The ongoing discussion between Bob, Kirby et al is a bit of a hoot;-) , but to segue the discussion:
I'd like to see a curriculum consisting of 1/2 laid on from above, the other 1/2 at the teacher's discretion - with the only proviso being that the teacher use his/her half to broach topics not covered by the "standards" gang. Ie topics that interest the teacher - topics to which the students might contagiously be attracted. Also - no covering the following year's mandation.
I'm curious how many people do sudokus but profess a dislike of math. If math were were approached as a fun subject a la gym, shop, model-building etc I believe we'd be well served. What about puzzle-solving is there not to like?