Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The 76th Edition of the Carnival of Education

The Carnival of Education returns to Texas where its hot, hot, hot! It's soooo hot . . . well, I won't get started on that again. Here are this week's entries.

How big is the anti-public school alliance? Even Sandra Day O'Conner is dissing us.

Do you feel pretty? Well, Misterteacher does and he tells us about it, along with a whole list of other things, including the fact he can communicate with Grapenuts. Dude, that MIGHT be the kind of thing you don't want to go around telling people about. If you like his website and his sense of humor you will LOVE his book, Learn Me Good

Virginia Tech is home to nearly 500 students from India, and The Ronaoke Times Campus Watch has collected reactions to the terrible bombing in Mubai.

The parents among us know about sitting through long productions to see your kids perform, only to have the experience ruined by some thoughtless clod with ill-mannered kids. Mamacita at Scheiss Weekly weighs in on this issue.

Last week's carnival host School Me reports on a language school hosting students from several warring countries and asks Can Jews and Muslims get beyond gibberish?

Being born without legs would seriously hamper most of us, but Bobby Martin not only has overcome this obstacle but actually plays high school football! Get on the Bus has the inspiring story here.

Education Matters looks at the issue of Teacher Quality and questions why the Dept. of Education isn't enforcing the law on highly qualified teachers and why are the states skirting it?

Some teachers are absolute experts at integrating technology into their teaching and La Maestra is obviously one of them. La Maestra, one of several regulars who contributes to Livewire examines the question "Is the global technology revolution good or bad for American students?"

La Maestra has also written a handy guide to education jargon. Be sure to check out the definitions of Adequate Yearly Progress, Best Practices, Data-Driven, Research-Driven and Zone of Proximal Development.

Another website with multiple contributors is This week in Education. Authors Alexander Russo and Margaret Paynich have each contributed to this week's carnival. Alexander Russo has compiled a handy list of who, what and where of education writers and Margaret Paynich examines the boys vs girls issue from a unique perspective, the Edusphere

Margaret Paynich scores a two-fer this week, with her submission mentioned above AND this submission on student cellphone use in the classroom.

Is teacher isolation a pervasive force that prevents improvement of our schools? "The Rain" examines the issue as seen by the experts and relates some personal experiences.

There's been a lot written lately on the issue of girls vs boys and academic achievement and now some are beginning to look at ADHD in girls and record how it manifests itself differently in girls, courtesy of The BlogMeister, The Bloginator, The Blog-a-tello over at the copy machine Treat Me Online.

Awards and end of year evaluations are on Janet's mind over at The Art of Getting By. I really like her website and her humor but how can she think Napoleon Dynamite was a bad movie?? Perhaps her lips hurt really bad?

Right Wing Nation has some handy tips for writing good multiple choice tests. I wish the writers of the Texas TAKS tests would take one of his hints, Avoid all negative questions ("Which of the following is not an example of X?").

Everything you ever wanted to know about Arrian a.k.a. Flavius "Flavor Flav" Arrianus can be found over at Trivium Pursuit, the blog of a homeschooling family. I learned that Arrian wrote extensively about Alexander the Great and is considered his prime historian. I did not know that! Excellent!

Are you politically connected? Have no idea how to run a school or any education experience but want to take a swing at it? Want to earn a little dough on the side? Looking to save a few bucks on building construction and maintenance? NYC Educator describes how the conditions mentioned above came together to find a nice home, much better than the public schools get, for a new charter school.

Ever wonder what parents were thinking when they allowed their child to buy and wear a certain shirt or pants? Do you find it disturbing that young girls are walking around with the word "juicy" prominently displayed across their bottoms? Kauai Mark is and he writes about inappropriate children's clothing when companies place slogans at inappropriate places on children. I won't spoil the surprise on which company it is but I WILL confess to having eaten Blizzards with their product mixed in. For those of you not from Texas, a Blizzard is ice cream mixed with some other product served at a fast food restaurant chain called Dairy Queen.

A website new to me is Supreme Narcissism. Their submission to the carnival is called Miseducation: A Criticism of High School and Higher Education. I like the subtitle for this site, "Endless bitching about politics, media, and personal entrepreneurship..."

Despite what Chester Finn says, teachers are seldom to blame for the problems school districts have. Over at A Shrewdness of Apes Ms. Cornelius writes about the St. Louis Superintendent fired after just one year on the job. Be sure to visit her blog on Monday mornings, where she post lines from favorite movies and readers try to guess the movie and chime in with their own favorite lines. I don't want to ruin this week's contest for anyone who hasn't figure it out yet, but just remember, as you travel the information superhighway, the Force will be with you always.

Going to the Mat takes a look at a plan being floated about that would provide more equitable funding for schools but that would require teachers to submit to a merit pay plan. Whatever the pros and cons of this plan are I can't help feeling that anything the Fordham Foundation is involved in can't be good for public schools.

