Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy, Happy Halloween!

I did my usual this Halloween at school; a monk.

The students were fairly attentive, and I was glad to see that they were really into discussing the California Election. So the college prep classes worked fine.

Unfortunately, my Intro level class pushed my last straw and I've taken down the magazines and bookshelf in my classroom. My silent reading group has done damage to books and magazines over and over again. I try to be reasonable with them, after all, they are "adults". But today they left books on the floor and destroyed a Garfield comic book, and left magazines all over the place. So, like I'm dealing with a bunch of elementary kids, I put the magazines away, covered up the bookcase, and that is that for the next quarter. No magazines, no books, and the kids are now absolutely responsible to provide their own. It was sad actually, and I don't like having to threat Seniors like little kids, but I guess it happens. The problem is, I have a group of maybe six guys that need to get nailed in order to get things taken care of. I'm ready to move them to various areas in the front of the room, because I'm getting the feeling that they are becoming a little too empowered.

Grades are done and ready to be handed in. Statistics?

International Studies: 32 students. 28 passing and 4 fails. 10 A's.
College Prep Government: 63 students. 55 passing and 8 fails. 6 A's.
Introduction to Government: 46 students. 40 passing and 6 fails. 2 A's.

Half the failures are totally attendance based, while the rest is homework. All of the International Studies failures are due to attendance, since the class is during Zero Period (7:30 a.m.). On the other hand, the students that are getting A's most definitely deserve them. I tell students at the beginning of the year that it is hard to get an A in the class and it is hard to fail. You need to really try to do either.

Finally, there was little mayhem on this Halloween night. We are one of those mean families that turns out the lights and relaxes during the night instead of dealing with trick-or-treaters. Seriously, families drive to the neighborhood and whole thing becomes a 2 1/2 hour candy fest. The only incident involved 2-3 Seniors who knocked on my door and said, "Jeffrey Silva-Brown, you give those kids some candy.", and scurried off giggling. It was only 7:30 when it happened, so no big deal. It woke my wife up though, which is never a smart thing to do to a woman who wakes up at 4 in the morning. It was just kids being kids, and that type of stuff really doesn't usually bother me. It's kind of affectionate. If they don't like you, you won't hear a thing and wake up the next morning with something ugly on your hands. That's one of the drawbacks of all the students knowing where you live, but 99% of the students that I see at my home are no problem at all. I'll be working in the garage or doing yard work and they'll stop by and chat. I had that one issue two years ago with the threat, and that is the extent of the really nasty stuff.

Wanna know who's coaching the boys' basketball program at Ukiah High?

So do I.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Weekend

Work to rule?
Nah, doesn't do the kids much good at this point. Which is why I spent most of the weekend creating a Model United Nations website for the school. If you want to check it out, click on Mr. Silva-Brown's Website under the Links section to the right. Then click Model United Nations and you will see the result of a weekend of work. I must say that I didn't make the overall template design, however I did manipulate the images and the colors, deal with the links, yada, yada.

I'm trying to shake off all of this cynicism before I start the week, as it will do nothing but shake me down. And this week's schedule will be a doozy. I have lots of after school stuff to take care of, everything from Model U.N. driving issues, to summertime university credits, to late night basketball. Arg!!! But it will get much better after this weekends trip to Bezerkeley. The first trip is always the most difficult to manage.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Week, oh week

I'm sitting here right now listening to old Cardinal Egan visits to the Imus in the Morning show, and working on a new Ukiah Model U.N. webpage. I need to laugh, and others need to lighten up.

-"If the parents don't like him, teachers and coaches should be fired". I have heard or read this quote nearly a dozen times this week. Ever since the A.D. was fired because of a group of parents, this quote has given a false sense of confidence to parents that they actually have power to impact everything done in a public school. And some of you actually question why teachers have tenure?

-Global Studies had their first mini-model United Nations session (minus the country research) regarding the situation in Sudan. In the end, the resolutions that passed agreed that economic sanctions were needed against Sudan, and that the United States should participate in a larger peace keeping force to protect the civilians. Sure, it is a tad bit naive, but the resolutions were well done and the debate was good for a first time. Want to meet Coach Brown? I'll be at the Berkeley Model U.N. Workshop next weekend with a small group of interested students. You can say "hi", or "I hate your blog", or some other uplifting comment.

