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NYC Dept. of Education to ban words that reference "Rock" and "Rap" music from standardized tests
The New York City Department of Education is setting out on a ridiculous endeavor. Rather than focusing on how to improve education or teacher performance in New York City, the Department of Education is working on something that is truly “important”: banning certain words from standardized tests. The Department of Education is seeking to have words banned from standardized test that reference rock and roll, rap, pornography, and dinosaurs. (no joke) The Department of Education claims that these topics are “unsettling” and distracting to students. Clearly the New York City Department of Education is truly out of touch with what their priorities should be.
According to CBS News, “Fearing that certain words and topics can make students feel unpleasant, officials are requesting 50 or so words be removed from city-issued tests."
The word 'dinosaur' made the hit list because dinosaurs suggest evolution which creationists might not like, WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reported. 'Halloween' is targeted because it suggests paganism; a 'birthday' might not be happy to all because Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate it.
In a throwback to 'Footloose,' the word 'dancing' is also taboo. However, there is good news for kids that like 'ballet': The city made an exception for this form of dance. Also banned are references to 'divorce' and 'disease,' because kids taking the tests may have relatives who split from spouses or are ill.
Some students think banning these words from periodic assessment tests is ridiculous. "If you don’t celebrate one thing you might have a friend that does it. So I don’t see why people would find it offensive," Curtis High School Sophomore Jamella Lewis told Diamond.
Check out the full list of banned words below:
Abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological)
Alcohol (beer and liquor), tobacco, or drugs
Birthday celebrations (and birthdays)
Cancer (and other diseases)
Catastrophes/disasters (tsunamis and hurricanes)
Children dealing with serious issues
Cigarettes (and other smoking paraphernalia)
Computers in the home (acceptable in a school or library setting)
Death and disease
Expensive gifts, vacations, and prizes
Gambling involving money
Homes with swimming pools
In-depth discussions of sports that require prior knowledge
Loss of employment
Occult topics (i.e. fortune-telling)
Religious holidays and festivals (including but not limited to Christmas, Yom Kippur, and Ramadan)
Television and video games (excessive use)
Traumatic material (including material that may be particularly upsetting such as animal shelters)
Vermin (rats and roaches)
War and bloodshed
Weapons (guns, knives, etc.)
Witchcraft, sorcery, etc.
Surely - aren't there better things that budgets and research time and be directed toward? A reading passage about a certain type of music, rock for example, could actually be a positive thing. Maybe if the passages contained a handful of things that students were actually interested in, they'd perform even better. This seems like a step in the WRONG direction, if you ask us.