‘Dinosaurs’ May Be Banned From All NYC Standardized Tests
They are still going to teach kids about dinosaurs in New York City public schools. (At least we think they are.) But if the New York City Department of Education has their way, the word 'dinosaur' won't be allowed to appear on any standardized test.
Why? Because it might offend students who don't believe in evolution. "Dinosaur" is perhaps the most outwardly ridiculous of the 50 or so words on the Dept. of Education's proposed banned list, but many of the others are pretty darn head-scratching.
"Birthday" is out because Jehovah’s Witnesses don't celebrate them, and "Halloween" gets the ax because of its link to paganism. There can be no references to wealth or poverty -- for example a question about a kid who has a computer at home would be deemed unfair to children whose parents might not have enough money to afford a home computer.
The entire of list of banned words is below. Almost as baffling as the Dept. of Ed wanting to get rid of all references to dinosaurs is the fact that they feel the need to tell their test writers that pornography is a subject that shouldn't be mentioned on a standardized test.
Abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological)
Alcohol (beer and liquor), tobacco, or drugs
Birthday celebrations (and birthdays)
Cancer (and other diseases)
Catastrophes/disasters (tsunamis and hurricanes)
Children dealing with serious issues
Cigarettes (and other smoking paraphernalia)
Computers in the home (acceptable in a school or library setting)
Death and disease
Expensive gifts, vacations, and prizes
Gambling involving money
Homes with swimming pools
In-depth discussions of sports that require prior knowledge
Loss of employment
Occult topics (i.e. fortune-telling)
Religious holidays and festivals (including but not limited to Christmas, Yom Kippur, and Ramadan)
Television and video games (excessive use)
Traumatic material (including material that may be particularly upsetting such as animal shelters)
Vermin (rats and roaches)
War and bloodshed
Weapons (guns, knives, etc.)
[via CBS New York]