-Skunky harvest is here. Yes, nothing is more potent than walking out of the house to the small of marijuana every morning at 6:15. Growing is so prevalent here that it is unbelievable. My hope is that the passing of Norm Vroman will hope the county go in a more reasonable direction in terms of drug issues. Speaking of the recently deceased, it looks like he was on someone's watch list before he died. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported today that the Feds were planning to raid his house to sniff out weed, guns, and cash, some of which might had been stolen from police department raids. Hell of a guy, huh? I also hope that Judge Cindy Mayfield throws the book at these two guys that had a 400 plant plantation in the middle of a residential neighborhood, near a school. And I hope it goes something like, "You are getting the maximum penalty and you can take your medical marijuana card and stick it straight up your ass!"

-I need a good LCD projector with at least 2000 lumins and reasonable replacement bulb costs. Anyone have recommendations?

-I realized on Thursday that my classroom management problems are nearly non-existant, and that is such a cool thought. I haven't had one kid tossed out, one kid written up with a referral, not one! I was just one of those realizations that was enjoyable to think about in a week full of garbage.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

2 Questions

1. Do you coach?

2. If you don't, did you used to coach and why did you stop?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A long time in coming

It is well past time to add to my "Favorites Blogroll". Here's the new adds.

-Teaching in the Twenty-First Century
-Teaching in the 408
-School Me!
-The Quick and the Ed
-Friends of Dave
-Education in Texas
-3σ → Left

Hey, this is truly a medical marijuana case

From the Ukiah Daily Journal,

Bail for Memo and Mark Parker was reduced during a Friday hearing, after their attorney, Katie Lerman, failed to get the two released on their own recognizance.
The brothers have been jailed since Monday, when a search warrant was served at their residences, and more than 400 marijuana plants and 170 pounds of processed marijuana were seized.

"I believe this is a 215 (medical marijuana) case," Lerman said. "I believe the evidence is overwhelming in my clients' defense."

Mendocino Superior Court Judge Cindee Mayfield reduced the two Ukiah residents' bail from $150,000 each to $75,000 each.


Yes, one client had a headache and the other had a splinter. The 400 plants were simply to take the edge off the pain.

Unbelievable.

Castro Valley..........when parent "experts" try to run athletic programs

CW Nevius in the San Francisco Chronicle has got it dead on.

It's the kind of over-the-top behavior that's increasingly common -- parents running on the field, screaming from the sidelines and, in the worst cases, punching out officials. It happens when well-intentioned parents let their protective instincts for their children overwhelm their good judgment.


Castro Valley has a classic problem; parents deciding that they have a clue about running high school athletics. A veteran teacher at Castro Valley, Nancy Nibarger, decided to take the girls varsity basketball job. After a nice run in the beginning, her current record is less than stellar, and that is the time that this group of parents decided to pounce.

But here is the problem, after investigation about parent complaints, the school administration and the district found no problems. It was the school board that took exception.

An investigation was convened by the principal's office. Shari Rodriguez, varsity girls volleyball coach and a Nibarger supporter, says the administration interviewed every player on the team and reached a conclusion -- no action was needed. The parents group took it to the district level. Once again, every player was interviewed and the conclusion was the same -- no action. Finally, the group went to the school board. The final hearing, in August, lasted nine hours. Those who were there say that the anti-Nibarger group appeared with matching binders and that Goodman was seen pulling girls aside before their appearances to "help" with their statements. The group even led cheers, Rodriguez says.

And the board caved, adding on restrictions on the varsity program that are completely absurd.
-The coach will not be able to pick her team. The team will be picked by a six member panel that will include parents and community members. The coach will be 1/6 of the vote to pick "her" team.
-Her assistant coaches, one a Cal-Berkeley Hall of Famer, both having no complaints against them, were fired.
-Instead, a member of the parent group will attend every practice as a babysitter.

So let me get this straight. The athletic director supports the coach, the administration supports the coach, the district supports the coach, the kids support the coach, other teachers support the coach, but the board supports the parents? Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a disastrous athletic season brought to you by people that don't know what the hell they are doing. High school sports programs are like Advanced Placement P.E., yet we are going to let parents have that much influence on what and how those classes are taught?

"If we don't stomp this out," says athletic director (Marie)Gray, "whosever mommy or daddy has the most power is going to be the starter. And if you look around the country, you see we are losing that battle.''


And along with it, we are losing great, young coaches. And we haven't even addressed the issue of the impact on the kids who work so hard for years, only to have a group of parents yank the rug from underneath their season because of their selfish actions.

