NYC Bans Halloween, Birthdays, Aliens and More on School TestsStudents in New York City’s public schools cramming for tests can delete words like birthdays, junk food, Halloween, dinosaur and even dancing from study lists.
References to such words have been banned from city-issued tests in an edict issued by the city’s Department of Education for fear the words could “appear biased” or “evoke unpleasant emotions” in students.
Also on the list of topics that companies are asked to stay away from are “creatures from outer space,” homes with swimming pools, computers, vermin, junk food, abuse, terrorism, divorce, any references to disease and holidays.”My first thought was...WTF? I mean, seriously. What is happening to our country?
But, since I prefer to keep my head in the sand, since I rather focus on my own little corner of the world and pretend everything will always turn out all right, my second thought was...this could be a fun blog post!
What would a test look like with some of these words?
For Halloween, Billy Joe dressed up as a piece of vermin. He trick-or-treated at 17 homes with swimming pools, and 23 homes without. If each home gave him 2 pieces of candy, how much junk food does Billy Joe take home?
Fourteen dinosaurs stomped through the jungle. They came across seven aliens from outer space. How many aliens could each dinosaur pick up, if all fourteen dinosaurs have the same number of aliens?
Okay, your turn. Can you use some of these words to create test questions? Or pick some of your own! It's fun!
As a writer, the idea of anyone telling me I can't use words pisses me off. Words are my livelihood, my blood, my lifeline. I love very few things the way I love words. I appreciate the use of words, the art of stringing them together to make someone see what I see, feel what I feel, experience what I experience.
It's also wrong on some sort of government-controlling way that I don't want to look too deeply into.
But really, how many times did you see the word divorce on your tests?