Department of Education Reverses Testing Word Ban

By Ben Fractenberg on April 2, 2012 8:47pm 

The city said it would stop banning certain words like
The city said it would stop banning certain words like "dinosaur" in test.
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MANHATTAN — The city's Department of Education will no longer prohibit testing companies from using a list of words that some students may find offensive when creating new exams, the New York Times reported Monday.

The move comes after a March 26 New York Post report about a list of 50 taboo words, like "dinosaur," "war" and "Halloween," that “could evoke unpleasant emotions in the students.”

The words were reportedly omitted from tests in an effort not to offend groups like evangelical Christians, who might take umbrage with students reading the word "dinosaur," possibly evoking evolution.

“After reconsidering our message to test publishers and the reaction from parents, we will revise our guidance and eliminate the list of words to avoid on tests," Shael Polakow-Suransky, the city’s chief academic officer wrote to The Times in an email.

"We will continue to advise companies to be sensitive to student backgrounds and avoid unnecessary distractions that could invalidate test scores and give an inaccurate assessment of how students are doing."

The DOE did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DNAinfo.

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