Monday, April 2, 2012

Send in the Clowns

This story, about the list of topics banned from New York state tests, was the circus show last week:

In a bizarre case of political correctness run wild, educrats have banned references to “dinosaurs,” “birthdays,” “Halloween” and dozens of other topics on city-issued tests.
I couldn't help commenting that it's like complaining about a fleabite when you're getting attacked by lions. One doesn't have to look far to find much more serious problems in public education.

And if it is a problem, it's one a of risk-management (as more business-minded folks would say).

Dinosaurs are banned because conservative religious groups protest any content with a whiff of a hint of a suggestion that evolution may have occurred on Earth. Halloween is banned because conservative religious groups protest references to a holiday having to do with the supernatural (ghosts, demons). Birthdays are banned because the celebrating of birthdays is prohibited by some religious groups, the same groups that would protest if tests contained references to birthdays. Danged if ye do, danged if ye don't.

In the early 1990s, the California Learning Assessment System crash and burn cost the state millions of dollars. The cause was public controversy about the assessment content.

I find all of this silly, just as I think it's nonsensical that McDonald's coffee lids have warning labels that the beverage is hot and may cause burns. But can you blame them?

All this blustering about the effect when we should be investigating the cause. But this isn't really intended to be news; it's just entertainment, as you can see from the readers who enjoy getting their rile on in the comments.

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