

And now.... let's take a peek at this week's group of exhibits.

The first stop on the midway is last week's guest host, Ticklish Ears. With many students now heading off to college for the first time, what could be more appropriate than some great advice for parents from a college professor about how ease their child's transition into the World of Higher Education?

Art Linkletter has always noted that "Kids say the darndest things." Fred's World let's us know that first-year high school students
uphold the tradition by saying "the darndest things" on the first day of school. In a bonus post, see why folks often choose to be teachers after experiencing success in the corporate world.

Is Oobleck some sort secret biological agent produced by Willy Wonka's
Oompa Loompas? Or is it something else even more exotic? Over at Education in Texas, Mike gives us the scientific details of this useful but mysterious substance.

Probably the hottest topic in public education today is the No Child Left Behind Act. Over at Number 2 Pencil,
they have the skinny on one effective teacher's methods for helping his students meet their academic goals even though they attend an underfunded school. Here is a sample:

By the time the 8 a.m. bell rings, all of Youngblood's students have filed into his middle-trailer classroom -the one with a homemade plastic label on the door admonishing THINK THINK THINK. Inside, they're already hard at work checking their algebra homework answers. Then it's on to in-class problems, which Youngblood runs through with the drive of a drill instructor, and tonight's homework: percentages, rates of speed, calculating the surface area of a cube, and the algebraic order of operations. After that, it's language hour, with assignments in spelling and vocabulary. Next come exercises on compound sentences and similes, followed hard by a spelling test.
Could it be possible that both opposition and support for the No Child Left Behind Act are increasing? Chris Correa has the surprising details as well as a cautionary note advising us to beware of media spin.

In an effort to re-assert its traditional roles in public education oversight and funding, the State of Connecticut has filed a lawsuit against the federal government due to the "Arbitrary, rigid, and capricious" nature of the No Child Left Behind Act. Over at Education at the Brink,
they have the scoop about the latest controversy involving this underfunded mandate.

The No Child Left Behind Act is also on the mind of the California Yankee,
who also takes a look at Connecticut's lawsuit and considers the possibility that the legal action may be motivated by something other than the argument that NCLB is an underfunded mandate.

Don Surber points out yet some other possible motives that may have triggered Connecticut vs. The Federal Government.

Did you know that the schedule followed by most public school students is based upon a model developed in rural 19th century America? At Assorted Stuff,
they advocate the need to fundamentally change our old-fashioned one-size-fits-all public education system.

What's a teacher to do when a child who doesn't know how to read is transferred into her fourth-grade classroom? How can a teacher help a child who is clearly being "left behind" due to the district's refusal to provide any extra assistance? At A Series of Inconsequential Events,
they are seeking suggestions from readers on the best way to serve the needs of this child.

Who would have thought that a school would have an actual entitiy known as the "Positive Behavior Support Committee?" And what would you think if The Committee came to your place of business soliciting funds in order to buy students "rewards" (some would say bribes) for good behavior? Over at The Colossus of Rhodey, they introduce us to the latest trend in public school fundraising.

The National Education Association and its subsidiary unions are a subject of much discussion among educators. Many folks feel that the democratization and establishment of financial accountability to the membership are reforms that are long overdue. Others assert that things are just fine as they are. Over at Spunkyhomeschool,
they are bringing to our attention a brand-new site which promises to keep an eye on the NEA.

Will traditional paper-based textbooks always be used in our schools? Or are they doomed to go the way of the
slate and the hornbook? Diane Weir is letting us know that the future is a lot closer than many folks might think...

Should public school teachers be granted tenure? In California, Governor Schwarzenegger has called a special election that will greatly alter the granting of tenure for teachers who work in public schools. At Polski3's View From Here, California teacher Polski3 is thinking about some of the
unintended consequences of greatly reducing the protections that tenure has traditionally afforded classroom teachers. In a bonus post, Polski has some thoughts about the Governor's ballot initiative requiring public-employee unions to secure their members permission in writing before spending their dues on political candidates and causes.

How much effort, if any, should students who are enrolled in a teacher-preparation program expend in the study of issues such as "diversity" and "multiculturalism?" Professor S. Karlson, who writes over at Cold Spring Shops, offers
an insightful post that lets us know that some teacher-ed programs still aren't focusing enough of their energies on the study of actual teaching methodologies.

How many of us educators have attended workshops, conventions, in-service presentations, and other dog-and-pony-shows that have been a complete waste of time and money? Over at Se Hace Camino Al Andar, Nani
was one of the lucky ones who got to attend the other kind as was Coach Brown from A Passion for Teaching and Opinions. (I'm envious.)

Most would agree that one of the most challenging teaching assignments in education are those that are found in the Special Education classroom. In
the latest installment of a series of posts, Mrs. Ris offers sound advice for anyone who works with children having special needs.

It has been said that one shouldn't steal, but if one does, then steal "big" as it's small amounts that will get one arrested and thrown into jail.
See what happens when a superintendent is accused of stealing bundles of cash and the district must now pay for his legal defense.

