We know the DOE is often insane over this issue. When I attended Peter Zucker's hearing, the biggest issue they tried to use against him was the so-called "classroom physical environment" or the outside bulletin boards.
Now as a self-contained classroom teacher I worked on the environment and tried to make it stimulating.
So I found Mike A's comments interesting -- next time your principal hassles you wave this in his/her face.
Some teachers devote a lot of time to each painstaking detail, while others can’t understand why principals and administrators are so fired up about the latest holiday decoration and not so much about how the kids are doing.
With all this in mind, it was interesting to find this research from Carnegie Mellon University concluding “children in highly decorated classrooms were more distracted, spent more time off-task and demonstrated smaller learning gains than when the decorations were removed.”