3/31/12

Why are These 50 Words Being Banned From Standardized School Tests?


If someone asked me to come up with some words that shouldn't be used in school materials, I might be reluctant at first but maybe I could come up with something like "pornography" or "jihad" or something extremely delicate to discuss with younger students...

But a few days ago, the Department of Education in NYC put together a list of words they claim are "no longer acceptable for city-issued standardized tests." ----And wait til you see the list!!!

The DOE has not given a satisfactory reason as to why these words pose a problem, nor who they might be offending. But when you see the word "Birthday" and "Divorce" on the list you start to wonder why these out-of-touch bureaucrats are still serving our community.
 
  • Abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological)
  • Alcohol (beer and liquor), tobacco, or drugs
  • Birthday celebrations (and birthdays)
  • Bodily functions
  • Cancer (and other diseases)
  • Catastrophes/disasters (tsunamis and hurricanes)
  • Celebrities
  • Children dealing with serious issues
  • Cigarettes (and other smoking paraphernalia)
  • Computers in the home (acceptable in a school or library setting)
  • Crime
  • Death and disease
  • Divorce
  • Evolution
  • Expensive gifts, vacations, and prizes
  • Gambling involving money
  • Halloween
  • Homelessness
  • Homes with swimming pools
  • Hunting
  • Junk food
  • In-depth discussions of sports that require prior knowledge
  • Loss of employment
  • Nuclear weapons
  • Occult topics (i.e. fortune-telling)
  • Parapsychology
  • Politics
  • Pornography
  • Poverty
  • Rap Music
  • Religion
  • Religious holidays and festivals (including but not limited to Christmas, Yom Kippur, and Ramadan)
  • Rock-and-Roll music
  • Running away
  • Sex
  • Slavery
  • Terrorism
  • Television and video games (excessive use)
  • Traumatic material (including material that may be particularly upsetting such as animal shelters)
  • Vermin (rats and roaches)
  • Violence
  • War and bloodshed
  • Weapons (guns, knives, etc.)
  • Witchcraft, sorcery, etc.

I have since hearing about this on the radio, discovered some possible reasons or motivation behind some of these words and I find it disappointing to say the least.

-Birthday - because a child may be a Jehovah's Witness and they don't celebrate birthdays
-Divorce - because a child shouldn't be confronted by the reality of his/her own broken home
-Evolution - because it offends creationists or "fundamentalist Christians" 
-Witchcraft or Occult - because these topics are of Satan and have the ability to corrupt  

I am really put off by the idea that we have to walk on egg shells and edit everything we say, to avoid hitting a nerve with people who have issues with certain topics. If my kid is having a birthday party and you don't like it, don't bloody come!!!

See if you can find any logical reason to have these word excluded from school testing materials. 

What do you come up with?
 

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