A high school teacher is facing questions from administrators after giving a vocabulary quiz that included digs at President Bush and the extreme right.Pop grammar quiz: Principal Sue Maguire said she hoped to speak to (whoever, whomever) complained about the quiz and any students who might be concerned.
Bret Chenkin, a social studies and English teacher at Mount Anthony Union High School, said he gave the quiz to his students several months ago. The quiz asked students to pick the proper words to complete sentences.
One example: "I wish Bush would be (coherent, eschewed) for once during a speech, but there are theories that his everyday diction charms the below-average mind, hence insuring him Republican votes." "Coherent" is the right answer.
Principal Sue Maguire said she hoped to speak to whomever complained about the quiz and any students who might be concerned.
Back to the article:
Chenkin, 36, a teacher for seven years, said he isn't shy about sharing his liberal views with students as a way of prompting debate, but said the quizzes are being taken out of context.Chenkin's attempt at a defense is way better than we saw from the Madison, Wisconsin third grade teachers earlier this week ("I don't see it as a controversial issue"). And it's notable that he's teaching older students. I'd like to know more about the whole context. What were the other sentences on the test? What is the rest of the class time like? Do students comfortably debate with him and take different opinions? I like seeing his willingness to change and include divergent viewpoints, but it sounds as though he's only doing that to keep people from giving him "grief." He should want to do it as a matter of being a good educator.
"The kids know it's hyperbolic, so-to-speak," he said. "They know it's tongue in cheek." But he said he would change his teaching methods if some are concerned.
"I'll put in both sides," he said. "Especially if it's going to cause a lot of grief."
UPDATE: Kevin Drum and Steven Bainbridge weigh in on this story.