Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Carnival Of Education: Week 30

The thirtieth 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 thoughts and ideas that are to be found in the EduSphere.

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 owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net.

Your comments, constructive criticism, and suggestions are always heartily welcomed.

An Invitation: Writers of education-related posts are encouraged to contribute to the 3lst edition of The Carnival Of Education, which will be guest-hosted by The Science Goddess over at What It's Like On The Inside. Please send contributions to: the_science_goddess [at] yahoo [dot] com.
They should be received no later than 6:00 PM (Pacific) 9:00 PM (Eastern) Tuesday, September 6th. The Carnival should open Wednesday morning.

Let's see what the midway has to offer this week:

As educators, we are continually reminded that parental involvement is a good thing. Or can there be too much of a good thing? Next week's carnival guest-host, What It's Like on the Inside, takes
a look at everyone's "favorite" parental type: Helicopter Parents.

If baseball is the national pastime, football is the National Passion. But what place should athletics occupy in America's colleges and universities? Is the expenditure of $235 million for a new football stadium ever justified? Written by a student who attends the University of Minnesota, Knowledge
gives us a student's viewpoint that may be surprising to many and provocative to some.

Jenny D has returned from a week's vacation in the wilds of Utah to find that the United Federation of Teachers in New York City has sponsored a blog that not only provides a forum for the expression of dissent, but has something interesting to say about educational practices as well. Jenny
invites the bloggers over at Edwize to engage her in dialogue. (Let's hope that they do.)

One of the Eternal Questions in education centers on the best way to educate non English-Speaking students. The New York City-based School of Blog
makes its Carnival debut with a post about how President Bush may be ignoring a report on bilingual education because his administration doesn't agree with the study's findings. Think about taking a look at this bonus post advocating the hiring of translators in order to increase parent involvement.

When it comes to education oversight and funding, the battles between the federal government and the states has been long and bitter. In a recent post, Friends of Dave
examines the tug of war that has been going-on between Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and California's Superintendent of Public Education, Jack O'Connell.

One of our oldest friends in the blogging world is Tony over at A Red Mind in a Blue State. In this week's entry, he brings us the story about what happens when the adults in a school district can't do math and end-up losing their jobs because of a budgetary surplus!

Both educators and parents are often at a loss when it comes to the teaching of the special needs child. Mrs. Ris has the latest installment in a series of posts that offer sound advice with a focus on maintaining a well-managed learning environment.

What do top teachers want for their students? For a variety of reasons, that may not always be an easy question to answer. Courtesy of the San Diego Tribune, Polski3 has found an intriguing list that makes a lot of sense to us. This should be a "must" read for parents and teachers...

There are three words that will spark an immediate debate in education circles around the country. Those three words are: Year...Round...School. Diane Weir has published an informative post that introduces readers to the fundamental issues surrounding one of education's most controversial topics.

School Choice is another hotly-debated topic among parents and educators. Going to the Matt points us to a report from The National Governors Association that discusses issues concerning the financial aspects of school choice.

Is there anyone who doubts the power of advertising? At Extreme Wisdom, they assert that the prevailing mindset in education that more funding equals better education is the result of a carefully-crafted propaganda campaign by The Education Industry. What's the remedy? Extreme Wisdom
makes a proposal.

There is a battle royal shaping up in California's federal courts. In one corner, we have The University of California System. In the other corner, there is an association of Christian High Schools. Round one of this fight to the finish has begun, and No Left Turns examines some of the strategies that the fighters may use in the ring.

Once upon a time a principal said to me, "A report card grade is an objective attempt to give a label to a subjective concept."
After reading this post from Se Hace Camino al Andar, I realize that the principal may have been more right than she knew when she uttered those words...

The No Child Left Behind Act continues to provoke thought and commentary throughout the EduSphere. Over at Assorted Stuff, Tim
has been considering some of the more illogical provisions of the act and, like many, wonders why NCLB's expensive "one size fits all" approach doesn't seem to be meeting expectations. In a bonus post, check out Tim's take on teaching a moving target.

Rhymes With Right is written by Greg, a teacher who practices in Texas. This week, Greg is reporting to the EduSphere
one of the most sinister hoaxes ever portrayed on an unsuspecting public. And consider reading the follow-up post here.

One would think that the board of regents of just about any given institution of higher learning would be concerned with educational matters. Think again. Multiple Mentality is showing us that this isn't necessarily true. (Required Vocabulary to understand today's lesson: "Diversity, trustees, marijuana, meritocracy.")

