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.
posted by dagny
on May 2, 2003 -
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.
posted by ncurley
on Jun 30, 2002 -
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?
posted by boltman
on Jun 2, 2002 -