"What I want to know is what are these kids going to do when they leave home and have a boss or a professor they don't like? They can't destroy everyone they don't like.''


Once again, let the real coaches do the coaching, and tell the other "experts" to be quiet, or you'll end up having a laughable athletic program.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Weekend

As in "thank God it is the......".

-Was that not a bad ass Battlestar Galactica!?!?!? I'm telling you, THE BEST SHOW ON TELEVISION!!!!

-"What, now that a new District Attorney is going to be hired, cops will focus on marijuana and not all the crack and meth out there? What a bunch of shit." I heard this three times this week from students who are now afraid that the county's bountiful crop will be tarnished by Ukiah's Finest. I really felt sad for these kids. I mean, it's like their life revolves around weed and they are constantly up to justifying why it is the greatest thing in the world. You get the "you can't die" angle, the "it's not addictive" angle, the "hemp is wonderful, ask Thomas Jefferson" angle, and the finally, if all else fails, the "hey, then why don't then make alcohol illegal" angle. It's just pathetic. No, not the kids, the town. The kids deserve to be taught a little discipline, and the town needs to stop spending a year on a stupid flag on a stupid hill. How about the weekly drug and booze binges with students? How about a year on that?

-My students did essays on which Amendment of the Constitution they felt was most important. The First Amendment was far and away the pick of the students. A couple did a nice job justifying other amendments, and those essays were the most fun to read. You love to see students analyze the 9th Amendment and explain its incredible importance to society. For those that don't know, the 9th Amendment is basically talking about rights that people have that are not stated in the Constitution. Some believe that this is where the concept of John Locke's Natural Rights is embedded. Other students had the 14th and 19th Amendments as the most important.

-My coaching position is now left in limbo after a small culling of the boys basketball program by the School Board. I wasn't fired, but if you are a basketball coach, you could see where my job would be interesting if a program head wasn't around at this point before the season. The biggest tragedy is that I've had a variety of good, young on-campus teachers that wanted to coach, say that they will not even consider coaching in the current situation. Canned if enough parents complain? Please. A lot of good coaches are walking away, and I don't blame them.
By this time next week, I'll either be coaching or I won't be coaching. If I'm coaching then I'm happy to bring some semblance of order back to basketball. If not, then it will be the first year since 8th grade that I won't have been involved in either coaching or playing basketball.

-International Studies conducted its first Model United Nations debates on the geocide occuring in Darfur. After a little sluggishness with rules and procedures, the kids became fully involved in debating and negotiating the genocide. At the end of this week, I'll give you an update about how it went.

-Remember, legalizing weed reduces crime.

Monday, October 16, 2006

What Economics is truly about.



This is Muhammad Yunus, a banker and economist from Bangladesh that recently won the Nobel Peace Price. He is also the prime example of why the concept of Economics, and the theory of ownership, is so important in creating a stable economic structure.

Yunus helped develop and implement a concept called microfinancing, the idea of giving very poor people no-collateral, low/no interest loans in an effort to get them out of poverty. His bank, the Grameen Bank, has succeeded in this endeavor on a scale that is unimaginable. Over $5 billion in loans have been handed out, with a repayment rate of nearly 99%!! Oh, and the bank is making a profit!

In exchange for the lack of collateral, the Grameen Bank insists on doing business in a way that gives incentive to better the borrower, and the overall community. Borrowers are a part of a group of five people, and the entire group must show that they can responsibly pay back the loan. One person defaults and they all are considered in default. Over 90% of all borrowers are women (more likely that the money goes toward the family), and there has to be an agreement that the borrower will use the funds to empower themselves. Check out the 16 Decisions of Grameen Bank. It gives excellent insight into what is expected from the institution.

Muhammad Yunus is a man who deserves the Nobel Prize, and thank goodness that we finally have a capitalist that both parties can look at as a success story. Those that teach Economics might what to consider using the Newshour video from 2001 that gives a nice summary of the actions of the Grameen Bank.

Hopefully, it will also be used as another classic example why you don't simply give money away to certain groups of people and expect them to want to work for a better life. A great quote, "Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he'll eat forever".

Thanks Mr. Yunus for teaching those that need to learn.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

I still don't do Senioritis, and neither do many colleges

How nice of the colleges to finally figure it out.

Maybe you remember my post from two years ago where I stated that I didn't accept the issue of Seniors mailing it in with a few months to go in school, a condition that is known as "senioritis". Well, it looks like some other institutions of higher learning are finally figuring it out. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Colleges and universities from coast to coast are cutting students whose senior grades drop dramatically or who do not complete the rigorous course of study they promised in their application. California universities have rescinded hundreds of offers for this fall.


