Sunday, May 22, 2005

Here is a blatant example of cultural bias on a New York State math Regents exam.

Click for full size.

Understandably, the kids from the 'Hood who took this test had no idea what pastrami was, and the problem depends on you calculating it as a "meat." The kids either left it blank or guessed that it was "cheese," and all got zero out of 12 points for the section.

Pastrami? Are you kidding me? On a math exam? I can see if it was a Social Studies class and you had been studying the history of smoked meat ("Coopers to the Carnegie: From the Hill Country Pit to the Manhattan Deli, the Succulent Journey of the Brisket in 20th Century American Life,") but come on, really.

To even things up the next test ought to require the Suburban kids to draw on their familiarity with 25-cent "juices," tiny motorcycles, the menu at Kennedy Fried Chicken, and the Chinese lady on the train selling bootleg DVDs and "Baaaaaa-taaa-rieeees!"

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