It's going-away-to-college time for many young adults. But do parents know what their children are really studying? Over at The Common Room,
they have some concerns about their daughter's "American Government" class. Here is a sample:

Her textbook says that the purpose of government is to provide goods and services to the people. We asked, sarcastically, 'what goods was it the government's job to provide, Welfare?' Yes, the HG tells us seriously, that is exactly what the textbook says. We are flummoxed. How can we have fun with the textbook if our best attempt at mockery turns out to be precisely the same as the author's best attempt at logical thought?
Would you believe that in an effort to get an "unforgettable" school picture, a high school senior was mauled to death by a tiger? It seems that kids are going through ever-more-extreme measures to get that photo. Whatever happened to cheerleader outfits and double-breasted navy-blue blazers? Get on the Bus has the disturbing details of the story.

Did you know that in Georgia, the state says that students must now read at least 25 books each year?
See what happens when they don't.

The Invasion of The Bloggers continues, with hundreds of new blogs going online everyday. Over at Living the Scientific Life, Hedwig The Owl gives us a peek at how blogs are
making a difference in the scientific community.

We are always pleased when we receive a contribution from The Art of Getting By. Why? Because we know that when we finish reading Janet's post
we will have a smile on our face yet again. (And yes, we can't but hope that Janet does beat the school at its own game.)

Clarence, the author of Remote Access, teaches in a school that is located in northern Canada. As he is keenly interested in education technology,
it was only natural that Clarence would be the first to learn of a plan by the makers of Lego toys to construct a virtual factory so that online users can design and build virtual Lego creations. The really fun part is that if Lego likes the virtual creation, the company may produce and market the real thing!

Do you remember reading a book called Caps For Sale? I do. Well, Muse over at Me-ander
continues the tradition with photos of her granddaughters learning all about the importance of finding just the right headgear as well as a neat tie-in for teachers of students with limited English vocabulary.

I am a public school teacher. I firmly believe that an effective system of public education contributes to a better society. But having said that, this site strongly believes in the rights of parents who wish to teach their children in the home. Over at CrossBlogging,
you can see one more reason why I think that homeschooling is often the right choice for many families.

Here is a dilemma: Imagine that you are the principal of a public school. A well-known group approaches you with the offer of performing, for free, a student assembly that promises to be a "life-affirming, positive experience that incorporated demonstrations of strength and martial arts into a narrative of life lessons." Would you allow the show to go on? Consider
taking a look at what Darren's school principal decided to do over at Right on the Left Coast.

A few years ago, I heard a district superintendent remark that he considers "professional educators" to be principals and above while teachers are merely "service providers" in the classroom. See how the teacher who writes over at Ruminating Dude proved that Worthy's statement to be incorrect with
a well-reasoned post regarding an effective chemistry curriculum.

A Shrewdness of Apes is written by Ms. Cornelius, who is an "anonymous" public school teacher. And like all of us teachers,
there were certain surprises awaiting her when she returned to school after summer vacation. But at least she finished her check list... (Just remember, if you wake-up one morning in Ape City; don't talk! We don't want them to know that we have that ability.)

If you are looking for some well-reasoned advice on how to look at life's challenges, you can't go wrong by reading what Steve Pavlina has to say. In this week's entry, Steve
asks you to think about your career in an altogether new way.

A short time ago, we took a look at the
meltdown that has occurred in the administrative apparatus of the Saulk Village, Illinois school system. Education Matters, which is written in Illinois, (and is a lot closer to where all this is going on) has the details of the superintendent that has been arrested and charged with stealing more than $100,000 in cash from the children in his own school district.

And now, for some entries that have been selected by the editors:

In a writing style that is all her own, Mz. Smlph has written
another outstanding post, this time offering sound advice that is useful for all teachers, be they first-year novices or more experienced veterans. A must read.

EdWahoo is written by a student who attends The University of Virginia. We were impressed with this
solidly-written post about the too-slow rate of progress that our students are making toward academic proficiency.

Over at Number 2 Pencil, Kimberly
has the skinny about the British school that will allow each student to drop up to five "F-Bombs" per lesson. I like her observation about the number of "F-Bombs" that this policy will cause teachers to drop.

Mike Antonucci's Intercepts shows all of us exactly where much of one state's education funding ends up being spent while at the same time effectively demonstrating how any decisive action is blocked by a system that can only be called "Byzantine." One result of this inertia and ineptitude can be seen here. (Could you just imagine what this chart would look like in California?)

The recently returned from vacation Joanne Jacobs
has some great news about a KIPP school in San Jose California. As is the case with many KIPP schools, large numbers of the students are ethnic minorities. Here is a sample:

Last year, KIPP Heartwood's inaugural class of 73 fifth-graders outscored students in some of the highest-achieving districts in the valley on the California STAR program, the state's standardized tests. On the English-language arts exam, 69 percent were proficient or advanced while 93 were proficient in math (10 percentage points higher than fifth-graders in Palo Alto, three percentage points more than in Saratoga).
And finally, when we here at The Education Wonks humbly submit for your approval our take on being "professionally" developed.
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, the twenty-eighth, here and the twenty-ninth, over there. To get to EdWonk's main page, (with a variety of education-related posts) please click here.

This midway is registered at TTLB's carnival roundup.