Pass-Ed wonders if textbooks for high schoolers are really necessary. As he points out Purchasing textbooks for large groups of students can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Harry Potter and the No Child Left Behind Law. No, its not the title of the next book in the seris but The Hun Blog has the facts on how the two are related. He also accuses me of surreptitiously chiding him for being immature in his use of Monty Python snippets to organize his Carnival of Education. The truth is, Professor, I was jealous because I didn't think of it first! As you can see from this post, you have taught me well, Master!

Think money doesn't matter? Well then you haven't read this post from the good folks at Texas Ed, who catch Texas Secretary of Education Dr. Shirley Neeley , unintentionally admitting that money, GASP! does make a difference.

I had planned to add my post about the private vs public study released by the DOE late on a Friday afternoon, but someone else has done a much better job of writing it up. That someone else is John over at the NCLBlog.

Take a stroll down memory lane and re-discover those favorite Science books from your childhood. I don't remember "Between Play and Physics" in my childhood library but then again, I didn't grow up in Yugoslavia.

California Teacher Dude er, Guy is on a Science kick also. In his submission he discusses how forging connections with critters can help a child develop a sense of self worth.

The Education Wonks, living the high life in South Carolina, examines the disappearing middle school and wonders if having 8th graders and 1st graders on the same campus is a good idea. If the type of school he discusses becomes prevalent we could have students in Pre-K, 4 years old, mixed in with those 8th graders.

3σ Left, (remember, its a math term) discusses a faux paux another teacher made when teaching standard deviations to a class where the total number of fingers didn't add up to a number divisible by ten.

Would you let your kids attend a virtual school? David at The Good Human discusses why he and his wife want more for their children than sitting in front of a computer screen all day.

The internet has been a great source of ideas for both teachers and homeschooling parents alike, so why not borrow these nifty ideas from Creative Homeschooling? The author was kind enough to include a materials list for each project.

Another homeschooling parent, Spittibee, shares some handy tips for unit planning in a post she calls Konos Planning for Dummies

For a neat Math trick visit Mr. Person over at Text Savvy and learn about The Magic Gopher, a neat internet based Math trick. Mr. Person is a fellow Texan so I won't be sending him a nasty email about the #@& Math trick I can't figure out.

And finally I submit my own whining observations about the heat wave currently evaporating Texas.

Next week's carnival is being hosted by fellow Texan Mr. Person of Text Savvy. Submissions should be sent to mr(dot)obelus(at) no later than 10 P.M> CST on Tuesday night.


Mamacita (The REAL one) said...

Great Carnival, and thank you for including me.

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Even though I made my submission at the 11th hour, you somehow managed to give it a spot in the carnival. Thank you! And what a great variety of sideshows!

Unknown said...

Nice work, Mike.

Andrew Pass said...

You've done a great job. I particularly appreciate the fact that you not only incldued a link to my blog but you also included a link to my website. Thanks for your hard work.

Andrew Pass

Mike in Texas said...

You're welcome Andrew, I wish now that I hadn't gotten lazy at the end and did that for everyone's post.

Janet said...

Good job!

And despite the Napoleon Dynamite differences, can't we still be friends?:)

Janet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ryan said...

Excellent carnival, Mike in Texas!

It makes Wednesday my favorite day of the week.

Sprittibee said...

Great job! Enjoyed your wit. Thanks for including my post. Konos is greek for cone, by the way. Their curriculum is a Christian based curriculum that has God at the top of the cone and all other subjects below in a circle. Pretty groovy, really. The tips I left could work with any unit study, however... and the DUMMIES refers to people who need "hand holding" like myself. ;)

I'll make sure to link up your post today on my top-post.

Mister Teacher said...

Great job as always, buddy, and once again, thanks for a plug for my book!
Though I have to admit, I didn't like Napoleon Dynamite,either...

KauaiMark said...

Good job!

I give total credit to you and the Carnival for prompting the following personalized (read: "form letter") email response from at least one of these guys:

"..Thank you for taking the time to write to The Hershey Company. We will take your comments into consideration. Your interest in our company is appreciated..."

La Maestra said...

You didn't specify, but I'm assuming next week's entries are due Tuesday night? :-)

Also, thanks for the double-mention! I only submitted one of my two entries--did you read the other one and decide to pick it up, or did someone else submit it?

(Either way, that's fine--I feel honored to get a double mention!) :-)

Mike in Texas said...

La Meastra,

I did get two, one may have been submitted through BlogCarnival by someone else.


That would be "Sweet" and I would be "Luckeeeee".
MisterTeacher and Janet,

How can you not love Lyle, the farmer who caps the cow in front of a busload of children, and talks with his mouth full of egg? Or Kip his brother?

Peace out!

Mike in Texas said...


You're welcome. Us semi-native Texans have to look out for each other!

Anonymous said...

Cool edition!
And we appreciate cool right now!
(3 digits by the weekend...)

HappyChyck said...

Enjoyable carnival!

EdWonk said...

Delightful edition. Well Done!

Michelle said...

Awesome links! I've found so much to read off of this one post, I don't know when I'll ever find the time. However, I am sitting inside most of the day, avoiding the sweltering Texas heat...

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