Don’t say “dinosaurs”, “dancing” or “divorce”. Kids find that distracting.(UPDATED: Nixed)

City avoids placing taboo topics (that kids may actually know about) on public school exams –

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.

That’s because they fear such topics “could evoke unpleasant emotions in the students.”

Dinosaurs, for example, call to mind evolution, which might upset fundamentalists; birthdays aren’t celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses; and Halloween suggests paganism.

Even “dancing’’ is taboo, because some sects object. But the city did make an exception for ballet.

The forbidden topics were recently spelled out in a request for proposals provided to companies competing to revamp city English, math, science and social-studies tests given several times a year to measure student progress.


This story is so bizarre, I did a double-take. They have only eliminated the words from standarized tests, it seems, but does it strike anyone else that this is completely weird and counterproductive to learning!? Wouldn’t want them to be distracted for this important test!

Officials say such exclusions are normal procedure.

“This is standard language that has been used by test publishers for many years and allows our students to complete practice exams without distraction,” said a Department of Education spokeswoman, insisting it’s not censorship.

In fact, sensitivity guidelines recently published by a group of states creating new high-stakes exams also caution against mentioning luxuries, group dancing, junk food, homelessness or witches.

If this sort of thing spread, kids might be a BIT unprepared for the real world that is NOT so censored. Yikes!

UPDATED (6-Apr-2012): City reverses Tyrannosaurus nix on school tests

After a tsunami of public outcry, city education officials said they would no longer specify that test-makers exclude topics such as death, dancing and dinosaurs from city exams.

  3 comments for “Don’t say “dinosaurs”, “dancing” or “divorce”. Kids find that distracting.(UPDATED: Nixed)

  1. Massachusetts
    March 29, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    It just doesn’t seem reasonable to try to avoid upsetting everyone. The standard should be what would upset a reasonable person. This strategy is unreasonable and a foolish undertaking.

  2. Massachusetts
    March 30, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    Also, it seems reasonable that a standardized tests should reference topics kids have studied in their classes. I’m sure students have encountered dinosaurs science classes, plus other classes as well.

  3. April 1, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Jehovah’s Witnesses reject Birthdays all holidays,Thanksgiving even benign Mother’s day.
    The Watchtower leaders want to be ‘different’ for the sake of being different.Jehovah’s Witnesses are a dysfunctional group from the get-go .
    Christmas-Jesus was not born on exactly Dec 25th,but he also did not have his *invisible* second coming in the month of October 1914,a falsehood that is the core doctrine of the Watchtower religion.

    *tell the truth don’t be afraid*–Danny Haszard

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