Skip to comments.Rancho Cotate students cry foul over unflattering final exam question
Posted on 05/30/2014 4:11:14 PM PDT by rey
An attempt at humor by a math teacher at Sonoma County's academically elite Technology High School backfired Friday when students at a nearby campus found they were the subject of an unflattering final exam question.
Teacher Ken Torres suggested in a hypothetical question to his Algebra I class that students at the larger Rancho Cotate High are involved in crime, sport tattoos, possess weapons and are slackers when it comes to homework.
Rancho Cotate students bristled at the negative characterization and said it is evidence of a superior attitude at Technology High. Some said the teacher should face discipline.
I'm quite offended by this, Rancho senior Nayeli Ruiz said after reading the multiple-choice question. It's ridiculous that a teacher who is supposed to be a role model would put other people down.
School board member Leff Brown agreed, calling it totally inappropriate. Brown said he would leave it to school administrators to decide what to do to Torres, a former Rancho teacher.
It's unacceptable, Brown said. I have three sons who graduated from The Ranch. They are all doing well.
Torres didn't return a phone call seeking comment Friday. In an email response, he said the question was an attempt to lighten the mood of the all-important final exam. He called it light-hearted humor.
But he conceded the question was a poor choice and promised to remove it from other tests.
Perhaps in retrospect, it wasn't the best decision, and I will refrain from any inappropriate questioning, particularly inter-school ribbing, in the future, Torres said. That question has been removed from the exam draft, so it won't inadvertently appear again in the future.
On the test, students were given the following question:
Suppose we collect data on 50 Rancho students. Which of the following variables is categorical?
a) years in Juvenile Hall
b) circumference of largest tattoo
c) hours of homework completed last week (really?)
d) weapon choice
e) number of stolen computers at home
Rancho junior Chaz Highfill said he felt slighted by the question.
It's driven by ignorance, Highfill said. My dad has a bunch of tattoos and he's the smartest person I know.
Another Rancho junior, Tamara Fahel, said Torres should get in trouble.
He's basically talking crap about our school and students, she said. He doesn't even know who we are.
But others said it didn't offend them at all. Sophomore Liam Reynolds said he appreciated the sense of humor.
I like that teacher, Reynolds said. That's funny.
Superintendent Robert Haley did not immediately return a call Friday.
The Church of the Perpetually Offended has some new members...
I think the teacher should be given an award.
Sounds like the teacher hit the nail on the head.
Awesome test question!
It was a friggin’ joke to break on a rival. Whatever.
Flak is thickest when you are over the target!
That actually sounds funny and besides, we made fun of other schools when I was growing up.
Time to sharpen the switchblades!
He threw one rock and a whole bunch of dogs yelped! lol
The new attitude: Being Offended
The mindset: Pessimism (drowning polar bears, boiling fish)
This is very new and weird and will sell Rush Limbaugh books and happy, uplifting religious movies.
I see huge, huge upsides to this —WE WILL WIN.
Sounds more like a statistics question than an Algebra I question. Anyone got the answer? I think it is D Weapon Choice but I could be wrong... it’s been a while.
This was an algebra test question? Algebra sure has changed.
I was wondering the same thing. Jeez - what a geek I am!
How many of those claims are true?
That is actually pretty funny
Methinks they doth protest too much.
Well, I think I see the problem.
If Jenny got knocked up by Ray in May and took 3 months off to give birth then got knocked up by Tommy in March taking another 3 months off, How many months of school did Jenny miss before getting knocked up by Randy?