The week started and ended with news out of the Clovis Unified School District: the sudden resignation of the district superintendent and a swirl of controversy around the district's sex education program.
Here are the top stories of the past week, along with selected comments posted by readers on fresnobee.com.
"When you get to that age, you begin to realize what you have missed out on, working 18 hour days, usually 7 days a week. The deaths of his friends could have been a real wakeup call. Bring in the younger people, with the high energy levels, to do the grueling work in education."
"Age 55 is a nice time to retire with benefits. Maybe he was just biding his time with CUSD until he reached the magic retirement age. Or maybe he is being ousted by the Board. Who knows? As these are 'personnel matters,' generally the public will never know the truth."
"Of course new and expensive toys are motivating and focus kids' attention, at least for awhile. That has less to do with the value of the toy itself and more to do with the power of new and perceived as valuable/special. In education, change is as much a valuable tool as are routine and predictability.
Invariably, those who benefit from the marketing of that change will point to it as being the particular change that is such a 'magic bullet' when in fact, it is simply that it is new, different, and perceived as special and valuable."
"Here's a thought. Get rid of teachers that can't teach or that don't produce results and hire teachers that are motivated and innovative in their teaching methods to get these kids interested to learn.
"All they should need is a nice mechanical pencil, calculator, click eraser and some college ruled paper."
Red light for Valley
"This report is about power politics plain and simple. Politicians in Sacramento who represent California's big cities don't want to spend money on the valley and this report obliges them by providing them an excuse."
"Finally a voice of reason! It makes sense to start in LA or San Fran. In case the project is never finished. We all know that the way things go in California that this is a real possibility and we don't need a train to no where in the valley taking up valuable agriculture land and becoming a blight on the landscape of the valley. This report should be taken seriously by those in charge."
Sex ed controversy
"When my child came home and reported what these people were teaching, I thought (s)he was making it up. I was asked, 'Can you really get AIDS from sharing a drink?' This curriculum does need to be updated. They're teaching 1950s curriculum to students in 2011."
"Wow, is this for real? ... It seems this issue is more about different belief systems. Oh, and gotta love the state worker chiming in, as if she has no agenda! Seriously, do our kids need these kinds of 'parents' and 'Big Sis,' I mean, Ms. Smith from Sac setting the moral course for them? Stand Strong Clovis Unified!!!"
-- Bethany Richter