No kidding? Usually it is the very high end universities that are knocking at the door of Seniors in May, now the UC and CSU system are starting to get into the act. It really makes sense actually, since the application process is becoming more and more competitive. The only problem now is the reliance of junior colleges by students, not because of financial burden, but because of laziness.

Although the University of California, California State University and Stanford University have been revoking admissions for decades, they are becoming even more aggressive about demanding that students be ready for college work when they arrive.

"We want the students to be prepared. The biggest reason students fail in college is their preparation in secondary school," said Jim Blackburn, a CSU enrollment director whose 23 campuses have been trying to reduce the number of freshmen needing remedial courses.


My wife took attended a workshop at Sonoma State in June that revealed some startling statistics. Nearly 60% of all incoming freshmen need some sort of remedial Math and English upon entering the UC/CSU system. 60%!!!! That's a whole lot of wasted money and time for something they can learn free-of-charge in high school. However, I'm not the slightest bit surprised at the English numbers. I'd say that only about 30% of my current college prep population is ready for a CSU English course. Not too good.

Officials say the scrutiny comes as a shock to most students, even though almost all colleges and universities warn students in their admission letters that the offer depends on successful completion of the senior year without a slip in academic performance.



I read a study in the Wall Street Journal a year ago about parents being concerned that their kids have it harder in terms of the ability to find a job in the market than they did when they were young. The realization is starting to take hold that a lot of people have a Bachelor's Degree, and that a simple college education will no longer guarantee a job. Yet that attitude is not reflected by students in the classroom. Students are full of optimism (something that this society is famous for), but lacks the focus of reality. During the Willits Algebra Academy, I listened to the U.C. coordinator explaining to a group of 8th graders that it was vital to begin to get good grades early in their career because the universities are starting to get really selective. Parents seemed very interested, but kids were just screwing around, acting like the squirrels that they are. Is 8th grade too early for a little discipline and perspective? I don't think so.

And Seniors will learn the discipline and perspective lesson sooner or later.

Just a bizarre week

I can't really explain it any other way than to say that the week was simply bizarre.

You know what you get when you mix a bunch of Homecoming all-nighters and school days? Colds. That's right, the season for getting sick is in as all those kids that ate garbage for days and got little sleep succumbed to the common cold this week. Can't say that I didn't warn them to eat better. I got a little scratch in the throat earlier in the week, which has turned into a slight cough. I can't tell yet whether I've fought off the cold or if it just starting.

Speaking of other Homecoming effects, I gave my second test on Friday to my Government classes, with a very unhappy result. Averages were in the range of 69-72%. Ouch. And this was a pretty straight-forward test, mostly about Constitutional Principles, Amendments, and some Convention thrown in. When I asked about why they did poorly, the overwhelming answer was very simple; "I didn't study". No kidding? You might find a correlation between studying and test scores if you continue in this manner. Unfortunately, this isn't uncommon for this time of year. I expect a near 10% increase in the test scores for the next round, as students figure out that I'm very consistent with tests and quizzes, and that the test questions come right out of the notes.

I need to find a way to raise about $5,000 for Model United Nations. One approach is an Educational Foundation Grant that has the potential of making the Berkeley Model U.N. Conference a reality if I can get the paperwork straight. Wow, talking about a serious bunch of work! Applying for a grant is like doing my college thesis all over again, except that this time Constantine isn't going to get the visit from God that saves my ass. Thankfully, I've acquired some great advice and I'm plugging through with the process.

My website (www.coachbrown.net) is having problems with the Making the Grade online grade upload. For some reason, some classes are showing up without any grades, just the e-mail link. Any suggestions?

Hopefully, by the end of this week, I can change part of this website and then move into a brand new era in my career. Sound coded and secretive? Well, it's meant to be. All I can say is that I remember back to my Junior year in high school, when I was in Mr. Mason's U.S. History class, I told a girl named DeAnna that I was going to do two things with my life. One was to teach high school History. The other was something else. I accomplished one dream, and the other is incredibly close.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Education Carnival

The Education Carnival is up at Education Wonks.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Fall Television, Part Two

Well, the shows have begun, the premiers have been cast, and the initial feelings are as follows:

Battlestar Galactica is.............the single best show on television, again. The season opener was excellent, which relevance to the modern global situation, and bizarre situation with Starbuck.