The Eternal Question: What can schools do to get parents more involved? For some campuses, it's already time for that back-to-school ritual known as Open House. At the school where the teacher who writes What It's Like on the Inside teaches,
they have some interesting new ideas for re-invigorating an old tradition.

Do teachers have lives outside of the classroom? Kids are always surprised when they see me out shopping or doing those little errands that we all must do in our day-to-day lives. New Jersey elementary school teacher Janet, over at The Art of Getting By,
has a great source for purchasing those items that make teaching so much more effective and enjoyable whether in the classroom or in the home.

People who enrich themselves by winning lawsuits (such as
this) alleging damages because of their own negligence really aggravates me. That was until I read this post over at Scheiss Weekly and saw that there may be an opportunity to jump on the lawsuit gravy train myself.

What's a parent or educator to think when reading about a particular school's test scores? Over at Get on the Bus, they have written
a well-reasoned post with some suggestions on how to look at those scores and understand what they say and what they don't. And consider reading this bonus post about what else makes a good school.

Who would have thought that public education and social security could be compared and contrasted? Well, over at Going to the Mat,
they have done just that! (Watch out for that Third Rail...)

The results of the latest administration of the A.C.T. continue reverberate around the EduSphere. Education Policyist
warns us that the MSM might not be giving us an accurate picture of what those scores mean.

Should classroom learning in high school science be fun? Not only does, Ruminating Dude discuss the concept of "fun" in the classroom,
but he also shows why so many teachers resent attending any type of "professional development" that includes the following: butcher paper, working in groups, dancing, felt-tipped markers, or standing in a circle.

For a refreshing change of pace, consider
taking a look at Steve Pavlina's post about how you can use your computer to liberate large amounts of your own Mental RAM.

As several large school districts have recently begun phasing-out their middle schools in favor of traditional K-8 and 9-12 campuses. Ms. Cornelius
asks this question: "Are Middle Schools Bad for kids?"

There is something inherently intriguing about an blog that is written from the perspective of students. At Fresh Politics, they have published a post about how students in Communist Czechoslovakia
risked everything to stage a protest that helped set-off a chain of events that freed their peoples from the yoke of Communism. And yet, as the post reveals, not everything has changed...

At CrossBlogging, they have
an informative review of the The Old Schoolhouse magazine, which is published for the purpose of assisting those who homeschool their children. What I found particularly interesting was when I learned that the number of parents choosing to teach their children at home has greatly increased throughout the industrialized world.

Over at TFS Magnum, they have written
an engaging post about how homeschoolers continue to break the once air-tight monopoly once enjoyed by traditional schools.

Superintendent Clifford B. Janey of the Washington D.C. public school system recently replaced some 44 school principals, supposedly fulfilling a promise to remove "underperforming" school administrators. Mark Lerner convinces us that
things are not always as they appear...

recent news story about excessive pregnancies among girls in one Ohio high school really serves to illustrate the topical nature of this post from A Clear Voice. Why on Earth did we allow this situation to deteriorate to this point?

Does your local school require students to make use of agendas? The junior high school where I work does, and apparently so do many other schools around the country. One of our contributors suggested
this very interesting post from Get Schooled that addresses this topic. Don't miss what the commenters are saying!

Did you know that a nine hour school day has been proposed? One of our readers submits
this piece entitled "School's In Forever" from A Small Victory which disagrees with that idea.

And now for some entries selected by the editors:

If isn't one of your daily reads, you might want to reconsider and make them one. Take a look
this recent post by guest blogger Sara Mead in which they examine one report's recommendations for addressing some of the greatest challenges facing public education.

In the United Kingdom, they also have problems with grade inflation as well as too many students obtaining maximum scores on too-easy tests. Joanne Jacobs
has the story.

Would you believe that a teachers union has sponsored a blog that has the fortitude to allow commenters to express dissent as well as support?
Believe it! (They have earned our respect. Now if only the NEA and CTA had the guts to follow suit.)

Mike Antonucci, of the
Education Intelligence Agency, has a brand-new blog. Say "hello" to Intercepts.

And finally, we here at The Education Wonks
humbly submit for your consideration our take on the elimination of our Fine Arts class at our California junior high school.
Carnival Archives

The first edition can be seen here, the second, here the third, here the fourth, here, and the fifth, here the sixth, here the seventh, here the eighth, here the ninth, here the tenth, here the eleventh here the twelfth here, the thirteenth, here the fourteenth, here the fifteenth, here, the sixteenth, here the seventeenth, here the eighteenth, here the nineteenth, here, the twentieth, here, the twenty-first, here the twenty-second, here the twenty-third, here the twenty-fourth, here, the twenty-fifth, here, the twenty-sixth, here the twenty-seventh here, and the twenty-eighth, over there. To get to EdWonk's main page, (with a variety of education-related posts) please click here.

This edition has been registered at TTLB's Carnival Roundup.