Pre-election Carnival of Education

November 5, 2006

Just in time for the November 2006 local, state and national elections, we get the Carnival of Education #91, over at Median Sib.

One indication that this is not a normal election year is this fact: Education is not the chief issue in any state, nor in most local races. With the release of the Fordham Foundation study last week that showed education reform is foundering and floundering, with the great difficulty in Texas in getting court-ordered education reform through the legislature, with record college tuition costs, etc., etc., etc., education still is not the top concern of most Americans.

I wonder: Were education the top issue, would Republicans be in better shape, or worse shape?

Textbooks are in the news — with a solid legal and ethical question about whether accepting equipment to deliver material to students amounts to bribery, as California alleges (in a post at California LiveWire). It’s an incredibly salient question. The U.S. Department of Education used to leverage its limited budget for automation by requiring groups that provided computer services for which the department contracted to provide the department with computers to monitor the products. When I discovered the practice I thought it a very innovative way to get compliance with the law; unless the California officials were using the equipment for their own gain, I wonder how any state official can justify removing from the classroom machines that are used to deliver quality education. Where is the Gubernator when he’s needed?

Next week’s Carnival of Education will hit the day after the elections; will it reflect changes wrought on Tuesday night, if any? The 92nd Carnival of Education will be hosted by NYC Educator. Submissions are due Tuesday night — of course, you’re excused if you’re out at the election party, celebrating. (Notice how cleverly that applies regardless your politics — or mine.)

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