Amazing Race is.............still old reliable. I'm still enjoying the show's editing, which is smart and snappy.

Heroes is..............one of my new favorites. Being a fan of X-Men, you could see where I get the warm fuzzies for this show. Currently, it is doing a great job introducing the characters and setting up the mystery. Let's hope it keeps going!

Gilmore Girls is..............so over. It is depressing, again. Time to shoot this dog and move on.

Lost is...................still getting my interest, but I need some resolution. I was a little "well, fine" about the season premier. Not a good sign.

The Nine is...............interesting. Talk about a show that jams in the different emotions. It will either be excellent or flame out.

Jericho is..............flaming out. I'm in it for one story line. Make it better or go the way of "Kidnapped".

Dr. Who is...............same as always. Leave me alone about it :)

Studio 60 is.................pretty entertaining. I'm liking the chemistry, with the exception of Timothy Busfield, who is out of place.

Drop the homework?

The San Francisco Chronicle recently published an article that discussed the "growing movement" to abolish homework. Apparently a teacher at Gunn High School in Palo Alto has moved in the direction and has noticed a growth in students passing the Advanced Placement exam in Economics. He states that the reason is that students are more focused in the classroom, allowing for a less stressful home life and overall better academic performance.

The rest of the article is an argument about whether or not homework helps or hinders academic progress.

Homework has become less of a focus in my class for a variety of reasons. I've seen better academic progress by my students over the years, but can't say with certainty that less homework has something to do with it. I would hope that my teaching getting better would be the more reasonable conclusion. The main reason I've given less homework is simply that I'm not interested in spending every free moment grading homework. "Busy work" serves so purpose except to let teachers sit in classrooms and relax, and save the work to grade for a more comfortable situation at home. I'd rather not have the kids get the busy work (that is useless anyway), and then I won't have to grade it. The next reason that I've eased up on homework is because I don't consider "studying" as homework. I quiz like a mad man, which is an effective way to make sure that things get done. Then there is the issue of giving out projects or essays and having students give me updated sections, which I consider homework. See, in the end the idea should be that teachers actually do the teaching in the classroom, with some reinforcement or critical thinking taking place on the homework front. One of the complaints that I heard last year from one of my foreign exchange students was that teachers were simply giving work to do outside of class and doing no real teaching in the classroom. Not very effective for the bottom line.

In the end, homework is necessary, but let's remember that the greatest place for learning is in the classroom.

Homecoming finished

After the energy drinks, the fast food, the zombie stares, and the class clowning, the week that is Homecoming is finally over. The Seniors won the week with a commanding performance in their homecoming skit that was focused around the Star Wars universe. It was fun for the kids, fodder for the paper, and fairly irritating for the teachers.

Thank God it is over.

I've received a few e-mails about my negative attitude towards Homecoming, most stating that it is one of the positive things that happens at a school that has fights, drugs and gangs. I should probably clarify what I'd like to see with Homecoming Week.

First, stop reading the Ukiah Daily Journal. For some reason, the image of the high school is one of a drug infested institution that promotes mortal combat and has a different street gang on every corner. My first recommendation is that you cancel the Daily Journal.

Second, tone down Homecoming Week. This year's homecoming became totally invasive to the academic progress of students. I've had students miss 4 of the 5 days this week to do homecoming activities. Is that something that should be promoted? What about the dead eyed students that spent all night working on homecoming, only to come to school to sleep in class? More promotion? How about this:
-Dump the kiosk. It is a waste of time and energy, serving little purpose in the overall Week's activities.
-Dump the backdrop. It is another event that makes kids stay up late at night, including staying up to place them in the gym.
-Stop all lunchtime rallies. Students miss third and fourth period to prepare for the various lunchtime rallies.
-Have a rule stating that points are deducted for students that work on floats or skits after curfew.

Everything should be in moderation, including Homecoming Week. The ability for kids to manage a number of events and issues should be a priority for the teachers to instruct to students. Saying that, we need to remember that schools are academic institution.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Mid-air collision survival

Want to read an absolutely amazing, and sad, story?

On Friday their was a mid-air collision over Brazil between a Gol Airlines 737, and a private executive jet. The 737 crashed with no survivors. The private jet somehow managed to keep aloft and everyone survived. A New York Times journalist was on the executive plane and recounts the harrowing moments of the collision. It is pretty amazing that they made it out alive.

