Drive-by shootings? Drugs? Hookers?
You don’t see those pop up on an eighth-grade math test every day.
Parents of students at Cranford Burns Middle School in Mobile, Ala., were shocked to see the quiz their children were given last week.
Actually, shock is an understatement to describe how they felt about test questions like these:
“Tyrone knocked up 4 girls in the gang. There are 20 girls in his gang. What is the exact percentage of girls Tyrone knocked up?”
“Pedro got 6 years for murder. He also got $10,000 for the hit. If his common-law wife spends $100 of his hit money per month, how much money will be left when he gets out?”
“Dwayne pimps 3 ho’s. If the price is $85 per trick, how many tricks per day must each ho turn to support Dwayne’s $800 per day crack habit?”
Erica Hall’s son took a picture of the test and texted it to her.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Hall told WPMI in Mobile. “They took it as a joke, and she told them that it wasn’t a joke, and they had to complete it, and turn it in.”
Hall and her husband went to the school on Tuesday to complain.
“The principal looked into it, and then our school resource officer investigated it and then we immediately put the teacher on administrative leave,” the school’s director of communications, Rena Philips, told the TV station.
Philips said that the Halls were the only parents who filed a complaint about the test, but other parents angrily sounded off on social media and to the media.
“Wow! No ma’am. Unacceptable,” parent Kanitha McMillian told WALA in Mobile.
“While some of the kids may know what these terms mean they shouldn’t have to be flooded with them from school administrators and teachers,” said parent Jason Boyington, whose son took the quiz.
“At some point somebody’s got to take a stand for righteousness, and I think the ball got dropped on this big time.”
Language arts teacher JoAnne Bolser, identified by media as the teacher who gave the test, was set to retire at the end of the school year. Colleagues described her as a dedicated teacher. Even some of her students who took the test were surprised that she gave the test.
“I was shocked because she’s a strict teacher,” one told WPMI.
The test has gotten others in hot water, too. It’s known as “The L.A. Math Proficiency Test” and has been circulated online for years, according to NBC.
In 2010 a police chief in South Florida, Richard E. Perez, resigned after he sent a copy of the test to his staff marked with this: “Urban schools are finally starting to teach practical math that these kids can use in real-world situations!!”
WALA reported that the test has turned up in classrooms around the country since the 1990s, spelling trouble for teachers in Texas, New Mexico, California and other states.
Philips said it was unclear whether Bolser showed the test to school administrators before she gave it.
“We regret that this happened so close to the end of the school year, today was the last day of school,” Philips told NBC.
“The vast majority of (our teachers) are doing an outstanding job. So it’s unfortunate that this news is overshadowing the work that they’re doing every day.”