A teacher in California sent me the latest state testing guidelines and was disturbed to see the large number of forbidden topics.
I was not surprised because in 2003, I published a book called “The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn.” I reported that testing and textbook publishers, the federal government and state education agencies collectively adhere to a long list of banned words, topics, and graphics (Do Not Show a Rainbow! Do Not Show a Female in a Tank Top! Do Not Show the Sole of a Shoe! Do Not Show a Cow with Udders! Do Not Even Mention Sex, Poverty, Religion,Violence, War, Witches, or Evolution!)
Actually, the only new addition to the list of banned topics is “complex discussions of sports,” and I assume this was added on the assumption that boys are likely to know more about sports than girls. So the topic is…
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