Taking tests has gotten even more soul-crushingly boring for city students. The Post reports that the Department of Education has banned topics like birthdays, poverty, and dinosaurs to avoid angering specific religious groups or making students feel "uncomfortable." No word on whether entire science units on magnets have been scrapped for fear of confusing young Juggalos.
“Some of these topics may be perfectly acceptable in other contexts but do not belong in a city- or state-wide assessment,” the request states. But according to a professor at Columbia's Teachers College, “If the goal is to assess higher-order thinking skills, controversial topics, for example, ones that are the subject of political debate, are exactly what students should be reasoning about." Also, students who read more than one question about "Timmy" having a specific amount of a type of fruit are 73% more likely to gouge their eyes out with a pencil.
Also off-limits? "Creatures from outer space" (one D.C. teacher found that out the hard way), celebrities, "junk food," witches, and Halloween. So we're to believe that there is a 4th grade classroom that doesn't have a cardboard Jack-O-Lantern on the wall? Riiight. And a race of lizards that evolved into birds used to roam the earth.