One story problem on an algebra test in Florida has parents questioning the school district’s judgement.
EighthThe Lee County School District in southwest Florida has raised the ire of some parents over their choice of test for an algebra class. The subject used in the set-up for the questions on the test was the late Maya Angelou’s life. What parents are objecting to is some of the parts of Angelou’s life they decided to highlight, they believe, are inappropriate not only for a math test, but for 8th graders.
One of the questions causing a stir is:
Angelou was sexually abused by her mother’s _____ at age 8, which shaped her career choices and motivation for writing.
A. (0,2) Boyfriend
B. (4,6) Brother
C. (-3,-1) Father
Historically accurate, parents object to the concept of sexual abuse being used as part of a child’s math class.
Another question is:
Trying to support her son as a single mother, she worked as pimp, prostitute and ______.
A. (-3,-2) Bookie
B. (9,10) Drug Dealer
c. (4,5) Night Club Dancer
Upon seeing her daughter’s test, one mother told Fox 4, “I read it and just thought, ‘what in the world?’ this is so inappropriate for a 13 year-old 8th grader.”
School district spokesperson Amity Chandler released a statement on the controversy, apologizing to parents.
“The worksheet in question was utilized by Algebra I Honors classes and was chosen by a veteran teacher for its alignment with Florida Standards. While Maya Angelou is a well-known American Author and the facts of the worksheet are historically accurate, the Principal believes they were inappropriate for some students. She has delivered a ParentLink message to 91 homes “sincerely apologizing” for the use of the material and met with the teachers that utilized the worksheet.”