GADFLY NEWS SERVICE: HUNTSALOOSA, TN. A fourth-grade class in this small town gained national attention yesterday when a group of students petitioned their teacher to postpone their spelling test scheduled for Friday in light of the financial crisis on Wall Street.
"Mrs. Smith is always talking about ???teachable moments,'" said Brandon Johnson, one of the students leading the charge. "It just seems silly to focus on something mundane like spelling when we could be learning about macro-economics instead."
The students' teacher at first dismissed the postponement out of hand, saying "fourth graders need to be able to learn to spell and learn about current events, all at the same time." But she backed down after her principal called for a meeting between the teacher, students, and their parents. This led to even greater controversy.
"We never like to see principals siding with students over teachers," said Nancy Beaker, the president of the National Education Association's local affiliate. "This is doubly unfair because Mr. Grady [the school's principal] is related to the boy who is in the middle of all of this." (They are second cousins.)
It's unclear whether the spelling test will proceed as scheduled, or...