The first question is JURISDICTIONAL, to wit:
is there any legal authority to burden them with "assignments" over the summertime ?
During the summertime were the plaintiffs even HER STUDENTS ?
David - that reminds me of a situation one of my teacher friends ran into when he assigned the book, 'Guns, Germs and Steel' by Jared Diamond for his advanced placement world history class- and he sent this letter to all the kids enrolled in it that they could begin reading it over the summer as it was not the easiest read and he figured it would give them a good head start.
He didn't ASSIGN or require it to be read over the summer - he just suggested that they might want to read it over the summer- as they would begin the year with a discussion and paper due on that book.
Well, oh my goodness - you would have thought he was trying to turn these kids into indentured servants for the summer or something- the uproar from the parents was immediate and insurmountable to the point that he just said - 'Forget it.' They didn't want their kids to have to do it - but they didn't want the other kids to have a head start over their kids so finally, he just caved and withdrew the suggestion.
You know there's a whole lot of world history to be covered in 180 hours (one hour of history class for one school year which is 180 days)- somewhere around 8,000 years. So much has to be crammed in that many teachers do Ancient Greece and Rome (which used to be their own separate electives - I took them when I was in highschool) in three days - ridiculous!
He's so passionate about his subject - he figured the ones who were taking an elective AP history class would be too and would find the book interesting moreso than 'work'.
Apparently not. Such a shame that learning is not seen by more people as the opportunity it is.