Just a note, preliminary reports show that the pilots of the private plane are at fault in the crash. Apparently they were instructed by air traffic control to descend from 37,000 to 36,000, but didn't. The 737 was to the same altitude going the opposite direction when it hit.

Thanks to Benallaroundtheworld for the story.

I'm such a freakin killjoy

Homecoming week is only two days old and I'm already prepared to ask for the damn thing to be banished.

For those of you not from the 707, Ukiah's Homecoming is a well known event that pits one class versus another in a variety of events. They include eating at McDonald's (yes, the more you eat, the more points you get, how's that for progressive), small lunch-time events, a kiosk diorama, a massive gym backdrop, a huge Friday rally skit, a float on a flatbed truck, and over-all spirit for the whole week. The winning class gets the "Spirit Bell", and bragging rights. It is so popular that it is the number one item that has to do with the school that the Ukiah Daily Journal actually covers that isn't negative.

The only problem is that it is negative. The first two years of my time at the high school found me enjoying the whole attitude and atmosphere of Homecoming Week. Kids were amped up and the town really got involved in the little reindeer games. Now, after maturing as a teacher, I've come to realize that the week is a total waste of time that serves no purpose except to pit classmates against each other. In fact, I've noticed over the year that nobody really even cares about the main point of Homecoming, the football game. The whole week revolves around the competition between classes, which also makes academics suffer.

Monday morning I arrived at 6:15 a.m. to find a variety of students screaming and running around the school dressed in "class colors" and waving flags. I didn't smile. Then came the dead students to my classroom, since many of the Seniors (with acceptance from their parents) stayed up the night to hang stuff around the school. Then came the constant "Why aren't you wearing class colors?" question to students that didn't care. Of course, when the question was presented to me, my reply is "I will support any class with the appropriate compensation". I'm still waiting for my $300 fee to wear class colors on a school day. Something tells me that I'm charging too much.

This morning was much of the same. This time Seniors were dead because they worked on skit practice, the kiosk, and the backdrop all night (again, parents don't seem to mind). I don't let them nap in class and I don't change my schedule to their Homecoming mood, so I look like the royal jerk. Mix that with the incredulous "You make us work during Homecoming Week?" attitude and you have a bunch of pissed off teachers that have enough to deal with and don't need this week to help it along.

Oh yeah, I didn't mention the temper-tantrums, egging of students, a conga line by a group of students through the building in class, or the students that miss class to work on Homecoming.

Call me the Grinch if you must, but this week sucks.

Education Carnival

This week's Midway is hosted by Current Events in Education, a blog that discusses, well, current events in education.

I like this week geographic format. Go look.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Check out the Monet! Check out the Michelangelo! Check out the boobies!

When I taught World History a few years ago, I did a few units about the art of the period we were talking about. It is amazing how students react to art projects; first with boredom, then with interest, and finally with enthusiasms. The Renaissance project was a big hit, as students found such an intriguing blend of mythical figures, religious connotations, and brilliant colors. Some of the artwork that they research include nudes, whether it's David, one of the various Madonna's, or some other image of the human body. Over the three years that I taught freshmen, I rarely had any issues with students complaining about nude artwork, or even acting very immature when viewing it. Out of 90 students a year, I might have had 1 or 2 that would snicker. Other than that, the kids were really interested in the art.

So, does that mean that teacher Sydney McGee should have taken her 5th grade class to the Dallas Museum of Art? Does she deserve to be suspended and possibly fired because a student complained to mommy that he/she saw nudity in some of the artwork? According to the New York Times, that's exactly what is happening in Texas. The district is taking the situation out of hand and pandering to small town parents, something I found when I coached at certain small school districts.

In the May 18 memorandum to Ms. McGee, Ms. Lawson (principal) faulted her for not displaying enough student art and for "wearing flip-flops"” to work; Ms. McGee said she was wearing Via Spiga brand sandals. In citing the students "exposure to nude art, Ms. Lawson also said "“time was not used wisely for learning during the trip,"” adding that parents and teachers had complained and that Ms. McGee should have toured the route by herself first. But Ms. McGee said she did exactly that. In the latest of several statements, the district contended that the trip had been poorly planned. But Mr. Gibbs, the districtÂ’s lawyer, acknowledged that Ms. Lawson had approved it.
And people wonder why you need a union if you are a teacher. Her past performance evaluations are excellent, she is well liked by students and other parents, and was even awarded a Teacher of the Month award from a local paper.

Sounds to me like accountability for administrators might need to be considered.