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Alabama Teacher, Whose Math Test Included Inappropriate Questions, Suspended

  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    A teacher at Burns Middle School in Mobile, Alabama, has been suspended after parents complained about a math test given to their children. The test, which some have labeled racist, contained questions about cocaine and drive-by shootings.

    The exam, entitled “The L.A. Math Proficiency Test,” has been circulating online for years. Its questions feature mathematical word problems about unseemly subjects, including pimps and gangs, as well as cocaine and drive-by shootings.

    One of the word problems reads, “Rufus is pimping for three girls. If the price is $65 for each trick, how many tricks will each girl have to turn so Rufus can pay for his $800-per-day crack habit? Another question reads, “Johnny has an AK-47 with an 80-round clip. If he misses 6 out of 10 shots and shoots 13 times at each drive-by shooting, how many drive-by shootings can he attempt before he has to reload?”

    “My son, he took a picture of it in class and he texted it to me. I couldn’t believe it,” Erica Hall told Fox10.

    Hall said the students laughed at the test, thinking that it was part of some sort of practical joke. “They took it as a joke, and she told them that it wasn’t it [sic] a joke, and they had to complete it, and turn it in,” she said. Erica Hall and her husband, along with several parents, visited Burns Middle school on Tuesday, seeking answers.

    Mobile County Public School System Martha Peek declined to comment on the status of the internal investigation, but she said that the teacher was suspended when her office became aware of the incident, according to News5.

    Peyton, one of the students who was given the math test, said she laughed at it. “My language arts teacher gave it to us to work, and I was kind of laughing at it, because I thought it was kind of off,” she said.

    “I’m shocked. I don’t think it’s appropriate at all,” said Mrs. Lee, Payton’s mother. Apparently, teachers in Texas and California have administered the test in the past.

    By Jerome Hudson - Breitbart/June 1, 2016
    Photos: al blog
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. Nosferatus
    I don't see how racism can be inferred, the questions relate to a certain type of crime, nothing more. That being said, joke or not, really not an appropriate thing to be distributing to middle school students, this makes me seriously question the teacher's judgement.
  2. vervain
    This stupid test has existed since the 1980s (where it was circulated via photocopies) and every few years this same exact story gets written about some dumbfuck teacher getting in trouble for making their students take it. It's probably been copied thousands of times over the past 30 years. It's sort of like one of those email chain letters your annoying aunt always sends out, except for teachers.

    Far as racism goes, in the full text IIRC there are a disproportionate amount of Hispanic names for the gang members & whatnot. Whatever.
  3. Beenthere2Hippie
    Obviously, if a math test with mentions of "cocaine" and "drive by shootings" had been given to children of affluent citizens, the teacher (or teachers) would have been flogged and then fired immediately for having even introduced the subject matter to their kids, and the source material in question destroyed to avoid it ever being used again.

    As far as this being a test that has been around for years and has again surfaced as a news story (kind of like the way news stories on the drug krokodil does), I haven't found that to be the case with this, but would be more than interested in any validation or links that shows this to be so.
  4. Nosferatus
    Where does it say the students in this particular case were poor? One of them apparently took a picture with his phone and sent it to his mom, poor kids have their own phones now?

    One thing I wonder about is if the pictured children and mother are actually in any way connected to the story or if it's a stock image (they're labeled as unidentified) that was just included because they happen to be black, for the purpose of making some sort of implication.
  5. vervain
    Maybe I wasn't clear enough about the context of this thing.

    It's been circulated for decades as a joke - a fake test with the email subject line something like "Real L.A. Math Test - So Funny!" or some other inner city school. The "joke" being that urban kids relate to crack and pimps better than the usual corny All-American "Joey has a lemonade stand, he's has 20 cups of lemonade for 15 cents apiece...." text on most math tests. IIRC sometimes the email subjects are explicitly racist.

    But periodically teachers give it to their students to actually take because ha ha ha so funny. And then someone complains and then a "journalist" sees an opportunity for a quick clickbait article. Rinse & repeat.

    I don't remember all the details, first had a conversation about this years ago with someone doing their thesis on gangs in the education system or something like that, and then lo and behold there it was in the news like a month later.

    Just found a little Snopes write-up on it: http://www.snopes.com/humor/question/mathtest.asp
  6. Cwb20022
    ^^ thanks to Obama yes poor people can get free cell phones.

    As to the story. This is just ridiculous. What kind of teacher would consider giving this to there students regaurdless of location or demographic. Clearly a bunch of middle school students anywhere would not take this serious.

    Either the teacher thought they were "being cool" or needs to be fired due to stupidity.
  7. Nosferatus
    ^^Any way you slice it, this is an act indicating, at a bare minimum, extremely questionable competence.
  8. Beenthere2Hippie
    [IMGL=white]https://drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=50444&stc=1&d=1464830277[/IMGL]The picture I've attached is the AP stock photo Breitbart used that I saw fit to replace with that of an actual class at the school and one of the teacher (from the blog.al, below) that stands accused.

    With a little bit of link clicking I was able to find a visual copy of what is "allegedly" the note in question. You can see it here. A little bit more clicking and following links through led me to what you, too, could have had done, leading you to the answers to your own questions.

    Click, click: Oh,, look! There's even a copy of the video from TV:


    Have yourself a good night, Nos.

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