Britain's biggest exam board has removed a poem by Carol Ann Duffy from the GCSE syllabus and asked schools to destroy the anthology it is contained in because it makes a reference to knife crime. This followed a complaint made by Pat Schofield, an exam invigilator. Duffy responded with the poem: Mrs Schofield's GCSE. [more inside]
Only men bake cookies in school textbooks. What do dinosaurs, mountains, deserts, brave boys, shy girls, men fixing roofs, women baking cookies, elderly people in wheelchairs, athletic African Americans, God, heathens, witches, owls, birthday cake and religious fanatics all have in common? Trick question? Not really. As we learn from Diane Ravitch's eye-opening book "The Language Police," all of the above share the common fate of having been banned from the textbooks or test questions (or both) being used in today's schools.
US Dept. of Education to erase website info which "does not reflect the priorities, philosophies, or goals of the present administration."
US Dept. of Education to erase website info which "does not reflect the priorities, philosophies, or goals of the present administration." Can you say 1984? Say it now....OVER and OVER and OVER again so you can GET USED TO IT......a brutal, clever strategy of the Bush Adm.to rewrite reality: erase problematic info and then channel money to people willing to produce the right stuff. Samizdat opportunity -- use a website capture program: WebWhacker costs $, but there are freeware site suckers available too. Orwell is turning in his grave.....Download and archive this stuff before it gets erased. Remember, Information Wants to Be Free!...or does it?
Textbook Publishers Learn to Avoid Messing With Texas. "Out of Many," the work of four respected historians, is one of the biggest sellers among American history college textbooks in the United States, but it is not likely to be available to Texas high school students taking advanced placement history. Conservative groups in Texas objected to two paragraphs in the nearly 1,000-page text that explained that prostitution was rampant in cattle towns during the late 19th century, before the West was fully settled.
Sensitivity or Censorship? A fascinating article in the NY Times reveals that the the New York Board of Education is editing literary passages used on its high school exit exam to remove passages that might "make a student feel ill at ease" while taking the test. Deletions include all references, no matter how innocuous, to drugs, alcohol, homosexuality, God, race, Congress, unpaid U.N. dues, nudity, sex, violence, and much more. Some of the quoted authors, including Annie Dillard and Frank Conroy, are pretty upset with the state, especially since the passages don't indicate that they have been "revised." On the other hand, standardized tests are often criticized as being culturally biased so maybe this is a justifiable attempt to make students from different backgrounds feel equally at ease in taking the test. What do you think?
Censored students post articles online You can't shut the kids up. The next generation is gonna kick our butts so fast...